back to article Microsoft brings Cloud PCs and local desktops together in Windows 365

Microsoft has revealed plans to make cloudy Windows 11 PCs easily available from, and integrated with, its flagship OS on physical PCs, and hinted at much more integration between Redmond's desktop operating system and its clouds. The software giant's plan hinges on Cloud PC, the streamed-from-Azure Windows desktops launched …

  1. ShadowSystems

    What could possibly go wrong?

    That list is an infinite doom scroll if there ever was one.

    I'll bring the popcorn!

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      Be online or no Windows? Pay or else?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Fixed it for you.

        'Just the beginning of our Windows and Microsoft cloud integration' says Windows boss

        'Just the beginning of a monthly fee for everything you have with a Microsoft TM' says Windows Boss

    2. oiseau

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      Hmmm ...


      I've used Linux OSs for a good many years now but I was so happy when I was able to retire three years ago and free myself from having to work for/in a MS environment.

      Hell will freeze over (twice) before I touchthat.

      It's a sure recipe to get fucked over.

      And over ...

      And over.


      1. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: What could possibly go wrong?

        I sound like a premise in a buddy cop movie, but I'm close to retirement and looking forward to a MS free house.

        The number of times Microbork has disappointed me after releasing glowing marketing horse dung would kill someone coming out of school today. They care nothing about your privacy, freedoms or choices and offer crap product for a monthly fee.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Just the beginning of our latest move to further fleece the illiterati..."

    There. Fixed that quote for you.

    This whole thing is about SaaS for Windows itself, and forcing everyone to pay monthly fees.

    Consider Intuit Quickbooks. In the '90s, you bought a copy for $250-300 CAD and you were set unless you needed to subscribe to payroll updates. Roll forward to 2022, and the "Desktop" edition now requires a subscription to the tune of over $600 CAD/year, with no reprieve. The last year they made a version that didn't require a subscription was 2021, so on the advice of an accountant, I sprang the money for it. It was either that or be fleeced for $300/year for the online edition, which locks up my data such that I have to pay for the subscription for 7 years after I shut down my business and retire!

    Gouge, gouge, gouge, gouge.

    How shall we fleece thee next.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      And what happens to the data on your SaaS Windows desktop if you have a cash-flow problem and can't pay the subscription for a couple of months? Probably the same as happens if you can't pay the subs for your SaaS cloud storage.

      1. oiseau

        And what happens to the data on your SaaS Windows desktop if you have a ...

        Like I said above.

        You get fucked over, again.


    2. JoeCool Bronze badge

      When MS say "its the beginning"

      I'm trying to understand where they are on the product maturity curve.

      Would this be closer to Windows 3.1, or Windows For Workgroups or maybe the revolutionary Win 95 ?

    3. Danny 14

      adobe CC too. Gone are the box copies.

  3. NATTtrash

    New, new, new!

    No – not ads (not yet anyway) but a way for an IT department to send messages to users over the various surfaces in Windows 11 (for example, the taskbar or lock screen.)

    The power of hot air marketing never ceases to amaze me.

    Exciting! New! Indispensable!

    export DISPLAY=:0; notify-send "Reminder: your ransom fee date is coming up ${USER^^}! Your data is mine!"

    1. FILE_ID.DIZ

      Re: New, new, new!

      Old is new, again.

      Hello old friend msg.exe

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

        Re: New, new, new!

        net send

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: New, new, new!


          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: New, new, new!

            Do the IT department really need yet another way to message users? By writing graffiti all over their desktop? I mean they already have email, phone, and ${current_trendy_proprietary_instant_messenger_app}.

            "cat >> /dev/tty7" was a cool trick years ago when we all used green screen terminals, but it's stupid and pointless in 2022.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: New, new, new!

              Doesn't show much faith in their teams and yammer offerings IMO.

              1. hitmouse

                Re: New, new, new!

                It's very likely that they are just surfacing Teams/Yammer features in the OS just as with file favourites, tasks and other M365 features

  4. LenG


    "are just the beginning of our Windows and Microsoft cloud integration." Possibly the most frightening thing I have heard from M$ since they first announced Win 10 as an operating system for life or whatever the marketing shite was at the time.

    Given that nowadays the only thing I actually NEED windoze for is games I'll have to keep a close eye on Gamebuntu and its ilk.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Scarey

      Is that "need" or "want"? The two are often confused.

    2. JoeCool Bronze badge

      Re: Scarey

      I'm not a gamer. My need for windows is for productivity apps - running the Onenote desktop app, and the spider solitaire exe from Windows XP.

  5. deadlockvictim

    Last untethered version

    I wonder when the last version of Windows that does not require a permanent connection to the Internet will be?

    It seems that it is not too far away.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Last untethered version

      Correct tense is WAS and it was Windows 7.

    2. The_Wisest_One

      Re: Last untethered version

      Windows 10.

      You will not be able to install Windows 11 or set up Windows 11 without one.

      Even if you have the Pro version.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Last untethered version

        I already have done, so I think you might be being alarmist.

    3. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Last untethered version

      Server 2019 makes for an effective desktop, albeit one with some extra hoops to sort our video drivers if you are using retail cards on a server box. AMD drivers don't "officially" work if you run the driver installer; however you can then point Device Manager to use the UWP driver in the relevant folder where the installer expands out to.

      Obviously still has to be activated, but once done it's phone home seems to be minimal (according to traffic on the pihole).

      Telemetry options are better on Server 2019 too.

      I keep it around for running a tiny minority of old programs that haven't jumped ship and/or don't work well in compatibility layers.

  6. Grunchy Silver badge

    I don't get it

    At some point I bought a license to Office 2016 for $20 or something, I reactivated it on my Windows 10 pc and it has morphed into some kind of cloud software (requires me to verify my credentials once in awhile, amazing since I just about have no use for Office). Is this the same as Office 365? Or what’s the difference. I just don’t get why anybody would pay a monthly fee for Office 365 vs the $20 they charged me once for Office 2016.

    Also I have Windows 10 because I bought a Windows 7 license off Reddit license reseller, which Microsoft changed into Windows 10. I think it cost me $13 or something (been awhile). What is “Windows 365,” is this a perpetual payment scheme? I’m pretty sure I am locked out of Microsoft payments. See, one time I got 1 month of Xbox Live for $3 promotion but then Microsoft tried to turn it into a recurring $30-a-month charge, except I had anticipated this and cancelled the credit card. So Microsoft has insisted I owe them $30 for Xbox Live for June 2008 (which service they rescinded like June 2, 2008 due to no payment) and we have been deadlocked ever since. I can’t buy anything on Xbox Live because they will immediately seize $30 from the payment to cover that June 2008 charge, consequently I can’t buy anything at all. The lady said “just make a new Xbox account,” except my Burnout Paradise save state is locked to the account that they want $30 from. I guess it’s all moot now since they shut down Burnout Paradise for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox Live for the 360. And why is it Xbox 360 yet Windows 365?

    Like, why is it 5 more.

    I literally never use the MS Office, I just type up documents in Notepad “.txt” format and then copy-paste into my Seamonkey email. Swear to God.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it

      "Like, why is it 5 more."

      Less accurate?

    2. Danny 14

      Re: I don't get it

      2016,2019, 365 and 2021 are all the same codebase. Even the registry keys and files are the same. 2016 isnt click to run so there are minor differences.

      365 gets a few tweaks such as stream integration, live subtitle translations, autosave to cloud (2021 has this too).

      The funny thing is, our users get all sorts of splashscreens, 2019, 2021 and 365. They dont even log this as tickets any longer.

    3. X5-332960073452

      Re: I don't get it

      Not surprised, cancelling the card was WRONG, you should have cancelled the subscription, unfortunately (this time) M$ are in the right.

  7. The Central Scrutinizer

    Bilking your "valued customers" for every cent is such a great look.

    Ah Microsoft, the leopard that never changes its spots. Sub par operating systems that even decades later still do the same old shit, plus you get to keep paying for them over and over again. Genius.

    I'm glad I got out of that scam when I did.

    1. oiseau

      Ah Microsoft, the leopard that never changes its spots ...


      For some reason it always surprises me to see people here at ElReg (and some commentards also) stating that (how?) MS has probably changed and that 30+ years gone by means they are different.

      They . are . not . different . in . any . way

      Save maybe in the shennanigans/schemes they use to achieve their purposes.

      MS is the same embrace-> extend -> extinguish corporation is has always been.

      The same way the wrtiting has been on the wall for many years now.


  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "Windows 365 Offline" will make it possible to work with or without an internet connection

    Or, as it used to be called, "Windows".

    Why not just cut out the slow creep of verbosity, and go straight to calling it "Windows 365 Offline Azure Active Local Cloud Home Premium Desktop Edition"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Windows 365 Offline" will make it possible to work with or without an internet connection

      You win the "longest-winded verbiage" competition! :)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Windows 365 Offline" will make it possible to work with or without an internet connection

        I'm pretty sure the Windows "privacy" policy wins that.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Windows 365 Offline" will make it possible to work with or without an internet connection

      Why not open a Windows Bank? You pay all your income into it and in return you're allowed to use Windows and you get some pocket money back providing you behave yourself and wash the car every week.

  9. karlkarl Silver badge

    I find it somewhat artistic.

    For years us UNIX users have been giggling at Windows for failing to provide a decent multiple desktop system*.

    And when Microsoft does it, they manage to bastardise it into some manky revenue generating "cloud thing".

    Bravo Microsoft! You tacky bunch!

    * Actually, it was fairly unknown but the sysinternals desktops was pretty close (

  10. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    What am I missing?

    This just seems like remote desktop replacing your local desktop, instead of running inside a window on your local desktop.

    We can already have multiple RDP sessions open at the same time on the local desktop. How is this any new benefit?

    Ah... wait... it's not a user benefit. It's an MS benefit. Get people used to have a cloud desktop as their main desktop rather than just an RDP window, as a prelude to killing off local desktop completely and running the whole shitshow as a subscription service.

    Desktop as a service? No fucking thanks.

    1. hitmouse

      Re: What am I missing?

      It's exactly what systems/data managers in regulated environments (eg healthcare) have needed for years. Relying on doctors and reception staff to honour patient privacy and record security is way too much to ask for.

  11. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Bend over

    and get ready for that rubber glove...(I would mention that the ladies get done downstairs, but the method is even more undignified than for us guys).

    Windows as a service is coming..... your data will be stored on a windows cloud, your setting will be on that cloud , indeed everything you have 'windowry' related will be on that cloud.... and all for a minimal monthly subscription.... until your bank screws up the payment and ............ its gone.

    Or the internet blinks out and your data is now unobtainable(just had that ourselves .. although it was our local server decided to fall over and reboot itself)

    Or you could try Linux.... no monthly fees... download, install, and go... suitable for about 98% of all computer use

  12. mrGecko

    sounds cool

    but there are so many people who have used and will only ever use Windows. Microshaft can make their pricing model more and more aggressive, and these people will just keep going with it. As long as Microsoft doesn't try to charge them too much money in one accounting period.

    I still can't believe the audacity of Microshaft to declare Windows 10 it's last ever OS version. And yet here we are with Windows 11. I mean, it's just embarrassing.

    They have no shame.

  13. petef

    Non-semantic versioning

    M$ skipped Windows 9, now it's 12 to 364.

  14. Kev99 Silver badge

    Per Merriam-Webster:

    Cloud -

    1: visible mass of particles of condensed vapor (such as water or ice) suspended in the atmosphere of a planet (such as the earth) or moon

    2 : something resembling or suggesting a cloud: such as

    a : a light filmy, puffy, or billowy mass seeming to float in the air a cloud of blond hair a ship under a cloud of sail

    b(1) : a usually visible mass of minute particles suspended in the air or a gas

    (2) : an aggregation of usually obscuring matter especially in interstellar space

    (3) : an aggregate of charged particles (such as electrons)

    c : a great crowd or multitude : swarm clouds of mosquitoes

    3 : something that has a dark, lowering, or threatening aspect clouds of war a cloud of suspicion

    4 : something that obscures or blemishes

    5: A bunch of holes held together with vapor (addended)

    Net -

    1a : an open-meshed fabric twisted, knotted, or woven together at regular intervals

    b : something made of net: such as

    (1) : a device for catching fish, birds, or insects

    (2) : a fabric barricade (see barricade entry 2 sense 1a) which divides a court in half (as in tennis or volleyball) and over which a ball or shuttlecock must be hit to be in play

    (3) : the fabric that encloses the sides and back of the goal (see goal sense 2a) in various games (such as soccer or hockey) shot the puck into the net

    2 : an entrapping device or situation caught in the net of suspicious circumstances cannot escape the net of circumstances in which he is caught— W. P. Webb

    3 : something resembling a net in reticulation (as of lines, fibers, or figures)

    4 : A bunch of holes held together with string (Addended)

    Computer Technology -

    Cloud & Net -

    (1): Two predominate ways to have data, information, and business critical programs stolen or corrupted beyond recognition

    (2): Two predominate ways for software companies to rob the users blind under the guise support, updates, or maintenance

    (3): Two predominate ways for software and related technology, i.e. Mictosoft, Google, Facebook, to steal users personal data, habits, and correspondence in order to sell the information to other less scrupulous companies or to force users to change software that works perfectly well as is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot cloud = somebody's else computer.

  15. Pull_Me

    Run Linux.

    Run Linux.

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