Home » Microsoft’s Working on a Surface Laptop Called CloudBook

Microsoft’s Working on a Surface Laptop Called CloudBook

In a few weeks, at its education-oriented software and hardware event in New York, Microsoft could unveil a sub-premium laptop. According to reports, this is something more robust than a Surface but not as fancy as a Surface Book.

And rather than run good old Windows 10, the new product could run something called Windows 10 Cloud, which reportedly will only be able to run apps that you can find in the Windows Store, unless you change a certain preference in Settings.

The idea is this will keep your device more secure. However that does mean you won’t be able to use certain apps that aren’t in the Store, like Steam, on a Windows 10 Cloud device, such as the rumoured CloudBook.

We know Microsoft can build good PCs. But there are some things that we don’t know about this expected CloudBook:

  • How good will it be? How long will the battery life be? Will it perform as well as a nearly 2-year-old Surface Pro 4? Will there be enough storage that people will see it as distinct from a Google Drive-reliant Chromebook? Will the display not suck?
  • Will there be some way to run non-Store apps? While some people will appreciate the peace of mind of not worrying so much about a Windows device succumbing to malware and other threats, will there be a workaround if you need to run certain programs that can’t be found in the Store?
  • How much will it cost? Great Chromebooks can be had for $500. The new iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard will cost $400 or less. If a CloudBook starts at more than $500 and it’s packed with low-end components, is there any way for the device to be successful where the first Surface wasn’t?

The good news is that on the whole, Windows is looking fairly good right now. It feels like every week one or more new features are being tested on Insiders before they become available to everyone. With iOS and Chrome OS the pace of development is currently slower. If Windows 10 Cloud follows the cadence of classic Windows 10 and gets broader adoption with the help of more enticing hardware at launch, then it could end up lasting longer than Windows RT (2012-2015), and the strategy will be vindicated.

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