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Windows 10 Cloud is a good idea and here's why

Now that we all know Windows 10 Cloud is a thing in the works, I've been thinking about how useful the Cloud edition of Windows 10 actually is. It's a version of Windows 10 that can't run win32 programs from outside the Windows Store, essentially limiting users to the Windows Store for all their apps and games. At first, this sounds like a terrible idea, but after giving it some thought, I actually think it's a great idea. Here's why.

Let me clarify: It's a great idea for certain devices. I wouldn't be all too pleased if my $1000+ ultrabook couldn't run win32 programs from outside the Store, but on cheaper, low-end devices, I fail to see how this is anything but a good thing. Windows 10 Cloud's main goal is to protect users from dangerous software, and the best way to do that is to keep users locked to the Windows Store, where Microsoft can screen apps and make sure every app available is safe.

With that in mind, Windows 10 Cloud makes sense on devices like tablets. I own a HP Stream 7 and a few other small Windows tablets, and I've never really needed to download apps from the web on those devices. I've only ever used the Windows Store, because on a tablet the only apps I need are Office Mobile, Twitter and a few other lightweight apps, all of which are in the Store.

Windows 10 Cloud is secure and simple, especially for users that need the latter and can't be bothered by the former.

It also makes sense on Chromebook-like devices, with a smaller amount of storage that retail for a much lower price. Low-cost laptops running Chrome OS are aimed at consumers who only ever really use a web browser, and downloading apps is not of concern to them. Windows 10 Cloud is a step above that — there are apps, but only through the Windows Store. It's secure and it's simple for users that need the latter and can't be bothered by the former.

There's also the added benefit of being able to download programs from outside the Windows Store if you really want to by purchasing a Windows 10 Pro upgrade. Microsoft will actually offer this as an option when trying to launch Win32 programs from outside the store, meaning if you do upgrade you'll unlock the ability to run that program. It's a nice idea, but you can bet people will complain about Microsoft charging a fee to unlock programs from outside the Windows Store.

But what if Windows 10 Cloud was free? Not just for hardware makers, but for anybody. We're treading heavily into speculation here, but it's an idea I've been throwing about on Twitter and on the podcast and I'm curious to see what others think of the idea. What if Microsoft offers Windows 10 Cloud as a free version of Windows 10 for anybody to download and use?

In my mind, it'll work similarly to how you can download and install Ubuntu for free. Just go to the Microsoft website, download Windows 10 Cloud and install it. No activation required, it just works. It'll act as a sort of "appetizer" version of Windows 10 for those on old versions of Windows or even Mac users, introducing them to the Windows 10 ecosystem and offering the "full" experience through an unlocked Windows 10 Home or Pro license.

This would be beneficial for Microsoft too, as it encourages users to try out the new Windows 10 ecosystem before making the plunge. And if the user doesn't want to make the plunge and is fine with the Windows Store, Microsoft makes money from app purchases and other Microsoft services on Windows anyway. It's a win-win for everyone.

It looks like Windows 10 Cloud will be aimed at Enterprise and Education rather than consumers.

Unfortunately, this likely won't be the case. In reality it looks like Windows 10 Cloud will be aimed at Enterprise and Education rather than consumers. In fact, it's not even clear if Windows 10 Cloud will be offered to hardware makers as a version of Windows that can be pre-loaded onto consumer-facing devices. I hope so, and I honestly hope Microsoft do make it easy for already existing devices to be able to install Windows 10 Cloud, because I've got a few devices that I really think would make sense running Windows 10 Cloud.

My HP Stream 7, HP Stream 11 x360, Lenovo Yoga Book, and even the Surface 3 are all excellent contenders for Windows 10 Cloud, at least for me. I don't use programs from the web on any of those devices, because I don't need to. I've got a Surface Book and full desktop where I run Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Steam. I don't need or want those programs on my other devices, and would much rather have the added security.

Everyone is different, however. I know there are many who are completely against a version of Windows 10 that can't run win32 programs from outside the Windows Store. That's fine, though the vehement opposition is perhaps too much — you won't have to use it. But for the rest of us who do see its benefits, I hope it's more widely available than expected.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

165 Comments
  • Limit users to the windows store apps....I ask myself, where are the apps??? This move doesn't make sense to me at all. I really wanna meet one of this decision makers at Microsoft.
  • Edge will be there, that's the only app 99% of people, along with Facebook and mobile Office apps will ever use.
  • What about us? Us as in you and I who need more than Facebook and edge and tend to buy a low end device along the line.
  • You either won't be buying devices with Cloud edition or will be upgrading them right from the start to a full license.
  • You like to torchure yourself with a low end device that is running a full win32 desktop?
  • Use W10 Home or Pro
  • You are aware that there is about 600 000 apps in the store, and that new ones comes in every day?
    Most existing old *.exe can be converted to apps that can be submitted to the store, with little or no work.
  • 600000 STUDENTS app, low quality apps. There was a time Ms gave lumia520 for free to students for 10 apps.....You can imagine the quality...
  • At least name some of the apps that 'us' would want to use then..??
  • As always it is just about the profit. If you are not a profitable user you can't ask the company to continue to loose the money on you. As it goes Windows will have to be free on low end devices to be competetive. On the other hand Microsoft can't earn almost anything if it doesn't lock you into the Store.
  • https://www.netmarketshare.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=1&qpcusto... 5% of users user Edge. Not having Chrome will be an issue.
  • Not having chrome *may* be an issue, but not necessarily. Yes a lot of people use Chrome, but that doesn't mean they won't use something else if provided with some option. I mean, approximately the same amount of marketshare belongs to IE as well. If Windows 10 Cloud comes with IE, then we're already looking at the largest percentage of users. Plus, I use both Chrome and Edge. If I couldn't use Chrome, it doesn't harm me that much. So, while, yes, Chrome has a large marketshare, you provide no compelling reason why that is necessarily a problem.
    Moreover, again, its likely not to be targeted at consumers. It'll be targeted at folks who generally don't make those decisions. Like Firefox more than Chrome? A Chromebook really doesn't help you with that. If your school provides you with one, tough noogies. So really, I have to ask, what perspective are you looking at this from? I just don't think you're looking at it through the right one.
  • IE is under 20% and dropping. Edge and IE are only 25% total. Not being able to install Chrome will be an issue for the majority. Maybe they will get over it. I am curious to see how Microsoft positions W10C. I like the free for anyone idea and for institutions. New consumer devices might not be a great idea though. It is going to annoy those people.
  • Ah, sorry about the wrong statistics. I was reading top to bottom assuming the top was the most recent. My apologies for only rush-reading it.  In any case, as it stands, this isn't suppose to appeal to everybody, just as a Chromebook doesn't provide IE, Edge, Safari, or Firefox. I'm fine with people getting annoyed if they don't try to understand what they're buying. When I got an Android phone (waaaaaay back with the original Motorola Droid), apparently people were returning them because they couldn't get stuff off of the iTunes app store. I didn't view that as a problem with Android, and I don't view that as Microsoft's problem here. You can only dumb things down so much. If there are different versions of something, its stupid to assume they're all the same. You should actually find out the differences.
  • Your Motorola Droid story... Did that really happen? Cuz I face-palmed so hard that I knocked myself out.
  • If you truly can't do without Chrome than don't get the device.  No one is forcing anyone to buy these devices with Windows 10 Cloud.  I'm also sure there will be tons of options with regular Windows 10 on them.
  • plus still a google web browser in the store
  • The only time that I've been attacked by malware is when I used IE or Edge as a browser. Never a problem with Firefox or Chrome.
  • IE is a Win32 program and wouldn't work on Win10 Cloud version
  • Windows lovers hate Chrome. What are you even on about ?
  • Big enterprises won't join Google's cloud for 1 reason, security.  Google is behind in cloud security, thats why Chromebooks haven't had big impact in Big businesses, education sector doesn't need high security requirements as big Fortune 500 companies do, so that's why Google has not received complaints there, but any big company will benefit much more from Windows 10 Cloud than Chromebooks. Just my 2 cents.
  • Who said anything about Chromebooks?
  • Because that's the main competitor to Windows 10 Cloud...
  • We don't know that. We are not sure what Microsoft's plans are for it.
  • no matter what their plans are, its the closest equivalent. so they'll be competing whether they want to or not.
  • Some of the newest remote desktop services offered today take advantage of H.264 which will be supported by Windows 10 cloud (not sure if Chromebooks support this codec ) so remote sessions can take advantage of fast Internet connection and feel more close to a local environment, so that's something that Chrome browser doesn't support, you need Chromebook for that. 
  • Chrome will make their own UWP app.
  • Ha!
  • I have to agree with bleached on this one. It's unlikely that Google will release a UWP app of anything for that matter until there's a bigger market drive for it. I mean, if Windows 10 Cloud *does* take off, maybe that could help influence it, but it's unlikely to be that big of a seller that quickly. So unless windows 10 cloud takes off or some sort of windows mobile OS that calls for a UWP gains a lot of marketshare, i most definitely would not count on this happening, in fact, it's safer to count on it *not* happening.
  • I don't reckon so. People install Chrome on W10 because they can as an alternative. You give them W10 Cloud and they can't, so they make do with what is on offer (and might realise it's actually better than they thought). But then you might say you can't expect customers to 'just settle' like that... but you can with W10 Cloud, because it is essentially a budget, compromise W10. If you are a customer wanting more flexibility, you'd pay a bit more for a device with that flexibility - one running full W10. Similarly, the kind of people that go out and install Chrome are likely not what W10 Cloud is aiming for. Chrome installers would be a bit more particular about their W10 experience and maybe a bit more tech savvy. These cheap W10 cloud devices would be aimed at users who ultimately probably wouldn't care how they access the web, so long as they do. EDIT: pjhenry1216 beat me to it, damn! In a nutshell; what he/she said.
  • Yeah, I agree. Cloud users won't have a choice (business device) or won't care(noobs). I wonder if Microsoft will have consumer hardware available with it.
  • My guess is, Microsoft would probably leave it to the OEM's to develop the devices.  I can't see a high end Surface running Windows 10 Cloud happening.
  • Yeah, it doesn't seem to fit with the high-productivity, high-end approach the Surface line is currently excelling with.
  • you can get a google browser out the store
  • Well, our dear open minded forward thinking etc. Google will probably issue UWP Chrome to meet customer's requirements :-)
  • Google could always make Chrome an app too but it's too warm for that.
  • Chrome is a virus, Edge is perfect for me.
  • With that argument, Windows RT should have been a big success. It wasn't, for the same reason Windows Cloud is a problem. If Windows on ARM is limited to Windows Cloud, Microsoft will have again ruined what could have been a very good thing. They have a habit of that.
  • Paul, I am to the point I actually think one of the two is happening for the content(?) providers of this site 1.) they are getting paid to write the articles or indirectly they have to show everything in a positive spin to retain the cashflow  or 2.) they are trying to generate clicks based on crazy opinions/prediction/reviews.   The guy last week was trying to convince me that WP really isn't dead, doing his best to put up a huge spin.  LOL  I mean people in MS don't even use WPs.    As you pointed out, if this is such a great idea why was RT abandoned?   If one desires a more closed platforms there a few players that have more going for them than MS products.   What does this Cloud OS provide which is not being provided for by the other two big competitors?   (That is the problem, there are already very mature products which this won't replace)   Nice post btw.  
  • Re died because it had a desktop that couldn't run desktop apps, the start button was missing and generally people were just confused as hell. Windows 10 Cloud doesn't have a limitation of not running desktop apps, and it actually has a start button and start menu so it's less confusing for people. Personally for me it comes down to security, a locked down system is no good for me, but for my parents and my son it's perfect. That being said I agree with Zac, this will likely end up being a kind of "education edition" and people like me and you will never need to care about it.
  • Was RT's success linked to Windows 8?  Windows 8 was not as well recieved as Window 7. RT looked like windows 8 and had the same builds that others did not like. If RT was launched with Win 7 would it still have done poorly?
     
  • Robert, the users are not coming back... they certainly aren't coming back to run mobile apps on a desktop.  Mobile apps make sense on a mobile device, the don't make as much sense on a desktop or laptop with a full screen.   This is DOA just like RT.
  • @Paul Kinslow, while there are similarities there are also some pretty big differences. When Windows RT came out, there wasn't much of a Store and even less any familiarity with how to use one by traditional Windows users. There was also no UWP or Centinnial, which made it cost-ineffective for developers to create RT apps. Further, there was no upgrade path from Windows RT to full Windows -- it was a dead end. Also, RT wasn't really Windows -- it was only the Metro piece of it with a partial desktop for some very specific apps. This led to a hodgepodge UX that some were fine with, but many were not. Lastly, it was really only mainstream available on the Surface RT, which was very expensive for what it included. So if Windows RT had apps, ran standard Windows (from a UI/UX perspective), could upgrade to full Windows for access to other apps, and did all of that in a low-cost (sub $200, with some systems below $100) starter system, it too may have fared just fine. Also, note that Windows on Arm doesn't have anything to do with Windows Cloud, except that perhaps they will overlap in achieving some of those sub-$100 systems... if it's even available to consumers. Keep in mind that the main target for Windows Cloud systems are schools and businesses that currently consider and often buy Chromebooks. When you pit Windows Cloud against those, at a competitive or lower price, it seems like a slam dunk that MS would keep a significant % of those customers, rather than loose them to Chrome. Strategically, it's a smart play. If it works, it blocks Google from flanking MS as a computer OS maker and it will encourage more apps to be available in the store for access to those customers. Some of those apps will be UWP apps, which in turn makes it easier for MS to stride back into mobile w/o its current chief liability -- lack of apps. And if it doesn't work, there's little downside, beyond the cost of the R&D and initial release and associated marketing -- it's unlikely to cannibalize the higher end market where Windows already dominates.
  • You nailed it with that.
  • There is a difference though. Windows RT had target audience for consumers, while Windows 10 cloud has target audience for users that have a BYOD device they want to use at work in a secure manner.  Both Google and Apple have failed with ChromeOS and iPad as BYOD devices and most of these users need a 2 in 1 that is secure, runs apps like Office and integrates to SaaS apps in the cloud, that's where Windows 10 cloud is coming.
  • Windows RT didn't have Windows 10 though. Remember how well Windows 8 itself went over, let alone Windows RT. We're all forgetting that RT was a stripped down Windows 8. A stripped down Windows 10 is still a hell of a lot better than stripped down 8. Please keep this in mind when comparing Windows Cloud with Windows RT. Their base OS was *much* different.
  • you seariously are smoking something, you and all fanboys here. What on earth is different on this new RT version?? it relies on apps only, same as RT 1.0 was, apps that are even less than they were before! And regarding BYOD, who would be that stupid to use a tablet with a ghost app store that does nothing?? I will simply sit and laugh at you fanboys when this new crap RT 2.0 will fail and you will remain with the same sour feeling as many times before!
  • I always love it when folks start their crap with ad hominem attacks. You just KNOW there's nothing sensible to be expected
  • Windows Cloud is nothing like Windows RT. ​Windows Cloud can run the same Windows Store apps as the regular Windows 10. Windows RT had to had its own apps and store. Totally different scenario. With Windows Cloud, developers are still targetting the same UWP platform.  
  • which developers? :)) those that never got interested in uwp? :))) devs don't give a damn about uwp and MS's pathetic unified platform concept.
  • That 99% will only ever use Edge because there won't be many real apps in the store.  Developers have resoundingly rejected having their code projected into UWP.
  • thats a lame excuse.
  • What "so important apps that you can't live without" are missing?
  • Snapchat probably :D
  • Anything for work. Let's face it, if one important app is missing on one device over another, the other device will be chosen. Otherwise, a person will need to pack a second device just for that one work app. This was the problem with RT. Why get one if a person will need to drag along their laptop for that one non-compatible and seldom used app? If it's necessary, there is no choice in the matter. Without win32, a device becomes worthless for many.
  • I agree 100% Paul. Add to that the likely inability to run RDP. How do you get IT policies enforced?
  • I can run RDP on my phone. As for policies, I would be shocked if domain join and GPO are not supported. Even Azure ADDS supports GPO. In the least, there is MDM.
  • why is it unlikely? Remote Desktop is available from the Store. If you're talking about some sort of more advanced usage of the protocol, yeah, that's probably unlikely. But they'd probably use GPO for IT policies instead anyway.
  • I don't agree. This is not ment for enterprise users who need work-based apps, VPNs etc. At shool they just need basic apps to 'teach' how to make use of MS office tools like word, excel or powerpoint. Outlook, MS access, OneNote etc. will all be there too. For browsing, Edge is there. You can't have Chrome or Firefox but I don't see it as a 'deal-breaker' for most budget users. If they opt for chromebook, they will be compromising on a far greater set of things which can't be done there. I agree, that it is not perfect, but it still will be a full blown OS with all features. Everything except the ability to install your own software. But you can't really do so on Chromebooks either. Google only makes you believe you do, becuase it shows you a vast playstore to install apps/web-extensions. Ultimately you are still inside a web-browser and you can't really compare that to working on a proper full fleged OS. So to shoot down MS for not giving you just one thing, and support Google for providing with you with far more restricted set of features is not at all fair in my view.
  • There are many ways to solve that problem. First, Microsoft has never said that it would only support their store. Windows 10 supports third party stores through MDM management with deep linking as well. Windows 10 Mobile supports that. I see no reason to believe that the same wouldn't be true for Windows 10 Cloud. Secondly, I would be surprised if it doesn't support Centennial. More than likely, the demo for Windows 10 on ARM was using the Centennial bridge to run PhotoShop. If they are doing that on ARM, why would it be any different for this version of Windows 10? Lastly, in an enterprise environment, they can use RDS RemoteApp, Citrix XenApp or an equivalent to make those applications available. Running a native app is not inherently a requirement to access the same GUI and functionality. At this time, we know very little about Windows 10 Cloud. Comparisons to Windows 8 RT are only natural but Windows and the industry has evolved significantly since it was released. Windows 10 Cloud is just another SKU for Windows 10. It is just another option among a myriad of options. Pick the one that works and go from there.
  • RT had another major issue over the lack of applications... RT devices from Microsoft and other OEMs like Asus were just way too expensive. You could actually buy a cheaper laptops and tablets running the full version version of Windows.
  • In my opinion, RT was released before it was fully baked. When I got my hands on one, I was surprised to see full file system access available through Explorer. I literally expected it to be a thin runtime version of Windows. Explorer was convenient but it I can see how people confused RT for the full version of Windows. Going with NVIDIA over Qualcomm was also a problem for the Surface RT from a performance perspective. There were also huge question marks around enterprise management. Communication was equally poor and Sinofsky didn't help matters by pretending to be Steve Jobs. Windows 8 was a better OS in every way once you were able to adjust to it but I sympathize with those who felt that it was jarring and inconsistent. In other words, there were so many problems with Windows 8 and RT that went WAY beyond the app store. Windows 10, of any flavor, is in a much better position to execute on a runtime model much more effectively than they could have before. Organizationally, they are like a different company now. They behaved like they were on their heels in 2011 / 2012 and frankly, they were.
  • Obviously Windows cloud would not be aimed at the typical office worker.  This is for schools who are currently choosing Chrome books.  That's all.
  • Windows 10 cloud is great idea for companies that want to get their employees secure access to software apps and web applications running on the cloud.  As you probably know Google and Amazon are both Microsoft's Azure cloud competitors, and what Microsoft wants to do with Windows 10 Cloud is to have a competitive advantage that AWS and Google cloud don't have and that is the security of Windows in the cloud thanks to Single Sign On via Azure Active Directory, Kerberos cloud authentication and two factor authentication mobile app which can be installed on Android, iOS or Windows Mobile 
  • It does make sense to offer on low end devices. Though it needs to be clear that it is not win32 compatible. The only way to really do this is to drop "Windows" from the name. Just call it "CloudOS" or something. You can keep Microsoft in there, it just need to be differentiated from Windows completely, rather than being an arm of it. Since you don't want to have to put big warnings on packaging explaining that you can't install win32 apps on it, and it's not targeted towards people that actually read up on these things.
  • or just don't sell it to the general unwashed in the first place so the poor dears don't get confused
  • i disagree entirely that dropping Windows is required. It uses the Windows Store. It runs Windows Universal Apps. The problem is simply someone not being competent to ask what the difference between two different versions are. If I see two different versions of something, I'm going to ask what the difference is. You can't hold the customers hand that hard.
  • Xbox also uses the Windows store, but it's not called "Windows 10 Xbox". Also, have you ever met a salesperson in a computer store, they never know what they are talking about. You may ask what the difference is, but 90% of people won't. Out of the 10% that do, they likely wont get the right answer either.
  • But I believe these devices *are* Win32 cmpatible.  it's just that the Win32 apps *must* come from the Windows Store.  So this might encourage software vendors to use Project Centennial to wrap their Win32 applications as store apps.   The question is, does the Win32 app have to be *bought* through the store, or just installed through the store?  If, as a Win32 application developer, I have to sell my Win32 app through the store and give Microsoft 30%, that just isn't going to happen, and Windows 10 Cloud will die a quick, painful death.  But if I can put my Win32 app in the store for a fixed fee and still sell licenses to it outside the store, I might be willing to do that. It all depends on who Microsoft targets with Windows 10 Cloud.  If it targets enterprise, and still lets me sell software directly do the enterprise, and then the enterprise installs the software through a (potentially private) store, this could work.  If Microsoft expects a 30% cut for Windows Store Win32 applications, Windows 10 Cloud is dead on arrival.  
  • That's how Google Play, Steam, Apple Store all work, none of which were DOA. If you sold your software through any store, even physical, you'd be giving the same 30% commission. If MS are giving this away for free, that's where they will want to be making their money. Whether or not enterprise apps work the same, I don't know. But surely MS is entitled to some commission somewhere along the line. If they hadn't made the OS in the first place, you'd have no product yourself. Think of it more as a tax...
  • @Kieran Jeffery, that may have been helpful to RT customers (though I doubt it could have saved it), but keep in mind here that you will be able to do an in-place upgrade to full Windows if you want access to Win32 apps. It's not that you can't run them, it's that the business model (if going to consumers at all) would be MS giving away the OS on the hope that some of those users would end up buying apps in the store, or later upgrading to full Windows. So if you buy a $100 tablet, your going to have to get your apps through the store. If you want more, you'll have to pay an unlock fee. That seems a pretty reasonable compromise, especially as it also creates an incentive for developers to move their apps to the store, which is a big strategic win for MS. Or, think about this way: would Chromebooks sell better if customers knew that they would be able to later pay an upgrade fee for access to all Windows apps? Of course they would. Windows Cloud can offer this, Chromebooks can't. If Microsoft can compete on that basis, why wouldn't it?
  • The rebirth of RT, just need apps
  • almost the rebirth of RT, except Windows 10 instead of Windows 8. And you there's an upgrade path to full windows 10 without needing new hardware.
    Edit: really stupid typo
  • I get concerned with consumer confusion. I had friends buy a surface rt or surface 2 (with Windows rt) and they did not understand why it couldn't run full programs after purchase. A clear message before purchase is important. Our else a consumer that didn't know would feel cheated.
  • Windows Cloud can run full programs, they just have to have been published to the Windows Store first. This gives dev's more reason to publish their legacy applications. I honestly don't know of many now aside from Kodi, WordPad, Adobe Elemens & Evernote...I know there's more, but I still don't think its a lot.
  • Most programs will never see the store there combination of reasons... including but not limited to accepting additional microsoft agreements, effort, resources, and exactly what incentive is there?  (if one was interested in a closed platform, you have two competitors with a bunch more to offer imo)  
  • This was a point that I mentioned to someone on a different article a few days ago. It seems to me like this could very well be a play by Microsoft to increase W10M market share (because what is cloud, really, except W10M in permanent continuum mode?) in hopes of incentivizing companies to push out Windows Store apps. If that's the case, and it actually succeeds (which, admittedly, seems unlikely), then all the sudden W10M becomes a much more appealing option, even without win32 support. 
  • Well the O/S does not allow for project centennial apps without hackery, nor is the App-V client included like it is in build 1607 of Enterprise and Education until that shows up I don't think its for Enterprise & Education. It looks to be more of a compete with Chromebooks with Andriod apps instead.
  • How do you know that it won't support Centennial? I would be very surprised if it didn't include App-V / Centennial.
  • It's a ridiculous idea and will only confuse people like Windows RT did. Bad freaking move in my opinion.
  • If this becomes a totally free edition that anyone can download and install, then yes, I get it and think it's a good idea. Allowing it to go on cheap machines and making people upgrade to add fairly basic functionality, like installing an alternative browser? I don't know. It reminds me of when Intel tried to sell a line of CPUs that were upgradable by microcode unlocking. One thing I potentially see for MS's reasoning is to get more of the basic apps to UWP, like browsers. Will that actually happen?
  • Think about this, Windows today is the most pirated OS in the world, now imagine this version of windows was free for anyone to use. OEMs could sell computers $120 or $200 less (licence fees), Pirates could just install this easily (I know I would for a bunch of old computers I have in the workshop and sell them off as WinCloud Computers), the majority of the people I work with i.e. in the finance department, HR, Execs and Support staff would all be on this in a heartbeat. (No worries with people trying to install **** they just got an invite to download).
  • It states that the apps are safe, but aren't they just like android/ios apps still vulnerable to bad apps that can **** up your pc?
  • Microsoft said that they check every app before the developer publish it to the store. Not like android.
  • Each UWP app has a set of access rights requested by the developer when publishing to the Store. Users can review these rights in the "This app can..." section of the app page within the Store before installing.
    Anything that the app did not request access to will be denied access to if the app tries to do it when running. Think of it as a sandbox that enforces the limitations the app claimed to abide by (they are in fact enforced at the API level).
    ​This means you should review which rights an app requests before installing. If you see a nice game that requests access to your e-mails, contacts, phone calls, etc... don't install it. But if a game only request access to your Internet connexion, you know it won't be able to peek at your local documents when running. ​The only exception is Centennial, they still use the rights request like UWP, but because the Win32 API doesn't enforce this rights system at the API level, every Centennial app has to request "Uses all system resources" right regardless of what it actually performs once running.
    You can see this Centennial rights on my Win32-based shell : https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co... It's much more secure than stores basing their trusts on developers claim alone without any enforcement at runtime.
    Every Appx published to the Windows store also get automatically checked for virus and known bad behaviors.
  • tnx for the reply :)
  • This is very useful for work based tablets, invoicing, clock-in system and my 6 year old daughter 👍🎮
  • Are their UWP clock in systems?
  • In a word, no. FieldEase Time Entry isn't there and neither is Timecard GPS. Those 2 are the most widely used in the construction industry. I imagine they're used by other segments too.
  • I'm sure a dev somewhere could write one if demand were high enough..
  • If someone is tech savvy enough to build their own machine, why would they want to limit themselves to just apps on the Windows Store? Windows 7 and 8 holdouts had a year to try Windows 10 for free. If they didn't upgrade by now, a version of Windows that can't run their desktop programs isn't going to convince them. Finally, if someone I building a machine, they're building a desktop. They don't need to worry about power constraints from a laptop.
  • if i'm building a low-powered desktop for my mom to browse facebook and check email? you better believe that i'd absolutely love to be able to just put windows 10 cloud on there.
  • If that's all she does, she can just do that on her phone.
  • Not everyone likes doing everything on a 5-inch screen or even necessarily has the eyesight. I'm 34, my mom isn't that young...
  • Then get her a Chromebox. My mom has the same usage you describe and she loves it. Plus you won't have to spend hours configuring anything, just take it out of the box and turn it on. 
  • @Tom Westrick, I think you just demonstrated one of the key reasons why MS is doing this -- avoid losing marketshare to Cromebooks. It also creates an incentive for more apps on their store (whether via Centenial or UWP), for an added strategic benefit. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if it's not available for private system builders and is only avalibale for OEM's to preinstall on low-cost systems or systems for schools and enterprise who want to lock down the systems.
  • One thing that people miss about Chromebooks is how easy they are to deploy and manage - especially for a school limited on staff and/or funding. One of my friends from high now works as a teacher at our old school, and in addition to teaching English he became the IT Manager since "[he's] a millenial and grew up with computers." When the school still had their dedicated Windows computer labs, about half of his time was spent teaching English and the other half was spent managing the computers. After moving to Chrome, he only has to spend time at the beginning of the year to issue the laptops and the end of the year when they're being returned - plus dealing with the odd lost device, which is just logging into the management suite and clicking "wipe." The student is issued a replacement device, and as soon as they log in with their account, everything starts syncing and is set up just like their old device.  Judging by the rumors so far, Microsoft isn't going to make the Windows 10 Cloud devices any easier to manage than they do exisitng Windows 10 devices. That's a big reason schools are moving to Chromebooks, and if Windows 10 Cloud doesn't duplicate that ease of use, it won't do anything to slow down Google's growth. 
  • @Tom Westrick, that's a good point. If MS doesn't simplify the administration, I would concede that point. That said, I have to believe they would. If apps can only be installed through the store and if the computer is coming from an OEM with drivers and everything installed, they could just include a "Configurator" app that automates the functions an IT person would by setting everything to match a central setting repository. That may not be as elegant as Chrome's built-in capabilities, but it would get the job done and remain super simple to manage. Granted -- that's just my speculation, but if MS doesn't do that, I think you're right that they will have a much less compelling solution for this market.
  • Isn't that what system centre is?
  • The could use windows mobile with some twicks instead. Sad they didn't do it.
  • honestly, windows 10 mobile likely will go this direction instead. windows 10 on ARM, with the ability to unlock win32 at the user's discretion, or possibly even only when connected to another device through Continuum (could you imagine some apps on such a tiny screen?).
  • And hopefully we will be able to install on the original Surface rt
  • unlikely. if windows 10 cloud is released on ARM, it'd still likely require newer ARM chips.
  • It's an interesting idea, though. As it's a light version of the OS, maybe older hardware could handle it. Though, for MS's part, it might not be worth the effort.
  • It's fairly obvious that this is Microsoft's way of giving Windows to OEM's for free. Then - if the user wants to upgrade, they pay Microsoft the money directly. OEM wins as they don't have to pay a fee to Microsoft up front for Windows. Microsoft Wins as it gets some cash from the Windows Store (30% isn't it?) and if the user really wants Windows 10 Pro, they can pay to 'activate' it. Win-Win.
  • It's a reasonable business model, and would certainly help drive low-end Windows systems where the license cost of Windows can be half the price of the system. Given the threat posed in that segment by Chromebooks, MS really has to do something like this or cede that part of the market to Google.
  • Yes, Windows 10 Cloud is a great idea. Those who are against it are technically illiterate, they are a developer who is too lazy to do it the right way or they directly benefit from ripping people off. In fact, nearly all software developed for Windows can be delivered through the store via Centennial.
    Those that cannot are limited to applications with a local database, they require a driver, they are far too complex or they wouldn't pass a security audit. Wherever possible, I actively avoid installing applications from any source other than the store. I do that for two main reasons.
    First, sandboxed and virtualized applications do not require elevation to function correctly. Store applications have also been vetted so they add another layer of security. Patching individual applications is built-in and they must comply with Microsoft's terms and conditions for privacy.
    Secondly, they have the least impact on the registry. That allows the system to run in an optimum state for much longer. They install cleanly and very few fragments are left behind when removed. If you place a premium on performance and stability, virtualized and sandboxed applications are the way to go.
  • Hey Zac,
    Thanks for this commentary. I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly. I was one of the dozens of people who bought, used and enjoyed a Surface RT. I knew what its limitations were, but I was thrilled to have a thin, light, quiet Windows machine with a proper and familiar file system, on which I could read e-mail, watch videos, browse the internet, and do real work with full Office programs. It was a wonderful device, and unfortunately poorly introduced to the public. Imagine a classroom full of students with inexpensive touch and pen-enabled devices, all syncing with each other through OneNote; what a powerful learning environment that could be! What a pity that even readers here disparage such a venture, because the Cloud OS would not have as robust a library of social media apps as iOS or Android.
  • Windows 10 is an excellent idea, my son and my wife are both perfect candidates for this, my son is obsessed with security since a bad experience with android and my wife is not really tech savvy.
  • You mentioning the free version did give me one thought: Mac users. If you're a Mac user and Xbox gamer, Microsoft could give a free way to leverage Xbox Anywhere to these people. No need to buy a $100 Windows install just to play Halo Wars 2 on a computer. My only question is this: How would this be different than the fate Windows RT suffered?
  • Microsoft failed once with Windows RT ....why is doing the same mistake again?
    Windows store is very limited,,UWP apps are not there yet .. ,important apps that everybody use (Google apps are not there) .
    Sure you can use third party apps but reality is that first party apps are the first people search in the store, and if they don't find them ...well you lost the game already.
    Windows RT was the same ,I was hoping something better but it seems is a dead end again....and let's not forget chrome books are going to run android apps soon.
  • So far, those Chromebooks run Android apps VERY POORLY. Statements from Google indicate that many apps (including their own) will need to be updated to support this approach. So, if you are looking for a poor experience running Android apps on a laptop / 2-1 with VERY limited app selection, Google has a solution for you.
  • I've used Android apps on three different Chromebooks that support them, and they work just fine. This includes Microsoft Office and games like Monument Valley.
  • I am basing my comment on initial reviews of Samsung's new Chromebooks with built-in support. It is also worth noting that Office complies with responsive design principles but many developers do not utilize the same approach.
  • Yeah, I did get the Samsung one this week and things are slightly hairy. Nothing earrth shattering, Monument Valley just force closed after a level last night. Can't speak to the issues others are having, but they may be using other apps than what I use. For some reason Microsoft's apps won't install to the Samsung Chromebook, even though they worked fine on the others I've tried (an ARM Acer R13 and x86 Asus C302). 
  • This may be an example for one of the first times that Google has had to deal with technical debt for platform support. They have tried and failed to persuade the majority of developers to use responsive design for Android apps so that they will run appropriately on tablets and smartphones. But they are also dealing with more input modalities now. Running those apps natively with full keyboard, mouse and touch support is difficult to achieve unless the app is updated to support new API's. Factor in output display scaling, responsive design, split screen, resizable windows and emulating hardware device management and the challenge is daunting. When you consider UX for these apps beyond performance, it is even more difficult. Do they hide Android apps that offer duplicate functionality to ChromeOS apps? How should file type associations work? How do you provide guidance to users? How do you manage the myriad of notifications when duplicate apps are installed? How about progressive web apps? Merging two very distinct platforms into a unified whole is a really, really difficult thing to achieve. In many ways, they are confronted with many of the same issues that Microsoft had to deal with for Windows 8. Naturally, this further illustrates why Apple maintains so many different platforms and it highlights how powerful and unique that Windows 10 is. Initially, it is easier to green field a platform for a new form factor and use case. But eventually, all those platforms further diverge and the technical debt inhibits agility and scale. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out for Google. I suspect that it will be a story that is years in the making in much the same way that it has been for Microsoft.
  • Agreed on all points. This may mark the first commercial release, but there will still be a lot of fine tuning going forward.  The duplicate apps things is a curious problem for developers. They can have a website, a ChromeOS app and an Android app. Plex, for example, has all three. Which one do they tell consumers to use? I guess they can just watch analytics and see which version most consumers use.  I do think Google is taking the right approach with ChromeOS/Android compared to Windows. Both platforms started limited and have slowly grown in capability, and will continue to do so. Windows on the other hand has traditionally been a larger OS designed for desktops, and Microsoft has had to shrink it to work with mobile and now IOT. It's easier to start with something small and work your way up than start with something large and take out the "right" parts to make it small. 
  • You are absolutely correct about the difference between the approach. Generally speaking, organic growth is easier to manage as hardware becomes more powerful. Conversely, it takes a long time for more powerful hardware to become widely available. Because of that, new capabilities go through the standard adoption cycle. That cycle will usually mirror developer interest. On the flip side, starting with a more powerful platform can lead to an increase in adoption when the hardware meets a new inflection point that allows for a new use case. The use of capacitive touch screens is an example for that scenario. Platforms, supporting hardware and connectivity were ready for a new interaction model. If there is anything that Microsoft has going for them, it is that they have done all the hard work. Google benefits from some of Microsoft's missteps provided that they paid attention and that they execute accordingly. But they are way behind Microsoft on their path to convergence. With a relatively small base of users, they may be able to iterate their way to a viable solution for the masses at the right time. Personally, I think they are getting ahead of themselves but market pressures around 2-1 devices may be forcing their hand. Further, they just don't have consistent messaging. Can they encourage developers to code for multiple inputs when they still haven't implemented Pointer Events in Blink? Are they rebuilding ChromeOS or are they looking at a converged platform for all form factors? It feels like they are in a defensive posture without a cohesive vision that has widespread backing. I could be wrong but for now, ChromeOS with Android seems like a tangible moonshot that could have strategic implications if it pans out. Meanwhile, they could damage their reputation in education if execution falls short. Ease of management means very little if you break stuff. They also don't want to make it seem like they are deprecating ChromeOS.
  • I really hope they do make it free for consumers and provide it for download on microsoft.com.
    ​While I would always run Windows Pro on a workstation or productivity PC, even on hybrid tablets, we have to consider the story with less powerfull devices that really don't benefit from the flexibility of a full PC.
    ​Having a free edition of Windows Cloud suddenly makes a little Compute Stick or NUC connected to each TV a cheap solution to run a network TV app, movies apps, IP telephony app, miracast client, Xbox One streaming, etc... ​Cheap computing devices means you will end up with video projectors that have Windows Cloud embedded, maybe even TVs that decide to use that in place of their custom smart-TV environment.
  • Plus developers who make win32 apps would have a place they can actually charge for their apps... All the win32 apps I use aside from Adobe CC and Autodesk are free ie Firefox, VLC, Musicbee, Reader, Qbittorent, 7Zip, Drive, Dropbox, Search Everything, VMware etc. all free to download. Now if they pulled them and only had store apps for $1 I think I'd pay instead of paying $120 or 200 for a windows licence.
  • I have a Lumia 640 and a W10 laptop. I have days when I don't even touch my laptop, I do everything on my Lumia. It is not Android, not ios, it's Windows 10. And like me is a great amount of people. We use everyday a small amount of apps. When I need something complex, I use the laptop. I would buy a tablet with Windows just to navigate on web on a bigger screen.
    A lot of you say that Microsoft failed with Windows RT. Maybe now they have seen what failed and would make things better. A second chance. Let's wait and see. It's not my company, so let them fail and fail, they are not failing on my money. Even a fail it's an evolution.
  • The question you have to ask is, what enterprise UWP apps ARE actually available that would make this OS a viable alternative over a standard Windows install? The Windows store isnt exactly teeming with enterprise UWP apps so what will they be running? On top of that if you have to go to the trouble of setting up remote app services does all that extra cost and management overhead justify using this OS? This is just RT 2.0 fuelled by the dying embers of Windows 10 euphoria, or worse the delusion that Windows 10 will fix everything if you shove it in enough people's faces. Will probably go down as the second worst decision after the much loved mobile retrenchment..... /s
  • Not UWP, at least at the start. Centennial. With Centennial and close to zero incremental effort to release an app on the store, it wouldn't take a very large percentage of users on these to make it worthwhile for developers to distribute through the store. This includes in-house business apps distributed only through private portion of the store as a security measure to lock down the device. This is one of the chief benefits given for why businesses and schools buy Chromebooks -- b/c they don't run installable applications, they are more easily secured. The other reason is cost, and by giving away Windows 10 for free, that knocks the legs out from under that selling point too. Good strategy by MS to do this. Speaking of strategy, with more Store customers, UWP apps will also appear, which could help MS get back into mobile devices, but that's not a requirement for this bet to pay off for MS.
  • Frankly, I think Bowden is being childish. He wants to trade his freedom for a feeling of security. The great lure of Windows 10 tablets is their ability to do more and be anything! Even if only used on occasion, I'd still be annoyed if I simply couldn't run 🏃🏻 legacy apps for no good reason. Windows 10 cloud should be pedalled only as an alternative to big screen chromebooks and for people that want a free 'appetiser' version of Windows. It might also be cool for XBOX 🎮 to run Windows 10 Cloud. For XBOX, that would be a genuine value add.
  • I think Windows 10 Cloud is aimed not for consumer market, but for BYOD market, for workers that need a ultraportable device that need to connect to their corporate network from home to have secure access to their apps and the apps of your company depend on Microsoft's cloud, I don't think this will disrupt consumer market at all, since consumer people and students will require offline capabilities that are not provided by Windows 10 apps.
  • You talk like Windows 10 cloud would be the only version of Windows 10. I never understood how a choice could ever be bad?!
  • Though understandable this version of Windows makes sense in your world, this is exactly where the problem lies, your world. Most ppl don't have a few devices laying around and need to make do with one device. For a lot of people, Windows 10 Cloud will come up short, unlike Android / iOS devices with......and yes, here we go,.... app stores with a great choice in apps.
    I do agree with the emphasis on Enterprise / Education. But here the issue is as well, are the right tools available for this OS to make any sense.
    Guess time will tell.....
  • I can't find any useful real software in the play store. I own several Windows 10 devices and a 7inch android tablet. Despite Grindr (since Meet 'm doesn't work anymore) and Snapchat I don't really mis anything that the Windows store doesn't cover (despite some retail store apps).
  • I like the idea of Windows 10 Cloud (but please just call it 'Lite' instead of 'Cloud') being a free version anyone can download that a store only version of Windows. The guys in Redmond should pick up on this one!
  • Good article. I bought a Windows tablet on Black Friday, and I wouldn't mind having Cloud/RT on it. I've installed no more than a handful of win32 apps, and none that I'd really miss. Win32 apps don't tend to scale well and be touch friendly anyway. And although I don't use Edge on my laptop, it's perfectly fine on my tablet, where I'm looking more for lighter weight apps anyway.
  • After reading some tech about Microsoft's cloud  security I can see how much money they're spending to wire up all this infrastructure that will enable Single Sign On, Kerberos and Multi Factor authentication my conclusion is that Microsoft's security tech will only be supported on Windows 10 apps and not on Win32, that's why I think Redmond is pushing Windows 10 on the cloud.  I'm still expecting a native Remote Desktop VDI app from Microsoft that can be run on Windows 10 Cloud and that lets you connect to your workstation of your office from your Windows Cloudbook  My company may not implement Windows security but for employees which work on companies where Microsoft cloud security is the standard this Windows 10 cloud will be a good solution for them.
  • The advantage of Chrome OS is that it's limitations make it a better OS for specific scenarios. Windows 10 Cloud doesn't improve anything substantially to a Home or Pro version. There could be a simple switch in the setting to only allow Store apps to improve security a bit. But Windows 10 Cloud still isn't as streamlined as Chrome OS, still doesn't have this "self healing" mechanisms. But it still has Control Panel and all the other legacy built-in Win32 programs that make it less attractive for students or older users. Removing the strength of Windows is a bad idea.
  • That is a GREAT point. Thanks for the added insight about the security side of that. We knew that was part of the reason from the perspective of fighting Chromebooks -- which benefit on the security front from the simple fact that you can't install apps on them. But hearing about the security initiatives really drives that home.
  • I think that is an excellent idea. It will bring windows 10 to the masses in a form of a new category. Will push developers to make more apps and will give a taste to customers and perhaps prove its value for many to upgrade as well.
  • Windows X Cloud is an excellent idea, and yes in many ways it is similar to Windows RT. Which is not a bad thing, MSFT desperately needs an answer to iPads, Android Tablets and Chromebooks. People use these devices for light computing and they could care less about Win32 programs. MSFT is on the verge of missing out on an entire generation of mobile users. Furthermore, these light computing devices are not for everyone, nor are they appropriate for every situation, however they are great for such areas as education , where MSFT can tap into a new generation of users.
  • If they plan to make Win 10 Cloud as a iPad competitor, they have a lot of work to do. They need to completely strip Windows of all unnecessary services, components and tools. They should replace the classic File Explorer with a UWP version and they should at least bring back some of the Win 8 Touch elements that made it so good on tablets. But mostly, the Store should be filled with Apps, lots of them. Since the latter isn't going to happen anytime soon, I think Win 10 Cloud is DOA already.
  • If Windows 10 Cloud gets market share, it will only help force developers to populate the store with good apps.  Including Google.  So, unless Google comes out with a UWP version of Chrome, they will loose market share.
  • Offering it for free with well placed advertising would offer Microsoft and developers a way to monetize windows, which would push for devs to push their apps for windows as well.
  • To me this is primarily a cheap web browser machine for basic users who use web mail, Facebook and surf the net. Microsoft can push OneDrive and web-based Office integration. They don't care about apps on their laptop/PC. But if they do want something extra there are a few apps in the store they can use, like Office, Instagram, Facebook. OEM's would have to sell them as cheap Chromebook competitors. Otherwise how would consumers use it? Buy a full Windows PC then downgrade to Windows Cloud?
  • this is the first step to replace android
  • How is it so?
  • Here's a couple of ideas - 1. Replacement for Windows Phone - For those that don't need Win 10 Pro on a Surface Phone the Windows Cloud option running the Phone App will be a nice low cost option. 2. Industrial hardware - This would be a perfect OS for warehouse and transport applications on rugged industrial hardware with barcode scanners.  Currerntly MS is pushing Window IoT into this market and it has limitations that Windows Cloud might just fix.
  • Pretty sure chromebooks also have their own app stores..
  • I have reset my Stream 8, and never reinstalled win32 apps. It's now more responsive. As long as this edition optimizes those kind of devices, it's welcome.
  • I've reinstalled Windows 10 on my Stream 7 after I stripped down and optimised the ISO. It now runs twice as good compared to the stock Win 8.1.
  • No malware and toolbars. Excellent. I'm wondering if they'll block PowerShell and other scripting engines as well... Because THEY SHOULD! This is how ransomware usually infects... Windows updates should also only offer updates affecting that OS release, because having Win8s updates on RT killed it.
  • Hey, we can get rid of the Trump principate and transfer the capital to Belleview. Seriously, one would be barking mad to let MS have that much control. In any case, why not just switch to something like Ubuntu -- my education clients found it a better tool....
  • Ok. Fine. Let's say it's a good idea. Just an idea. W10cloud is just the same as win rt. It's just that rt is win8 based and cloud is win10. Win10 supports uwp and that's it otherwise they're the same. Im not so sure how cloud would sell well when rt did not. Surface 3 went full win10 because rt is not selling. Lumia2520 was dead even before arriving. Rt tablets are like forgotten. Microsoft already delivers a software that runs both store and win32 apps. How would giving something that does only one be considered "progress"? ---- I mean, why settle for less? Why dumb down an good software to fit a low end hardware? low end hardware my ass. If low end cant run win32 well, then dont use them on any device! Eventually scum corporation wont sell or produce the low ends. Let them die. Let companies who are willing to sell high end for less flourish. Humanity doesnt need greedy corporations to thrive.
  • I won't get into the windows store debate as ithas valid points on both sides. w.r.t. the Idea of windows 10 cloud is much more appealing to me than windows RT. So if the device is low on specs, load it up with cloud version (and as Zack suggested, keep it free!) and expereince all features of windows 10 on any device, no matter how cheap. For those who really-really need certain apps from outside, the option of getting windows 10 license (or indeed a laptop with licensed edition of windows 10) is always there. So this could help MS gain back som of the share captured by chromebooks at the entry level. Hopefully MS executes it well, keep it free and only focus on getting more and more people on board.
  • Wait...haven't we seen this before? Wasn't it called Windows RT?!
  • Windows 10 cloud is like Windows RT in that you have get apps from the store but 1=you can upgrade it to full Windows 10. 2= Windows 32 x86 Desktop type programs can be modified to be available for use in the windows 10 store. how many developers will do that Is a big question ?
  • it's nothing but a rebooted RT with some small extra stuff that will have the same fate: discontinued! I simply can't believe wincentral can be so blind and actually swallow the same crap lies from MS the second time.
  • If that's true, then please let it run on my Surface RT.
  • @Zack Will Windows 10 Cloud be able to run x86 Store apps like Kodi for instance? And would Windows Defender still be in it since the extra security is already there by not able to run x86 applications outside of the Store.
  • It's a crazy idea! There are no 32 bit apps worth having in the Windows store and there never will be! Developers of useful software are not prepared to pay Microsoft for the privilege of jumping through hoops to get listed in the "App store" which seems to be full of useless gimmicky bits and pieces od crap.
  • It isn't completely like that. In-app purchases/subscriptions doesn't have to be handled by Microsoft. Just in that case it is up to you to enforce the licensing, pay credit card fees etc. Also when you talk about 'worthy' you talk about the software that is built decades ago, has its developed distribution model and doesn't really have to fight hard on how to get to the customers. For the new companies it isn't the same, paying enterance fee of 30% makes much more sense there. But their software can't be worthy for you?
  • Gave 24 salespeople Nokia 2520 LTE RT tablets, 4 years ago, not one virus yet, no blue screens, They do Outlook,Word, Excel, teamviewer, remote desktop and Netflix like a champ, in 1080p.   I'd love to see Windows Cloud if it only runs store apps. I want my users locked down!
  • If that is all your users have to run, there are already walled gardens that provide that... for a long time now.   Most corporations are iOS/Android on mobile and tablet form factors, if someone wants to run that on a desktop... not sure why someone would want that...but they can.  As far as some wide acceptance of Cloud, doubtful... as all it truly is... is RT.    Really if you ditch Win32, why would someone want a MS desktop that runs mobile apps... someone can already run mobile apps.
  • As I was reading that I myself thought that it would be good for my Surface 3. Don't have anything from outside the store on it. There would want to be some added advantages though, better security is great but I have a handle on that anyway. It would need to improve the performance of the machine to warrant me effectively downgrading Windows on it. Also, if they offered this on the surface 4 shaped hole in the current line up I would most likely upgrade...
  • Which Store...? Is there a store that means that name?
    Which developer/company invest in uwp with Microsoft asking an absurd 30% royalties with an inestent market share ?
    This prove they completely living out of the real word.
    They re f####.... :(
  • Don't think Android developers are millionaires...
  • Isn't it RT redefined? LOL 😁
  • That can be a very good thing, too. Just check this OLD piece of feedback from 2015: Windows-Feedback:?contextid=23&feedbackid=fc399a09-5c2e-4b51-8638-cf44e9507497&form=1&src=2 I personally think that most people don't realize the potential that RT has if used as an OPTION instead of a limitation. FYI: To be able to use that odd link and access the feedback piece, you just need to enter it into your browser's address bar. Tell me what you think.
  • A Free Windows version, limited by only being able to use Windows Apps?  That would actually could be brilliant marketing! Windows RT did not entice enough people to the Windows Apps ecosystem and with Mobile failing (dying, wheezing, whatever) there is little to no reason for anybody to focus on Windows 10 Apps.  The whole thing needs an enema! Be really cool if it would enable replacing Android from tablets and replace with Windows for those that want the touch interface. Hey, offering a limited-time free upgrade from Windows 7 & 8 converted a lot of people.  Maybe not the numbers they wanted, but still a boat-load of people that would hve otherwise held onto the old OS, or move to something else whether it was Apple, Android or Linux. I have a couple of old computers around the house so I'd be willing to put this on them!  I can always put Linux on it and since it is free and Windows costs,.. there is little reason for me to not use Linux.  If this were available for free, even with the limitations, I'd give it a try.
  • as a long time user of the original MS Seurface RT, i can tell you that a stripped down version of the OS is not as bad as you think.  You have to be realistic also, this OS would not be for you if you rely on 32bit apps.  PERIOD. however, people who have an iPad or android tablet, or a chromebook and want more from the device (USB for example) will see the benefit.  it also looks like their PC or laptop that they already have. I would like to see this ported to the orginal surface rt.  i have a windows phone, so i would like to see the sync features make it to my surface rt, however win 8.1 can't (notifications from my phone sync to my tablet desktop for example.     My issue with many people who comment about "is this rt all over again" or "it failed once, it will fail again"  don't realize that there are other needs out there than just full windows and 32bit apps. Not everyone needs more than a web browser and store apps.  if you are happy with an ipad, this would function exactly the same. (Granted, ios has more apps), but if your a windows phone fan, you have come to appreciate that your phone can do all the same things as an ios device. You dont need hundreds of additional apps to make it work.