Microsoft’s Long-Term Objective: Cloud-Based Windows 11

Microsoft considers running Windows 11 from the cloud to be a long-term priority, as stated in an internal presentation produced during the trial concerning its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The document, dated June 2022, outlines the company’s objectives for various businesses, including gaming, search, and advertising. The presentation also highlights Microsoft’s overarching goals for Windows 11. A slide titled “Long Term Needle-Moving Opportunities” emphasizes the plan to increasingly move Windows 11 to the cloud.

Windows 365, which Microsoft introduced in 2021, already offers the capability to run Windows 11 from the cloud on devices such as lower-spec PCs, tablets, and smartphones, albeit primarily for commercial businesses. However, the presentation reveals Microsoft’s intention to expand Windows 365 further. It proposes building on Windows 365 to enable the streaming of a full Windows operating system from the cloud to any device, utilizing the power of the cloud and client to enhance AI-powered services and provide users with a seamless digital experience.

Another slide in the presentation states that Microsoft aims to become the world’s computer. The company envisions transitioning from a trusted public cloud for enterprises to a trusted and ubiquitous cloud-to-edge platform for all organizations and applications.

While this news may raise concerns among consumers, given that a cloud-based Windows experience could potentially involve recurring fees and require the device to be constantly connected to the internet, it is important to note that the presentation from a year ago does not explicitly mention consumers in relation to Windows 11 on the cloud. It is more likely that Microsoft would focus on delivering a cloud-based Windows experience to consumers with niche use cases.

In the meantime, Microsoft recently released Windows 365 Boot, a feature that enables automatic sign-in to Windows 365 on a PC without the need to sign in to the local operating system.

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