Windows Cloud hardware strategy will mimic Chromebook spec

Windows 10 Cloud, Windows Cloud and Windows 10 S are all possible names for the operating system that Microsoft will launch on May 2 to target the education sector. And there happen to be some interesting base specifications and benchmarks that the company will target to either match or improve against the current market leader, Google’s Chromebook platform.

Windows Central has obtained an internal document showing what Redmond is aiming for when it comes to implementing Windows 10 Cloud on hardware. The lightened version of Windows 10 is supposed to go head to head with Chromebooks with a focus on Universal Windows Platform apps, web-based tasking and some continuity for Win32 programs through “Project Centennial” apps. Users may choose to upgrade through a Windows 10 Home or Pro ROM.

Minimum spec calls for a quad-core Intel Celeron-grade processor coupled to 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for 32-bit systems or 64GB for 64-bit on eMMC disks or SSDs. Battery life should be greater than 40Wh to last “most students” all day or more than 10 hours. A cold boot should take 20 seconds. First sign-in should take no more than 15 seconds with subsequent ones no more than 5 seconds. Waking from sleep should take under 2 seconds.

Microsoft will soon push its Power Throttling algorithms — in use on 6th and 7th generation Intel Core processors — to other processor sets, which should enable the Windows 10 Cloud laptops to achieve these intended battery cycle lengths.

Windows Central is also reporting from sources that Microsoft is planning to launch a Surface product with Windows 10 Cloud, but it may not launch until Microsoft’s Build conference the week of May 8. Considering that students will be the intended end users of these devices, a convertible tablet may be considered more burdensome to maintain than a singular laptop unit — do note, though, that minimum spec makes touch input and a stylus optional interfacing tools.

There are plenty of good reasons to see a Windows RT look-alike getting the rejuvenation it needs to compete in 2017. New apps, more links to programs users actually need while keeping to a modest bar of entry and a path to upgrade are definitely all appreciated. We’ll be tracking the lead-up and real-life usage over the coming weeks and months.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.