Recently Windows 10 Cloud ISO file leaked and was made available for download already. It looks like Microsoft is trying to compete with Chrome OS by Google and sees a feature in Chromebook like devices with operating Systems that are designed to be simple and made to work mainly online. One of the key differences between the “regular” Windows 10 and Windows 10 Cloud is that the Cloud version will run only Apps downloaded from the Windows Store.
The user @adguard have provided on Twitter a download link for the Windows 10 Cloud ISO file (installation image) and also a screen capture of the installation window. As you can notice, the system is available only for 64 bit devices and users have reported that Windows 10 Cloud will not allow you to install Win32 Apps even if you download them from Windows Store.
It is of course recommended that if you decide to give it a shot, to install Windows 10 Cloud on a Virtual Machine rather than an actual computer, especially your daily driver! To install a Virtual Machine you can use VirtualBox, a free “general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware, targeted at server, desktop and embedded use”.
What Apps Can It Run?
Like it’s competitor Chrome OS, Windows 10 Cloud OS will only run some specific Apps, in this case 64 bit UWP or Universal Windows Platform Apps. For sure, the majority of them will be browser based so you will need to have an active internet connection in order to use them and it remains to be seen if the main difference to Google’s Chrome OS will be the number of Apps available for offline use as it looks like this was a major factor that made the Chromebook not so popular.
Take on Chrome OS
Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet, who is covering Microsoft related news regularly, states that Microsoft “is working on a simpler, cheaper, and safer OS called Windows 10 Cloud”. This again remains to be confirmed over time, especially the safer part.
Windows OS became so popular over the years especially due to the fact that it was open for developers to create Apps for it. Of course this might be the main reason for the so many reported vulnerabilities but this had not stopped Windows to be the most popular Operating System on the planet. If Apple has learned something from Microsoft is that their OS needs to attract developers for creating Apps. Apple tried to play a safer game and control all of the Apps that are released for their platform, hence the idea of a more secure OS. It looks like Microsoft is taking the same route now and perhaps this is where the “safe” part comes into play.
It would be not the first time when Microsoft is taking this path, to embrace Apple’s strategy, but also Apple is not strange of taking the same approach as Microsoft. First Apple computers were more fun and game oriented and Microsoft OS operated computers were considered more fit for businesses. Especially due to MS Office AND having no game orientation. At one point, business owners considered that Apple computers distracted their employees from their work. Since than, Apple became more business oriented and, as you all know, Microsoft PCs are by far perceived as better gaming machines. Both companies changed even their advertising in that sense.
It looks like now Microsoft is taking the Google path with Windows 10 Cloud.