Windows 10 Cloud May Paywall Win32 Apps
Samuel Wan / 2 years ago
Over the past several weeks, more and more information is building about Microsoft’s upcoming Creators Update to Windows 10. One of the new additions to the lineup are closely linked, the new Windows 10 Cloud and the Windows 10 Win32 App toggle. As we know from previous reports, Windows 10 Cloud features limitations on Win32 running, acting as sort of Windows RT successor. According to new information coming out, this limitation may merely be a software toggle and not an architectural difference. In fact, it might be possible to pay to enable Windows 10 Cloud to run Win32 apps.
Earlier reports suggested that Windows 10 Cloud would not work with Win32 apps perhaps due to running on ARM or as a way to offer a tablet-like computing experience. However, later leaks showed that the Cloud version, while locked down, was not incapable of running Win32 apps. This means it is merely the next level of the leaked Settings app that prohibits Win32 apps from installing. The Cloud version merely has this feature baked in and cannot be changed by the user.
In what may be a controversial twist, Microsoft may actually allow Windows 10 Cloud to be upgraded to full Windows 10 and bypass the Win32 restriction. That is of course if the user pays for the upgrade. This suggests that Windows 10 Cloud isn’t really meant to secure the user or offer a tablet like experience. Instead, it is a way for Microsoft and OEMs to push a cheaper, gimped versions of Windows 10 and have the users pay more if they want the full experience. Even if the user doesn’t pay to upgrade, the walled garden of the Windows Store might make up some of the revenue.
There is a risk that OEMs in wanting to reduce PC prices may opt to use cheaper Windows 10 Cloud instead of full Windows 10. This could eventually sleepwalk us into a paywalled garden if a majority of users are limited to the Microsoft Store. At this point, we can’t confirm what Microsoft’s plans are with the new versions of Windows 10. We likely won’t get any more information until the Creators Update in April. However, these moves would be in line with the general trend Microsoft is moving in for their Windows platform. Microsoft has proven us wrong before, most recently with their relatively open Game Mode so lets hope they prove this rumour false as well.