During a special hardware event early next month, Microsoft is expected to launch the Windows 10 Cloud operating system. Many still aren't sure what it is exactly - a platform? A cloud-based OS? - but according to reports, it's supposedly a specialized version of Windows 10 for Chromebook-like devices.
Chromebooks, for the uninitiated, are mid-range laptops that feature Chrome OS, an operating system built on the familiar Google user interface, complete with Google's trove of services, such as Gmail, Docs, and much more. These laptops don't hold a candle to your everyday PC or MacBook, but they get the job done, for the most part. The best part? They're much, much cheaper.
While we have to wait until May 2 to see exactly what Microsoft is cooking up, some leaked documents may at least point to hardware specs for Microsoft's supposed Chromebook competitor.
Windows 10 Cloud Minimum Requirements
Windows Central has obtained the aforementioned document, which details the minimum hardware specifications for a device that can run "Windows 10 Cloud performance." Of utmost importance is battery life: 10 hours or more. Other specifications include:
• At least a quad-core processor. Celeron or better.
• 4 GB of RAM.
• 32 GB of storage. For 64-bit machines, then it should be bumped to 64 GB.
• Battery must be feature a higher capacity than 40 WHr.
• High-seed eMMC or SSD for storage purposes.
• Pen and touch optional.
With Windows 10 Cloud, Microsoft seems to be focusing on an all-day battery life. The company believes it could achieve this by virtue of its new power throttling feature that's slated for a September release, when the next major update to Windows 10 arrives. As of now, Microsoft is still testing the feature, mostly by offering options to limit background tasks.
Popularity Of Chromebooks
Releasing a mid-range machine that runs on Windows 10 Cloud makes sense for Microsoft. Chromebooks have been really popular especially in the education sector, which is what Microsoft's forthcoming event is all about.
Many educational institutions have enlisted Chromebooks as the primary devices they lend to students, and it's easy to see why: They're cheap, they provide all software a student could ever need, and they're relatively underpowered, so they're not meant for gaming at all - they're productivity machines first and foremost.
Microsoft's Own Version Of The Chromebook: Why It Makes Sense
Moving into the education sector with Windows 10 Cloud devices makes sense for Microsoft. It already has the tools for it: its own Microsoft Office suite. A lot of students probably already know how to use them, too.
It's easy to see how people could easily adapt to Windows 10 Cloud, if indeed the company pushes its own version of the Chromebook to the education demographic. While Google's G Suite is already a stellar bundle on its own, there's still no denying the relationship between users and Microsoft's roster of software, many of which users are already familiar with.
As always, we offer caution with these rumors, as they may end up not being accurate at all. That said, feel free to sound off in the comments section below about what you think of a Chromebook-like offering from Microsoft.