In 2021, Microsoft introduced the Windows 365 cloud service, which allows business users to run a Windows 10 virtual PC in the cloud. And now the company will do the same for the general public. Such intentions were stated in last year’s internal “State of the Business” presentation, in which Microsoft outlined the evolution of Windows 365 as follows:the full Windows operating system from the cloud on any device“.
The presentation was released as part of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) hearing against Microsoft as it covers the overall development strategy for the OS division and its relationship with other business units of the company. The increasing shift of Windows to the cloud is defined as a long-term goal for the company in the consumer segment. With powerful clouds and artificial intelligence, Microsoft wants to completely change the way people interact with their operating system. The operating system can be run from any device and anywhere where there is internet.
Previously, Windows 365 was only available to commercial customers, but Microsoft has already deeply integrated the service into Windows 11. A future update will include the Windows 365 boot feature, which will allow Windows 11 devices to log directly into the cloud OS instead of the local OS. And thanks to Windows 365 Switch, you can instantly switch between them using Task View (virtual desktops).
The idea of completely porting Windows to the cloud is also interesting from the point of view of the uniform use of its capabilities on any hardware other than the classic x86 architecture. Microsoft has already developed a special version of the operating system for its ARM-based Surface Pro X devices. Recently we heard that Microsoft has started developing its own processors using this architecture and may be working on chips to speed up AI work.
On another slide in the presentation, Microsoft mentions the need to “Strengthening the commercial value of Windows in response to the Chromebook threat“. The commercial side of the problem lies in the intention to increase its share in cloud PCs, where the main operating system is Windows 365.
Microsoft recently announced Windows Copilot, an artificial intelligence-based assistant for Windows 11. The assistant built into the operating system can work with content in applications, make recommendations or automate tasks. Microsoft is currently testing the feature internally and promises to release it to beta testers in June and then make it available to all Windows 11 users.
Copilot is part of Microsoft’s broader effort to bring artificial intelligence to Windows, as detailed in the presentation. Microsoft is also working with AMD and Intel to bring more AI capabilities into the next generation of processors. Intel and Microsoft have even hinted at Windows 12 in recent months, with Windows CEO Panos Panay saying at CES earlier this year: “AI will change the way you interact with WindowS”.