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Report: Microsoft Working on 'Cloud PC,' Another Virtual Desktop Product

Microsoft is reportedly working on another virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution that's separate from its current Windows Virtual Desktop product and other similar services.

The company mentioned a new "Cloud PC" effort in a June 5 job posting that was further described in a July 20 ZDNet article by veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley. The job post explained that "Microsoft Cloud PC is a strategic, new offering that is built on top of Windows Virtual Desktop to delivering Desktop as a Service." Microsoft conceives of Cloud PC as a so-called internal "startup" effort.

Cloud PC will be delivered from Microsoft Azure datacenters. It'll be managed by Microsoft and offered at "a flat per user price," possibly as part of Microsoft 365 subscriptions. The Cloud PC team will work with both customers and partners, so it seems that Microsoft envisions having partner support for this service.

Microsoft isn't publicly describing its Cloud PC service, beyond the job posting. Foley stated that the Cloud PC service will be a thin client option that will provide Windows desktop access via VDI, plus access to Office applications and other software.

Foley expects that the Cloud PC service will appear "as early as next spring," although her sources weren't mentioned.

It's perhaps difficult to see why Microsoft needs a Cloud PC VDI service. Its Windows Virtual Desktop service, backed by partner support, got launched commercially back in September

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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