Cloud Shell, a lightweight version of Windows could land this year


Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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Reports surfaced more than a week ago that shed light on Microsoft’s plan to unify the Windows 10 experience for users of any device. Microsoft reportedly calls the project Composable Shell, or simply CSHELL, and seeks to establish a universal version of Windows 10 that can adapt to any device type and screen size.

A fresh report from Petri now suggests Microsoft is also working on a new shell for Windows 10 that builds upon that plan. Cloud Shell, as Microsoft allegedly calls it, is a lightweight version of Windows that adapts to the requirements of modern computing. That could mean the new shell is likely to be a thin client that lets anyone stream the Windows 10 shell from a cloud platform such as Microsoft Azure. At the same time, Microsoft’s cloud servers will remotely process and store the workloads of each user.

According to the report, Microsoft plans to roll out the new shell sometime this year. Other than that, nothing is known yet about Cloud Shell. Petri speculates that Cloud Shell will somehow connect with the Windows Store and the Universal Windows Platform app framework. Therefore, it is likely that the rumored shell is part of Redmond’s plan to integrate the full Windows 10 into mobile platforms that run on ARM processors. Microsoft plans to officially roll out its ARM-based Windows initiative along with the Redstone 3 update in the second half of 2017.

It is also possible that Microsoft wants rival platforms including Linux and MacOS to run Windows 10 while keeping the device environment as it is. Ultimately, it’s interesting to see what the new shell could mean for the future of Windows. We will have to wait until Microsoft’s upcoming Build conference in May to learn more about the company’s plan.

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