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Microsoft's Coming Windows 10 Cloud Release May Have Nothing To Do With the Cloud (zdnet.com) 115

Last week, several users spotted a mention of "Windows Cloud" in Windows 10 inside builds, speculating if it is a new version of Windows 10 which will stream from Azure. That's not the case, according to long-time Microsoft journalist Mary Jo Foley. From a report: Windows 10 Cloud is a simplifed version of Windows 10 that will be able to run only Unified Windows Platform (UWP) apps installed from the Windows Store, my contacts say. Think of it as being similar to the version of Windows 10 formerly known as Windows RT or the Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU. Windows 10 Cloud is meant to help Microsoft in its ongoing campaign to attempt to thwart Chromebooks with a simpler, safer, cheaper version of Windows 10, my contacts say, though Microsoft is unlikely to position it that way (publicly). Windows 10 Cloud seemingly has little or nothing to do with the cloud.
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Microsoft's Coming Windows 10 Cloud Release May Have Nothing To Do With the Cloud

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2017 @11:47AM (#53766691)

    Still as unwanted and unnecessary as ever.

    • by farrellj ( 563 )

      Remember, "Cloud" simply means "Someone else's computers" that you have very little or no control over...much like Windows. :-)

      • I have a PAAS and a storage cloud that are computers sitting on my desk at home. Both of them are accessible via the internet.

        So when I put stuff in my "Cloud", it is on my equipment and not someone else's!

        I don't think you can do that on windows so I guess it is not relevant to "Windows Cloud" lol

      • Remember, "Cloud" simply means "Someone else's computers" that you have very little or no control over...much like Windows. :-)

        Isn't Windows 10 more like a creeping fog?

    • I think it would be closer to the mark to say that this is more like Windows 10 IoT which is a slimmed down version of Windows 10 which runs on ARM and only runs UWP apps.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @11:52AM (#53766737)
    So Windows 10 Cloud is a merely a more crippled version of Windows 10 that only runs Windows Stores Apps (formerly known as Metro apps). Thankfully there are lots of useful apps from Windows Store . . . not. [sarcasm] How people must be camping out to get Windows 10 Cloud.[/sarcasm]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      While it is as bad as you make it sound, I think there is actually a big market for it and it could easily catch on.

      From an IT standpoint, a device that is super-locked down like a mobile phone is a fantastic thing and saves a load of time trying to lock them down with policy rules and with rolling out updates. Android and IOS have very few viruses compared to a desktop OS, and even when an infection vector shows up, it can be quickly a) patched on the OS with forced updates and b) scanned for and removed

      • I applauds it. The desktop is dying. Windows 10 can be running on non general purpose devices like iOS, Android and chrome book. If they don't do something fast they will be dead. I won't count on their success, but it's a step in the right direction. Most high end Internet connected media devices are either running some proprietary locked down systems running on a linux kernel. Microsoft has to either join them or die.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The desktop is dying.

          No, they're not. Their market share is declining, certainly, but I'd argue they're just settling into their new niche roles, which is a home or business workstation and/or high-end entertainment device. Not everything can be done with an app. You still need workstations for advanced content creators.

          To use an automotive analogy, PCs are like pickup trucks. The vast majority of people only need cars, but no one claims pickups are "dying". They're just a specialized niche of vehicles that are optimal for

          • PCs are like pickup trucks. The vast majority of people only need cars, but no one claims pickups are "dying".

            No, PCs are like cars. Hand-helds are like Auto-Rickshaws. An Auto-Rickshaw is enough for anybody.

      • From an IT standpoint, a device that is super-locked down like a mobile phone is a fantastic thing and saves a load of time trying to lock them down with policy rules and with rolling out updates. Android and IOS have very few viruses compared to a desktop OS, and even when an infection vector shows up, it can be quickly a) patched on the OS with forced updates and b) scanned for and removed from the central app repository.

        Except that Windows RT couldn't do Group Policy which meant locking down said devices useless. Did MS learn from that lesson? It appears not. Windows 10 Cloud is competing with Chromebooks. It does not appear to have any admin type features that would be useful in a corporate network.

      • Well to counter your point, what kind of applications would a worker need?

        Office: there is no Windows Store version of Office. There is Office 365 but it is heavily crippled. So anyone who needs full Office is out.

        Visual Studio: Also not viable as Windows Apps are sandboxes and VS cannot function that way. So no developers.

        VPN: As far as I'm aware there are no corporate VPNs that have apps. ie Cisco, Pulse. So no laptops or remote workers.

        Who's left: only workers that don't need full Office, remote acces

    • Well, look at the bright side. It has nothing to do with the cloud.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is the appiest version of Appdows 10! Only LUDDITES would want the LUDDITE version of LUDDITE Windows 10!

      Apps!
    • Agreed, Windows RT was such a smashing success that they're now releasing version 2? Who wants this again? This has been tried once and failed miserably. Windows dominates the desktop because it has about a billion Win32 apps that people actually find useful or essential to their work. And I'd argue Windows is successful in spite of Modern/Store Apps, certainly not because of it.

      It's hard to believe Microsoft doesn't know this, so I don't know what they're thinking. Then again, this is the company that

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So Windows 10 Cloud is a merely a more crippled version of Windows 10 that only runs Windows Stores Apps (formerly known as Metro apps).

      With Windows 10 Cloud Release all software formerly referred to as "Windows Store Apps" will now be known as Cloud Release Apps (or CRApps for short).

    • So Windows 10 Cloud is a merely a more crippled version of Windows 10 that only runs Windows Stores Apps (formerly known as Metro apps). Thankfully there are lots of useful apps from Windows Store . . . not. [sarcasm] How people must be camping out to get Windows 10 Cloud.[/sarcasm]

      Your comment would be more funny if you didn't just describe several well selling systems by other companies.

  • I have a tablet with "Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU". It runs legacy Win32 programs just fine. This does not appear to be anything like that except for being free/cheap to bundle.
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      I have a tablet with "Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU". It runs legacy Win32 programs just fine.

      I'm curious if you can get HexChat to run on yours. I tried installing it on my own tablet (same setup) and while HexChat itself installs, there is some Microsoft redistributable it needs that would fail to install, so the program would not be able to run. Tried full uninstall, reboots of the tablet, etc. No disc, no reason given.

      I ended up getting an IRC client from the Windows Store instead and am happy with it. But it still buts me that a program I am already familiar with on my desktop could not be used

      • Maybe it's stretching things out.. but you might likely be able to install Cygwin and an X server, and run Hexchat from there.

  • Service Client (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @11:56AM (#53766759) Homepage

    Microsoft has long been interested in becoming a service provider. Initially the idea was to get paid monthly or annually for the use of their software (Windows, Office, etc.) but recently it seems that they are more interested in becoming a distributor of other publisher's software, where they offer a standardized platform (Windows OS, UWP apps, Azure) for developers to target and they get a cut of the proceeds. To ensure that they could provide the largest market, the platform the end-users use would be offered free (hence, Windows10). Windows 10 Cloud just seems to be a furtherment of this objective, albeit stripped down to lessen the cost to Microsoft (and possibly to ensure that end-users would /have/ to use the app-store if they want to get anything done by not providing any built-in applications).

  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @11:59AM (#53766789) Journal
    Want to compete with Chromebooks? Offer something with a key differentiator. Provide the server part of the software as well as the client. A Chromebook is fine if you completely trust Google with all of your data, making something where you have to completely trust Microsoft with your data isn't really a selling point. A lot of companies would love to have something like a Chromebook (centrally managed updates, remote self destruct, network storage working out of the box) but where they kept the server part in house. Microsoft could easily offer this (and even Azure hosting for the server part if you decided you did trust Microsoft, but wanted a bit more control than a fully managed solution), but instead they keep trying to compete with Google on Google's own terms. I don't really miss the predatory monopolistic Microsoft, but it's a bit sad that the company now seems to be run by people who don't understand basic business.
    • Other than user management (with Chrome's usual bookmark/history/password manager syncing), what aspects of Chromebooks require you trust Google with all of your data? It's just a web browser with an operating system that launches it, there's no email client tied to GMail, Office suite tied to Google Docs, or anything like that.

  • I don't understand you. The possible uses of this new OS are... cloudy. How much more could you have to do with clouds than that?
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @12:08PM (#53766901)
    >> Windows 10 that will be able to run only ...apps installed from the Windows Store. Think of it as being similar to the version of Windows 10 formerly known as Windows RT or the Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU.

    No, think of it as Windows Phone...without the phone.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You could also called it another version of Windows that can't do the only thing Windows does well: run Windows programs.

      • ...which is yet another reason why Windows phone failed. For example:

        MICROSOFT> Here's your Windows phone.
        USER> Cool! Now I just need to install MAME and Steam and...
        MICROSOFT> No, you can't do that.
        USER> Er...well...here's your phone back then.
        • I doubt that Windows Phone failed due to an inability to run Steam. After all, Microsoft did make Xbox games available, but that didn't help it. Windows Phone failed b'cos there were too many apps that people use on their smartphones that are not there on Windows Phones.

          Like if you are a Uber Driver and need to use Uber Partner, that's not there in Windows Phone. Lyft neither. Until recently (w/ WhatsApp), there wasn't a good video calling app. This phone could have been a great workphone and substi

  • Wow.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 )

    Windows 10 cloud will badly suck ass. Abusing users by further locking them into their shitty, useless, underpowered, user-unfriendly ecosystem will make Windows 10 cloud as successful/popular a product as Windows phone was, but you can bet it still won't stop Microsoft from trying to force it down everyones throats.

    Its truly amazing how Microsoft can keep crippling/removing more and more functionality in ever more blatant drive to lock customers in tighter and tighter, yet most people just keep buying Win

    • If you want to avoid being locked into a particular platform, store your data in transferrable formats. When my 2006 MacBook (black, of course) died in 2014, I was able to use my data on Windows because the format wasn't tied to a particular OS. If I ever get a new MacBook that's a worthy successor to my vintage MacBook, I'll be able to switch over in a heartbeat.
      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        There are far more issues than just data transferability with the Microsoft ecosystem.
        Consider the increasingly crappy user experience that is Windows, combined with the chances that Microsoft are almost certainly violating your privacy in every way they can think of.

        • Re:Wow.... (Score:4, Informative)

          by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @01:32PM (#53767597)

          Consider the increasingly crappy user experience that is Windows, combined with the chances that Microsoft are almost certainly violating your privacy in every way they can think of.

          Don't use Metro, turn off Cortana.

          • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

            In Windows 10, you can't actually turn off cortana (it just pretends to be off but its still actually running). And you can't uninstall it or Metro. Even if you identify the binaries, Windows won't let you delete them. It says you dont have permissions, even if you are admin.
            There's also some data reporting service running that you can;t fully disable either.

            My solution was to dual-boot into linux and rm all those binaries. Widows 10 certainly feels like it runs noticeably faster now, so even though cortana

    • by SB5407 ( 4372273 )
      Yup. Windows 10 home users aren't Microsoft's customers. OEMs and organizations with volume licensing agreements are. And unless that changes, MS will continue to treat home users badly by taking away features while also shoveling in advertisements on the Start menu, the taskbar, the notification panel, the lock/login screen, file/program associations, and home page and search page settings. With all that, MS should pay the manufacturer to install Windows instead of the other way around.
      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        I totally agree. I'm just frustrated that home users especially refuse to see the light and just keep right on buying Windows.

    • There are 2 reasons people still buy windows after windows 8, 8.1, and now 10. First they are fimiliar with it and they don't know any better. These are your casual users who have ran windows most of their lives, and aren't techie types. Second, is the power users, who DO know better, and know that Windows is going DOWN HILL in more than 1 way, however, are tied to it due to other software they they need to use. Whether it's proprietary business software, or niche software that ONLY runs on windows, or
      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        >> These are the types of users that will buy Windows Cloud, and not realize that it can't run actual windows software. ..and at the moment they sudednly realise that, there will be an EPIC backlash because they will ALL have multple old programs, games etc that they still want/need to run.

        People can be gently led by the nose to eventually end up in all sorts of shit, but if you take something that obvious away from them in one big hit, they're gonna get REALLY pissed.

      • The problem is that the industry as a whole is stagnating. Apple has been neglecting macOS and Mac hardware to the point where even dedicated Mac people are jumping ship. Microsoft can't really get much more cash from home users, so is viewing them as a product, not the customer, and is milking the home user market for everything they can, throwing ads, and adding telemetry data. Linux is going strong, but until end users can go to Office Depot and buy a copy of Turbotax and slap it on the machine, it wi

  • This is the new Windows RT. No one asked for it. Few will want it. Microsoft comes up with another loser offset to Chromebooks. Schools by me will stick with Chromebook as Windows left a bad taste, due to the time and effort it takes to manage it. Chromebooks are very easy to manage.
  • Sounds like MSFT has realized that only putting the DRM/lockdown features on the ARM Windows RT tablets only had the effect of making those tablets not sell. By making it universal, now it doesn't matter if you have X86 or ARM, everyone gets locked down the same way. My guess is the primary reason for this move is so Microsoft can charge manufactures $10 per Windows license instead of $60, and then if you want to unlock your device and actually make it useful you have to go login to the Windows store and sh

  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @01:31PM (#53767593)

    I read the summary 3 times... it makes no sense. I read the article... still no help.
    What is this? Is this supposed to be one of those announcements that creates buzz? If I, as a tech person, don't get it then how will anyone else?

    Several months ago I was in the Microsoft Store in a mall. I didn't even know they HAD Microsoft stores, and I hadn't been in a Mall for 10 years. So it was like a "things I despise" turducken. But my son's scout troop was in there doing a thing where they did game design. It was very lame, and he didn't have any fun. But while he was doing it, I sat and marveled at the Microsoft Store. They were really trying. Glitz and shiny things. Big screens, a VR! There were actual customers in there, which surprised me.

    But I overheard a young, hip salesperson trying to sell an Office subscription to a middle-aged man, and she was really trying to get him to understand how it worked. There was a physical package on the shelf, and he could buy the 3 month subscription, take it home and then go to the website and register. He wanted to know how he installed it, and she explained he didn't. He wasn't getting it (and quite honestly, I wasn't either) She kept steering him towards a 12 month subscription - to something he didn't understand how to use. It was comical. He eventually gave up and left.

    Good ol' Microsoft. They understand business - get in, sign the deals, make sure they are locked in. They understand oems - become the only thing they use, and make sure there are no other options. They understand acquisitions - buy things that are successful. They sure don't understand how to be relevant beyond those three things. And actually, I am not sure they really need to, but they keep trying.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      posting anon to maintain moderation but goddamn "So it was like a "things I despise" turducken." made my whole day.

      Thank you.

  • In related news: Man, 32, discovers his life had been meaningless. Minnesota woman finds remote her husband lost last week.
  • ...in that it has more to do with malware than to an actual OS.
  • MS wants to deprecate Win32.

  • They should have called it "Windows 10 No Spyware edition!" Then maybe someone would buy it. lol

  • If anyone is looking for a paired down version of Windows without paying for it Hyper-V 2012 server is apparently free. Doesn't come with management tools but you can connect from a workstation and install and run normal win32 software.

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