For the past week or so, a group of Microsoft watchers have been talking about a new version of Windows that may be called something like Windows 10 Cloud. Brad Sams reported on something call Cloud Shell, or Cshell on January 26th, and followed up that report a few days later with a sighting of the “cloud” name hidden in the latest preview build of Windows 10.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley weighed in with news that her sources say that Windows Cloud is basically a spiritual successor to Windows RT: a light-weight version of Windows that’s designed to only run Windows Store apps.
Now the folks at Windows Blog Italia claim to have gotten ahold of a pre-release version of the operating system, and their report seems to confirm Foley’s.
The site confirms that the operating system looks virtually identical to the desktop version of Windows 10, but it can only run apps that are downloaded from the Windows Store.
But it does support Win32 apps that have been converted to Windows Store/Universal Windows Platform apps using Microsoft’s Project Centennial tools. Even apps which still use Win32 processes will work. They just need to be packaged as UWP apps for distribution through the Windows Store
It’s not entirely clear at this point if Windows 10 Cloud is designed to run exclusively on devices with ARM-based processors or if it’ll also work on computers with Intel or AMD chips. But it does seem likely that this is Microsoft’s answer to Google’s Chrome OS: a light-weight operating system that’s designed with security and ease-of-use in mind… and which cannot necessarily run legacy programs unless their converted into a compatible format first.
You can find more pictures at Windows Blog Italia.