Leaked Windows 10 Cloud shots show Microsoft taking on Chrome OS

Earlier this week we heard some strong speculation to the effect that Microsoft is prepping a cut-down, lightweight version of its desktop operating system called Windows 10 Cloud - not quite as cloud-centric as Chrome OS, but designed to challenge Google's Chromebooks head-on.

Well, thanks to some screenshots uploaded by Windows Blog Italia, we now have our first look at Windows 10 Cloud, and it appears to be... a lot like Windows 10, actually.

The team at Windows Blog Italia says it's been running a leaked version of the upcoming OS and has managed to verify its authenticity through certain keys in the registry. Evernote and Slack are among the apps that are shown up and running.

Cloudy with a chance of a spring launch

At the moment the preview seems to be at an unfinished stage, with apps like Paint and Notepad not running correctly. Inside sources have also confirmed to ZDNet that something called Windows 10 Cloud is on the way.

Apparently the idea is that the stripped-down OS only runs apps from the Windows Store, a lot like the ill-fated Windows RT used to. That would give Microsoft more control over what you can and can't do with your device and is likely to improve security as well.

That would make sense for schools and businesses - coincidentally two areas where Google's Chrome OS is doing very well. Microsoft is saying it has "nothing to share" at this time but the new version of Windows is tipped to launch at the same time as the Windows 10 Creator's Update coming in the spring.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.