Microsoft looking to expand its SaaS offerings with Windows Desktop

Microsoft has been transitioning many of its popular software packages into services including Office with Office 365. While Office is not a critical component for some, one offering Microsoft is currently building out is the Windows Desktop as a service.

According to Mary Jo Foley, 'Mohoro' is in the early stages of development as a pay-per-use Windows desktop as a service offering that will run on Windows Azure. The service will likely be offered as a remote application and could be ideal for corporations who want to run thin clients or legacy software in the cloud. 

The report notes that Microsoft already owns Mohoro.com and .net domains and the naming convention falls in-line with previous Microsoft code-names. Specifically, Mohoro is the name of an island in the Indian Ocean and it is believed that the Microsoft's Indian development team could be playing a key part in this deployment. 

While we would not expect the service to replace your standard Windows desktop, this will be the first possible steps towards moving Windows to a subscription service as opposed to a one-time payment, which many believe is in the pipeline for Microsoft.

Of course, it could be possible that this service could be for legacy versions of the platform and not a forward looking product. Although, we suspect that if Microsoft can nail down the implementation and business model for a Windows Desktop hosted service, it could help secure future revenue as many users transition away from traditional PCs for mobile devices.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

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I think this is a great idea. I can see myself using this for various projects easily. Currently I run VM's in Azure for development work but can see myself using this if it works well for my needs and is as affordable.

They must have some insane spec cloud servers - for the large organisation I used to work for, virtualised desktop users approaching medium-heavy workloads would see performance tail off after 8 users/server due to RAM requirements on the server, CPU overhead was less of an issue.

I wondered for a while why Microsoft didn't do this.. could be really interesting! Would be interested to know just how custom you could make the desktop images - i.e. whether you could roll out a corporate desktop and connect back to your corporate network, etc.