Microsoft aims to migrate Windows to the cloud for consumers, in the same way that it has been doing for businesses with Windows 365. In a June 2022 internal Microsoft “state of the business” presentation, Microsoft talks of enhancing Windows 365 to enable a full Windows operating system streamed from the cloud to any device.
The presentation, which covers Microsoft’s entire gaming strategy and how it ties to other areas of the company’s businesses, has been made public as part of the ongoing FTC v. Microsoft hearing. In Microsoft’s “Modern Life” consumer section, moving Windows 11 increasingly to the cloud is cited as a long-term opportunity, along with harnessing the power of the cloud and client to enable improved AI-powered services and full roaming of people’s digital experience.
Along with Microsoft’s need to spend in partnerships for customized silicon, the notion of transferring Windows completely to the cloud for users is also presented in the presentation. Microsoft has been carrying out some of this for its Surface Pro X devices that run on ARM.
In late 2020, Bloomberg also claimed that Microsoft was considering creating its own ARM-based chips for servers and perhaps even Surface devices. Recently, there have been rumours that Microsoft may also be developing its own AI chips.
A full version of Windows is streamed to devices via the Windows 365 service. Although it has only been available to businesses thus far, Microsoft has already fully integrated it into Windows 11. Windows 365 Boot, which enables Windows 11 devices to connect straight to a Cloud PC instance at boot instead of the local version of Windows, will be included in a future update. In order to incorporate Cloud PCs into the Task View (virtual desktops) feature, Windows 365 Switch is also integrated into Windows 11.