Cloud PC

According to sources, Microsoft is developing a new virtualized Windows PC experience called 'Cloud PC' that allows administrators to deploy remotely accessible Windows 10 PCs in the cloud.

With Cloud PC, Microsoft would handle your organization's device configuration with regular updates, security improvements, and managed support. This new feature is part of the company's "Windows as a Service" tagline, which has become more apparent this year.

Cloud PC won't replace Windows 10 and Windows Server. Instead, it will be offered as an option for enterprise customers who want to access their Windows PC from anywhere at any time.

Leaked Cloud PC Dashboard
Leaked Cloud PC Dashboard

According to leaked screenshots, Cloud PC's tagline is "Access your work apps and programs online from any device," which implies that Cloud PC will deliver a Desktop as a Service for businesses.

What is Cloud PC?

In a now-deleted LinkedIn job post, Microsoft described Cloud PC as a new "strategic offering" built on top of Windows Virtual desktop. For those unaware, Windows Virtual Desktop is an Azure-based system for virtualizing Windows and applications in the cloud.

This job post suggests that Cloud PC uses Microsoft's existing Windows Virtual Desktop and Azure infrastructure to deliver Desktop as a Service and enable a modern, elastic, cloud-based Windows experience.

"It will allow organizations to stay current in a more simplistic and scalable manner," the job description says.

Microsoft is currently experimenting with three different tiers for Cloud PC service:

  • Medium tier: 2 vCPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 96GB of SSD storage.
  • Heavy tier: 2 vCPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 96GB of SSD storage.
  • Advanced tier: 3 vCPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 40GB of SSD storage.

Cloud PC tiers

Based on the screenshots posted by Windows sleuth Walking Cat, Cloud PC will be supported by all remote desktop applications, including those Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Windows 10X, Microsoft Graph API integration

While Cloud PC is aimed at enterprise customers rather than at individual users, it will reportedly ship with Windows 10X (modular OS) to enable support for Win32 apps streaming.

As discovered by BleepingComputer, Microsoft added new APIs to the Microsoft Graph API in December to support the CloudPC service. Using these APIs, administrators can list existing CloudPC instances, get information about an instance, or reprovision new CloudPC instances.

From the CloudPC dashboard source code, Microsoft considers this service to be in beta and is likely being previewed by a small group of organizations. Reports suggest that the virtualization service will be finalized or enter public preview by Spring of 2021 (between March and June).

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