There were rumours about Microsoft going to put Windows 10 in the cloud, delivering what is already available through Azure on a server- and service-base for the Desktop client — finally!
The speculation got fuelled as Mary Jo Foley, well-informed and Microsoft-close author, first reported these plans in April already. Foley already assumed that the „Cloud PC“ could be lurking at the horizon, ready to streamline a Desktop-like experience to the users just similar to, for example, Microsofts Xbox Cloud Gaming. While the yearly „Inspire“ partner conference is going to take place between July 14th and 16th, the target release date for such an information would be placed very well.
Cloud PC — the PC of tomorrow?
Cloud PC, codenamed “Project Deschutes,” is an (of course!) Azure-powered service that will enable customers to use their own devices as thin clients that can access a remote Windows desktop and use software like Microsoft Office or other products according to their specific needs. It is told that Microsoft plans to sell Cloud PC as a managed Microsoft 365 experience at a flat per-user price in different stages. This is an important difference to existing Windows Virtual Desktop pricing, which is built around the well-known Azure consumption.
While Foley reports that Microsoft has scheduled a session called “What’s Next in End-User Computing” for July 15, the rumors could heat up, giving birth for the obvious result. One of the speakers in that session which invites us to „come learn about the newest Microsoft cloud solution for enabling hybrid work” is Scott Manchester. According to his bio, he acts as Director of Program Management for Cloud Managed Desktops and a leader in the development of Windows Virtual Desktop, Remote Desktop Services, Second Screen Remoting, Multimedia, and Networking technologies.
Microsoft 365 — and more?
A leak last year already indicated that Microsoft might plan to sell a few — yet unnamed — different Cloud PC subscription options (originally referred to plans entitled as Medium, Heavy and advanced — each one offering a different amount of CPU, RAM and storage). Cloud PC is in private testing with a number of organizations, Foley admits to have heard. Going even further behind the Windows Virtual Desktop powered by Microsoft Azure, Cloud PC could bring just an even more detailed and consumption-based adoption of a PC in 2021 and, in my eyes, a perfect fit to the Microsoft 365-portfolio we already know so far.
Finally, the week starting on July 12th could now be the week where the way we use PCs and its computing power may change based on our preferred usage of CPU, RAM and disk space. It may sound eerie at some point, but once you have adopted the cloud and its benefits, putting the computing power you need into the cloud as well it’s just quite argumentative. Although Microsoft is declining everything related to Cloud PC, I am quite eager to see what the Inspire will reveal and once the pricing fits, I could imagine to shift my local PC-workflow to the cloud, too — what’s about you?