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A Windows Cloud build just leaked, and this is what we learned

Ian Paul | Feb. 7, 2017
If this build is authentic, it raises some interesting questions about Microsoft's unconfirmed version of Windows.

The odd thing is that if Windows Cloud is supposed to be a Chromebook competitor, why the upgrade path? Moving to Windows 10 Home or Pro defeats the point of a simplified operating system that is easier to manage. Plus, doesn’t this suggest Microsoft will advertise upgrades to Windows Cloud users? Yuck.

A Windows Store-only PC also is locked into Microsoft's Edge browser, which lacks the popularity of Google's Chrome browser, with its vast extensions and app catalog. That’s like bringing a wet sponge to gun fight. 

Can the Windows Store take on Google Play?

This last point is more of a general question about Windows Cloud than anything we’ve learned from the leaks. A Windows Cloud machine has to rely on the anemic Windows Store. Meanwhile, its competitor Chromebooks, which were struggling to accumulate Chrome native apps, are about to gain a huge advantage. Google recently confirmed that all Chromebooks from 2017 and beyond will be able to run Android apps via the Play Store.

Microsoft might have an advantage with productivity features like digital inking and possibly Cortana, but as we’ve seen before when it comes down to apps, the better store always wins.

 

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