Windows 10 Cloud disappoints (first look)

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 4, 2017
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft is working on a new Windows 10 SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) that the company named  Windows 10 Cloud internally.

First signs of Windows 10 Cloud appeared a week or so ago on the Internet, but it was not clear back then what this new edition of Windows 10 would offer. Suggestions ranged from a cloud-based operating system to a subscription-based system similar to Office 365, and a successor of Windows RT.

Mary Jo Foley got confirmation from her sources -- which she did not mention -- that Windows 10 Cloud was a revival of the Windows RT version of Windows.

What this would mean was clear: Windows 10 Cloud would only run Windows Store applications, and apps that Microsoft made to work with the operating system. Any legacy Windows 32 program would not work on systems running Windows 10 Cloud.

Windows 10 Cloud

windows 10 cloud

A first ISO image of Windows 10 Cloud leaked recently. It made the rounds on several tech sites such as Born City, Deskmodder or Windows Blog Italia, and confirms Mary Jo's report.

Windows 10 Cloud revives Windows RT. It is unclear if Cloud will be the release name of the new operating system, or if Microsoft will launch it under another name. It is almost certain that Microsoft won't use RT as user perception is quite negative.

It needs to be noted at this point that Windows 10 Cloud is a work in progress. Things may change along the way before it is released.

Update: Two new bits on how Windows 10 Cloud differs from Windows RT. First, Windows 10 Cloud will run on ARM and Intel hardware, and not only on ARM like Windows RT. Second, customers may upgrade Windows 10 Cloud to Windows 10 Pro, something that you could not do with ARM. The core benefit here is that upgrading will make it a full version of Windows with support for legacy programs. End

Windows 10 Cloud behaves as you would expect it to behave. Cortana walks you through the first steps of setup on first start, and you may notice that quite a few apps are listed in Start after installation

Some of these apps are first party applications or games, while others third-party applications. The selection includes Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and on the games side Age of Empires Castle Siege, Asphalt 8, and Royal Revolt among others.

Most don't appear to be installed though, but merely links to the application's Windows Store entry.

Windows Store is your only source for applications in Windows 10 Cloud. While you may be able to sideload UWP applications as well, it won't run any legacy Win32 programs.

windows 10 cloud blocked app

This is similar to how Windows RT handled this, and a serious disadvantage for anyone running the operating system.

If you try to run a legacy program, you get the error messsage that "the app you're trying to install isn't designed for Windows Cloud".

This is even true for some programs that Windows 10 Cloud ships with such as regedit.exe. Other programs, WordPad for instance, do work however. This includes the Group Policy Editor for instance.

It is interesting to note at this point that so-called Centennial apps, Windows 32 programs converted to UWP, don't seem to work as well on Windows 10 Cloud.

Closing Words

Windows 10 Cloud is a fairly limited edition of Windows 10 that restricts you to apps that ship with the operating system, and apps that you can download and install from Windows Store.

This means, among other things, that you are stuck with Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer as the browser, and with Windows Defender as the security solution. Security is better obviously, as users cannot execute any legacy Windows programs on Windows 10 Cloud systems. This is however also the biggest disadvantage of Windows 10 Cloud.

Windows Cloud does better space-wise compared to other editions of Windows. It uses about 12.5 Gigabyte of storage on the hard drive after installation. While that is good compared to other editions of Windows, it is nowhere near Google's Chrome OS which uses less than 6 Gigabyte of storage.

I have my doubts that Windows 10 Cloud will fare better than Windows RT, as it is basically the same thing under a new name. While it is too early for a final judgement, I'd say that this will bomb the same way that Windows RT bombed unless Microsoft has an ace up its sleeve that it will reveal at a later point in time.

Now You: What's your take on Windows 10 Cloud?

Windows 10 Cloud disappoints (first look)
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Windows 10 Cloud disappoints (first look)
Microsoft is working on a new Windows 10 SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) that the company named Windows 10 Cloud internally.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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