The idea of being able to use your computer may appeal to some, especially those who don’t like being tethered to their desks or even homes for long periods of time. So far, however, the solution that the computing industry has come up with revolves around portable computers, be it laptops, tablets, or even smartphones. Some more advanced users, especially those that simply need access to a command line interface, can make do with simple remote access. Microsoft, however, might bring a fuller Windows experience with a Cloud PC service that is launching very soon.
Remotely accessing a full-blown graphical desktop like Windows isn’t exactly new and Microsoft even has its existing Windows Virtual Desktop service based on Azure technology. It isn’t, however, a common practice because of the resources needed to host and connect to such a desktop. Many consumer VPS, for example, don’t offer such a service outside of Linux-based systems.
Microsoft’s Cloud PC service, codenamed “Project Deschutes”, might be the company’s attempt to simplify that setup. Separate from Windows Virtual Desktop, this Cloud PC is reported to be a managed Microsoft 365 instance with flat per-user pricing. There could be different tiers that give access to different Microsoft 365 Office apps and services.
ZDNet tried to access the service and got “Cloud PC isn’t available. Your organization doesn’t support this service” or “Your organization doesn’t have a subscription to Cloud PC” messages. This hinted that the service does exist but is still in private testing. The report says that Microsoft Cloud PC could be launching as soon as June or July this year.
Cloud PC could prove to be even more valuable when Windows 10X finally launches later this year. The Chrome OS rival is expected to offer a more streamlined and flexible version of Windows 10 but at the expense of cutting out support for win32 apps at first. Cloud PC could then give organizations and businesses an alternative way to access those pieces of software while Microsoft irons out the kinks.