Microsoft is gearing up to take on Chromebooks with new hardware running Windows 10 Cloud. On May 2nd, the company is holding a software and hardware event in New York City, where it’s expected to launch a new device running a new variant of its desktop OS.
Windows 10 Cloud is said to be an alternative to Chrome OS, and it’ll be a low-cost version of Windows 10 designed specifically to run only Windows Store apps — similar to Windows RT. It’s also likely that Windows 10 Cloud users will able to upgrade this variant to Windows 10 Pro.
Although more specific details will be unveiled during the event, Windows Central was able to obtained internal documents that reveals the minimum hardware requirements to run Windows 10 Cloud at optimal performance.
|Windows 10 Cloud minimum hardware requirements|
|Processor||Quad-core (Celeron or better)|
|Memory||4GB of RAM|
|Storage size||32GB of storage (64GB for 64-bit)|
|Storage type||Fast eMMC or Solid-State Drive (SSD)|
|Battery||Larger than 40 WHr|
|Input||Pen and touch (optional)|
Perhaps the most important piece of information is that Microsoft wants devices running this new variant of the OS to provide at least 10 hours of battery life on a single charge.
While hardware plays a big role on power consumption, Microsoft may also improve the battery life on these new types of computers with the new power throttling feature, which the company is currently testing for the next version of Windows 10 due later in September.
Power Throttling works by reducing the amount of processor cycles apps can use in the background, prioritizing those apps running the foreground, and certain other apps. According to Microsoft, devices could see up to an 11 percent of battery saving.
The leaked documents don’t have any mention of low-cost devices running on ARM processors, but it’s expected that Windows 10 Cloud will be compatible with both type of chips — the ones from Intel and ARM.
It should be noted that Microsoft is aiming Windows 10 Cloud and new low-cost machines for education, as Chromebooks are currently dominating this part of the market. However, this doesn’t mean that consumers won’t be able to get these new devices, but we’ll have to wait until next month to know more detail.