Windows 10 Cloud hardware specs leak

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 22, 2017
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft's not-yet-officially unveiled -- Windows 10 Cloud operating system is likely going to be unveiled on Microsoft's May 2, 2017 event in New York City.

While we will have to wait another week to find out whether that is indeed the case or not, Windows 10 Cloud hardware specs and performance targets were leaked online recently on Windows Central.

Windows 10 Cloud, according to rumors, is Microsoft's answer to Google's Chromebook. Designed specifically to compete with Google in education, rumors have it that it will be a low-cost device that will run well on hardware that regular versions of Windows 10 don't run that well on.

Read: our first impression of Windows 10 Cloud

Windows 10 Cloud hardware specs

windows 10 cloud

Microsoft's performance targets for Chromebook competitor highlight what the company wants manufacturers to deliver. It wants its Windows 10 Cloud devices to compete on an eye to eye level with Chromebook's battery life, and resume, and come close to the cold boot, first-sign in and consecutive sign-in times of devices powered by Google's Chrome OS.

As far as minimum hardware specs are concerned, they hold some surprises considering that Microsoft needs to compete with Google in performance and price:

  • Quad-core (Celeron or better) CPU.
  • 4 Gigabytes of RAM.
  • 32 Gigabytes of storage for 32-bit, 64 Gigabytes for 64-bit.
  • Battery larger than 40 WHr (WattHour).
  • Fast eMMC or SSD storage.
  • Optional pen and touch support.

How does this compare to regular versions of Windows 10?

  • Processor with at least 1 GHz
  • 1 Gigabyte of RAM for 32-bit, 2 Gigabytes for 64-bit.
  • 16 Gigabytes of hard drive space for 32-bit, 32 Gigabytes for 64-bit versions of Windows 10.
  • A DirectX 9 or higher compatible graphics card with WDDM 1.0 drivers.
  • A 800x600 display.

And Google's Chrome OS?

Google does not list minimum requirements for its Chrome operating system.  If you check out the devices that are available currently, you will notice the following minimum specs:

  • Intel Celeron processor or comparable.
  • 2 Gigabytes of RAM.
  • 16 Gigabyte of SSD storage

It is interesting to note that Microsoft's Windows 10 Cloud operating system requires better hardware than Windows 10 in some areas. Most notable RAM and storage.

On the processor side, Windows 10 will run on ARM processors eventually as well which should boost battery life and reduce the cost of devices.

Windows 10 Cloud may look an awful lot like Windows RT on first glance. Microsoft launched Windows RT alongside Windows 8, but has not really mentioned the operating system since the launch of Windows RT 8.1. The company's is still pushing out patches for Windows RT, but that is about it.

One of the points of criticism in regards to Windows RT was that users could only use the apps that shipped with the operating system, Internet services and apps, and what was available in Windows Store at the time.

This is similar to how Windows 10 Cloud operates, but with two notable differences.

  1. The Windows Store has matured a lot, and UWP applications deliver a better user experience on average. This includes options to run legacy Windows programs that were converted to run as Windows 10 apps. (hacks may circumvent that restriction)
  2. Windows 10 Cloud comes with an option to upgrade the operating system to a Windows 10 Home or Pro license.

Closing Words

Microsoft wants to establish a Chromebook competitor, especially in the US, a market where Google has been conquering the Education sector with its low-cost Chrome OS powered devices.

It remains to be seen how well this is going to work out for Microsoft. While Windows 10 Cloud looks to be better in all aspects than Windows RT, price, battery life and functionality will determine whether the operating system will have a chance to break Google's domination in the niche.

Now You: Will Microsoft's Windows 10 Cloud do better than Windows RT?

Windows 10 Cloud hardware specs leak
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Windows 10 Cloud hardware specs leak
Windows 10 Cloud has not been unveiled officially yet by Microsoft, but the minimum hardware specs and performance targets of Microsoft's Chrome OS competitor have leaked online already.
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  1. dark said on April 23, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Could happen with Windows 10 Cloud.

  2. Ingenou said on April 23, 2017 at 7:43 am

    If Microsoft, Facebook and Google are serious about trusting them, Microsoft and Facebook need to transfer their and mail hosting respectively to Google Apps for Work, likewise Google need to transfer their mail hosting to Office 365, then the public will believe their assertions of respect for data privacy.

  3. Coriy said on April 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    And then there are the privacy concerns…
    Considering how much data the regular versions of Windows 10 collect, won’t the Cloud do that as well?
    Or perhaps more?

    I’m not sure that will sit well with parents, teachers and students. And yes, I know that the Chromebooks do it too, but can be reined in by sysadmins.

  4. Question said on April 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    How does a Chromebook or Win10 Cloud function without internet access ? Still almost useless or did any improvements happen ? Another question: can I use a VPN with it or not ?

  5. Jack Smith said on April 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Groundhog day? Think we have been here before and we will get the same result. Gains zero traction against Chromebooks.

    So many issues but a big one is the inefficiency of the Windows kernel as explained by their own developers.

  6. chesscanoe said on April 22, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    The head in the cloud approach has been advocated by some for decades. Even the current desktop Skype is trying to move in this direction. Under Windows 10 CU and current desktop Skype as an example, if you go to Help – Check for Updates, you are offered to try Skype for Windows 10. Eye candy approach is not useful when trying to read an IM in a font size that cannot be changed in Settings. The provided solution is to use Magnifier, Going to a cloud application seems to imply limited function, and accessibility problems are not considered in the implementation.

  7. LD said on April 22, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    The cost of ownership and operating costs will be much higher with Microsoft. Schools be wary.

    W10/Bing/Edge/Windows Store versus Chrome/Google/Android apps/Google Store. Pick the winner.

  8. Yuliya said on April 22, 2017 at 10:52 am

    WinRT, chromebooks, etc. A market I consider should not exist at all. I never understood how do people end up buying these pitiful machines, barely able to run a crippled OS. I guess it’s pure marketing b/s. And they’re not cheap either, unless they cost 100EUR at most (which I already consider being about 20EUR more than they worth). If budget is an issue, for about 200EUR you can buy a proper laptop with an i3, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD and an i/o configuration that puts to shame.. I wanted to say a MacBook but evertyhing on the market puts MacBooks to shame in the i/o department.

    1. Sean said on April 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      I’ve had a HP14 chromebook for a few years now and have been very happy with it. Everything I do is in the web, I use google drive and don’t need to store any files. The OS is very responsive and the trackpad gestures make it hard to go back to Windows.

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