The buzz around Microsoft’s Windows 10 Cloud is gaining steam. The Windows 10 Cloud is Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS and similar platforms. With the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) becoming the future of Microsoft’s OS, it makes sense for them to create a cloud-based OS for users on less powerful devices.

Let’s look at five things to know about Windows 10 Cloud and when you can expect to give it a whirl.

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5 Things to Know About Microsoft’s New Cloud OS

Windows_10_cloud_Universal_Operating_System
One OS to rule them all.

1) Windows 10 Cloud Is

Windows 10 Cloud functions just like Chrome OS. It’s a barebones operating system meant for devices with less powerful hardware, such as low-end tablets and netbooks. From the beta program of Microsoft’s cloud OS, users are seeing Microsoft Edge, a handful of Windows apps, and File Explorer – and that’s it!

2) Windows 10 Cloud Isn’t Really Cloud-based

It looks like Windows 10 Cloud is just a lightweight standalone operating system, like how Windows RT was deployed and worked. Unfortunately, the downside of this is that you’ll only be able to use what Microsoft wants you to use on the platform. The choices might be pretty limited, to begin with.

3) Windows 10 Cloud Will Eventually Let You Install Third Party Apps

As of now, it looks like you can always use apps based on the UWP platform standards. Over time, more developers will build apps for the Windows 10 Cloud, but until then, you’ll be stuck with what is made available by Microsoft, which I think would mostly be limited to their own apps and some popular 3rd party ones.

4) Windows 10 Cloud Will Run Intel Drivers

Windows RT ran on ARM-based hardware, which limited what type of devices it could run on. This was one of the reasons Windows RT failed.

Based on its past mistakes, Microsoft learned from its mistakes and has collaborated with Intel. This will bring this new operating system to more devices and give it a much larger audience, making it truly universal.

5) Windows 10 Cloud Will Be Upgradeable to a Pro Version

It looks like in the beta testing of this new cloud OS, you’ll be able to upgrade to a pro version. There’s no word on what features will be added to Windows 10 Cloud when you do or how much it’ll cost as of now.

Conclusion

Microsoft appears to have learned from its experiences with the Windows RT platform but so far, it appears they are giving users very little control over what they can install on Windows 10 Cloud. For Windows power users who have a setup they prefer, a Windows 10 Cloud device on launch may not be the right investment.

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Something like the Surface Pro might be a better option. It’ll be interesting to see how Windows 10 Cloud does on launch in the coming year but so far, it’s shaping up to be a step in the right direction for Microsoft looking for a more affordable, portable version of Windows 10.