Windows Virtual Desktop for reference | Credit: Microsoft
Microsoft has been rumored to be working on Cloud PC, a virtualized OS service built on Windows Virtual Desktop (now called Azure Virtual Desktop – or AVD), for a while now. The offering is said to allow businesses to run Windows and Microsoft 365 services via the cloud on PCs and thin clients which can be “delivered from Azure and managed by Microsoft”. However, unlike AVD that is billed based on consumption, Cloud PC can be acquired at a flat per-user price, as per a job listing spotted last year.
While the service was rumored to be announced in spring this year, that did not happen. Now, a new report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley suggests that the firm might be readying a launch for the offering during its upcoming virtual Inspire conference. A session titled “What's Next in End-User Computing” scheduled for July 15 hints at the “newest Microsoft cloud solution for enabling hybrid work”, likely hinting to Cloud PC. Additionally, Foley adds that according to people in the know, the speaker listed for the session, Scott Manchester, has been working on Cloud PC, which is internally codenamed ‘Deschutes’.
In addition to Foley’s report, screenshots and hints of the impending launch have also been making the rounds on Twitter. The folks over at Aggiornamenti Lumia shared a possible screenshot of the sizzle reel for the offering, on Twitter, adding that they expected an announcement during the Windows 11 event last month. These hints provide further credence to the theory that the launch is expected to happen sooner rather than later.
Lastly, Foley says that Cloud PC is already in private testing with some organizations and that the offering might be sold with different subscription options, depending on the resources required for the customer. It will be interesting to see how the new service shapes up and what the specifics are.