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Microsoft has unveiled a new ‘Windows App’ designed to provide seamless access to its operating system across a diverse range of devices, potentially hinting at broader strategic objectives. Compatible with iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Windows, and various web browsers, this app transforms the previous Windows 365 application into a centralized hub for streaming Windows copies from remote PCs, Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, Microsoft Dev Box, and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services.
The Windows App, offering support for multiple monitors, customizable display resolutions and scaling, and device redirection for peripherals such as webcams, storage devices, and printers, is currently unavailable for Android in its preview version.
Functioning as a pivotal interface to connect with remote and cloud PCs, the Windows App currently has limitations to Microsoft’s array of business accounts. However, indications suggest its eventual availability to consumers. While the sign-in prompt on the Windows App for Windows implies access through a personal Microsoft Account, this feature is not currently operational.
Microsoft, historically recognized for its apps facilitating remote PC connections, has introduced an unusual branding with the dedicated “Windows App,” potentially signaling a broader initiative to transition Windows entirely to the cloud.
Following the departure of former Surface and Windows chief Panos Panay to Amazon in September, Microsoft established a new team, “Windows and Web Experiences,” seemingly concentrated on developing AI-powered web services for Windows. The team’s efforts have already manifested in Windows 11, with dynamic updates from the web in the main search interface, a widgets system, and integration with Copilot.
Revealed during the FTC v. Microsoft hearing, the company expressed its intention to transition Windows fully to the cloud on the consumer side, a move already implemented for businesses through Windows 365. The introduction of the Windows App may pave the way for consumers to access cloud PCs and Windows applications on devices not running Microsoft’s operating system, aligning with the company’s cloud-centric vision.
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