is working on a new virtualization service that provides a fully virtualized Windows PC via Azure. The service is currently called “Cloud PC”. It should at least in the foreseeable future be a locally installed Windows and do not replace. Instead, it is aimed at customers who want to use a Windows PC from Microsoft or another provider such as a thin client with Windows, Office and possibly also other applications that Microsoft provides in a virtualized manner.
An indication of the cloud PC service is provided by a job advertisement with which the software company is looking for a program manager for the Cloud PC team. “Microsoft Cloud PC is a strategic, new offering that builds on the Windows virtual desktop to offer desktop as a service. At its core, Cloud PC offers business customers a modern, elastic, cloud-based Windows experience and enables companies to stay up to date in a simpler and more scalable way, ”says the job description.
In addition, Cloud PC is to be offered as part of Microsoft 365 and managed by Microsoft. Microsoft would calculate the costs per user, i.e. as a subscription. The price would be the most important difference to Windows Virtual Desktop, which is billed according to the Azure consumption.
The promotion of Scott Manchester, Group Program Manager for Windows Virtual Desktop, to Group Manager for Cloud Managed Desktops also provided a further indication of the new offering. Microsoft expert Mary Jo Foley assumes that this team, together with Windows Engineering, is responsible for the cloud PC concept.
However, it is unclear when Microsoft plans to launch the service. According to Foley sources, the start could be scheduled for spring 2021. Upon request, Microsoft only said that it would not comment on rumors and speculation.
However, Microsoft had also responded to rumors about a Windows 365 subscription service when they came up in 2014. In the meantime, several Windows versions are also available as part of subscriptions such as Microsoft 365 / Windows E3, E5.