Can Windows Cloud Succeed Where Windows RT Failed?
What we know about Windows 10 Cloud is quite limited and none of it is official. Yet just a few weeks ahead of its likely appearance we do have a good idea of the shape of the beast, if not much detail.
The Cloud version of Windows 10 will allegedly be built to work well on more limited hardware. To help achieve this it's likely to limit application support to Windows Store apps. No Win32 goodness for users of these machines.
Microsoft clearly has Google's Chromebooks in its sights with this release. Which is a positive move from Microsoft. The Chromebook is showing signs of growth, especially in the education market.
There's one major fly in the ointment though. Whilst the Chrome app store has been growing at a prodigious rate, Microsoft's Windows Store is limited in both volume and quality.
That's going to make it a tough sell in any market.
And it's also the same issue faced by Windows RT and the (very) few devices that ran it. That absence of apps also did for Windows Phone too, so Microsoft has some record of failure here.
The expected new hardware will be interesting, with suggestions that we'll see a Surface laptop running Windows Cloud for around $100, and/or a straight Surface 3 replacement with an appropriate spec bump.
The Windows Store has come a long way since the launch of the Surface and Windows RT, but has it really come far enough to make this 'relaunch' any less of a sales flop? I'm not sure it has.
Last time out Microsoft lost $1bn finding out the value of strong software support. Let's hope this isn't a case of history repeating itself.