Home Cloud Computing Mass-market Windows on the cloud will be here in the spring

Mass-market Windows on the cloud will be here in the spring

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Ready or not, here comes Windows as a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) for all users in the forthcoming Microsoft Cloud PC offering.

I’ve been predicting that many of us would soon be using Desktop-as-a-Service for a long time now. I can give you an approximate date now. By May 2021, most of you will be able to run Windows from Microsoft’s Azure cloud using Cloud PC.

Of course, you’ve long been able to run Windows remotely. Citrix Systems, after all, starting back in 1989 made a multi-billion dollar business from offering just such services. Microsoft has been moving towards a subscription, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) model for more four years. Recently, Microsoft released Microsoft 365 and Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD).

And, now recent leaks by well-regarded Microsoft leaker WalkingCat, shows us a new, broader Windows DaaS in the making:  Cloud PC.

We knew Cloud PC was coming. As top Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley pointed out in July, Microsoft was looking for a program manager for Microsoft’s Cloud PC team. The job entailed creating Microsoft Cloud PC, a strategic, new offering built on top of Windows Virtual Desktop to deliver Desktop as a Service. “At its core, Cloud PC provides business customers a modern, elastic, cloud-based Windows experience and will allow organizations to stay current in a more simplistic and scalable manner.”

Microsoft

A Microsoft job opening hinted at a service, “Cloud PC,” that would offer corporate customers virtualized Windows 10 that the Redmond, Wash. firm would service and maintain.

What’s different about Cloud PC from Windows Virtual Desktop from a user’s viewpoint is that instead of paying for it on an Azure cloud-usage basis, you’ll subscribe to it for a fixed rate. For many businesses — and pretty much all home users — being able to budget exactly for a subscription is much more attractive.

Microsoft will offer Medium, Heavy, and Advanced subscriptions. (Although there’s no hint of a “Light” offering, I expect there will be one.) I think the Light, or perhaps the “Beginner” package will come with a single virtual CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 48GB of SSD storage.

The Medium plan comes with two virtual CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 96GB of SSD storage. It’s designed for “general-purpose [use] optimized for cost and flexibility.” With the Heavy plan, users get all the above, but they’ll have access to 8GB of RAM. It’s for users with “advanced compute needs optimized for performance and speed.”

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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