Windows 8 slides contain hint at "desktop as a service"

Leaked information about Windows 8 has been fairly sparse over the last few months, but some interesting PowerPoint slides reveal plans for the successor to Windows 7, codenamed Windows 8. Tech blogger Mary Jo Foley discovered these slideshow images via Ma-Config.com.

It appears that Microsoft is looking to take Windows from a desktop application and expand it to "Desktop as a service" (DaaS). The slides reveal "Windows Next", an internal saying for Microsoft employees who are referring to the next major operating system, and turning it into virtual / cloud based desktop.

It only makes sense that Microsoft includes Windows with other virtualization technologies like Virtual desktop (VDI), application virtualization (App-V, MED-V, remote apps and more), Remote desktop, data virtualization, hardware virtualization (Hyper-V), plus a number of other available virtual services.

Windows8-slide-virtual

Desktop as a Service isn't an entirely new thing, but focusing an entire operating system on it is. With DaaS, Windows 8 could be easily deployed throughout an entire company with total hardware and application compatibility. This also opens the possibility of opening a Windows App Store in the next major version, where companies would host and run applications on 'the cloud', allowing for quicker security patch updates, greater compatibility and faster deployment through an entire infrastructure.

It will be interesting to see what "Windows Next" brings to both businesses and consumers with OS virtualization. Deploying and maintaining a single service would be cost effective for larger businesses, just the push Microsoft might be looking for to help companies finally make the switch from Windows XP and Vista.

Windows8-slide-next

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Slideshow has to be fake.

surely a Microsoft employee would know about right clicking on xcopy & vhd, to add to dictionary.

bah!

Okay, it's a good idea but not for everyone or at least not for everytime. What if you are not connected to Internet and want to use your PC as if it were connected to Internet?

Windows on cloud? You know what it means? It means no upgrade or Windows Update hassle. No security updates, more security and other great features but I dont think everyone can connect to Internet every second.

So what I suggest is that Microsoft kees the Cloud service as optional. Like, you can buy Windows 8 as a cloud service or inside a regular DVD.

I just don't think I'll ever get over not liking the idea of my computer's software being stored somewhere other than my local hard drive. This would be "really" handy for our work PCs though, I wouldn't have to worry about "hoping" that every machine pulled all of the updates they were supposed to.

Almost too little, too late. I think some people misunderstand that this doesn't necessarily mean the desktop will go anywhere. At your home you will still have your operating system, files, etc. on a local drive or install if you choose to, I'm sure. But in a corporate environment, this is basically bringing the cycle back to the mainframe days. VMWare has already been doing this for a long time with vSphere. I suppose it is far superior, especially since we have what, 99% up-time/reliability with servers these days, assuming the administrator is doing things right?

Regardless, I am looking forward to this. Microsoft is moving in the direction of where a lot of the industry (seems) to want to go. Good for them. I think someone commented above about Apple and not knowing what direction they will go. Steve Jobs' death rays will not let something as perplexing, and fragmented enter his ecosystem. Sure, Apple allowed the equivalent of Parallels to install another OS as a different partition but it isn't the same as VHD booting in Windows 7.

Not to mention you can get 64-bit hardware for dirt cheap, and set it up as a server of sorts. Just a few years ago people wouldn't dare think about adding 8GB of RAM or more into a desktop. Now, it is slowly becoming affordable for the masses. Now if only I could find the same 20-pack 2TB drive $300 deal I did, for RAM ...

Just my 3 cents.

DarkSim905 said,
Almost too little, too late. I think some people misunderstand that this doesn't necessarily mean the desktop will go anywhere. At your home you will still have your operating system, files, etc. on a local drive or install if you choose to, I'm sure. But in a corporate environment, this is basically bringing the cycle back to the mainframe days. VMWare has already been doing this for a long time with vSphere. I suppose it is far superior, especially since we have what, 99% up-time/reliability with servers these days, assuming the administrator is doing things right?

Regardless, I am looking forward to this. Microsoft is moving in the direction of where a lot of the industry (seems) to want to go. Good for them. I think someone commented above about Apple and not knowing what direction they will go. Steve Jobs' death rays will not let something as perplexing, and fragmented enter his ecosystem. Sure, Apple allowed the equivalent of Parallels to install another OS as a different partition but it isn't the same as VHD booting in Windows 7.

Not to mention you can get 64-bit hardware for dirt cheap, and set it up as a server of sorts. Just a few years ago people wouldn't dare think about adding 8GB of RAM or more into a desktop. Now, it is slowly becoming affordable for the masses. Now if only I could find the same 20-pack 2TB drive $300 deal I did, for RAM ...

Just my 3 cents.

8 GB *slowly* becoming affordable? Unless you're a sub-middle-class fella/lady (like moi), it's affordable today. One year ago, $1000USD bought a 4 GB RAM/quad-core AMD CPU/1 TB HDD HP Pavilion; now, the RAM has doubled and number of CPU cores have gone to six, as has the HDD doubled in size, while the price has gone nowhere (except slightly down).

Except for netbooks, x64 is the default CPU today, as is dual-core.

Meanwhile, in the enterprise, the trend toward virtualization is *all* about avoiding costly hardware-refresh cycles (in short, it's about money) and shrinking IT staffs (still about money, pretty much). vSphere is primarily about VMware trying to gain some of those cost savings as revenue for their own pockets (adopting vSphere isn't cheap). Not to say that Microsoft isn't trying to do the same with MAP-V and MED-V (of course they are; after all, vSphere competes with them), but none of this is relevant to SMB or most non-enterprise users.

Seems the coming of win8 might just spark the debate: "What's a PC"? Is it an appliance like the microwave in the kitchen, is it a larger version of your cell, is it a game platform, or is it something more like the traditional computer? I think like today the answer will still be "All of the above", but there will be more attention paid to buying & using *just* what you need, making it easier for some people or biz to get along with less hardware & related expense. It's the netbook vs. the laptop all over again.

Win8 as rumored would obviously further some old Microsoft goals -- like a printer manufacturer selling ink/toner, they'd like to make money off you more than once every new product release. And like a company making printers, they'd like to lock you into continuously providing that stream of cash heading for their bank accounts -- they've long hated losing control (or at least influence) over a customer once they take a product into their home or office, much preferring their Xbox biz model.

That said, maybe the image shown up top of the page is fake or something -- I'd be surprised that Microsoft didn't spell-check their work otherwise [Virtualization -- http://goo.gl/Dlces]. And assuming Win8 does further embrace the cloud, which does make good sense, they're not going to abandon traditional Windows -- like the touch portion of win7 that you can use, or not... they're not about to abandon anyone, whether it's over security concerns [in biz, the military, the home etc.] or any other reason, not because they're nice but because it's bad biz to reduce your potential market.

Can anyone explain this to me in mom terms?

I don't understand how my apps are part of this server layer in Windows 7.

This means its currently affecting me but I don't understand exactly what were referring to.

Talk to me like I'm a dummy

azz0r_wugg said,
Can anyone explain this to me in mom terms?

I don't understand how my apps are part of this server layer in Windows 7.

This means its currently affecting me but I don't understand exactly what were referring to.

Talk to me like I'm a dummy

Your apps aren't already on a server in Windows 7, as you're a consumer. App virtualization is already possible though and enterprises use it.

azz0r_wugg said,
Can anyone explain this to me in mom terms?...

Why would MS do this?...
1) Google makes money by having you use their services, chiefly because of advertising. The more you use Microsoft services, a) that's an opportunity for them to advertise, & b) that's an opportunity to advertise that Google lost (if that seems mean spirited or unfair, Microsoft has traditionally gone to great lengths to prevent the competition from succeeding).

2) Microsoft is hoping to sell you & everyone else win8, but they'd also like to sell businesses their other, server based products. Taking advantage of the cloud through win8 would increase usage of *back end* MS products to make everything work.

What could Win8 embracing the cloud offer?...
1) An often hyped advantage is that you could set up Windows the way you want/need, then use it that way anywhere, not just at your desk.

2) If your hardware doesn't have to do as much or store as much, then maybe you can use cheaper, less powerful hardware. This is something some businesses have been after for decades -- in the past it just never worked out well enough to be all that popular.

3) Virtualization can sometimes save business headaches. If you have a bunch of employees using PCs, you also have a bunch of employees who can (& often will) screw up those PCs, not to mention hardware & software problems employees have nothing to do with. With virtualization, those PC hard drives with Windows & any apps installed are actually a single file off somewhere on a server -- rather than worrying about backups & restoring backups or fixing Windows, you just connect any PC to another copy of that same virtual hard drive & you're good to go. On the downside it's slower & less efficient when software can't access hardware more directly [that's why there's Direct X -- the better software talks to hardware the faster stuff works].

The cloud is a blend of virtualization & traditional hardware & software using a server/PC/laptop/netbook/tablet etc... It's good because you might save money on hardware & can use the very same tools anywhere. It's bad because you loose control, depend on someone else for security, & it's slower than the same tools installed on a fast PC.

Honestly, I just want the whole Windows code written from scratch... have all the bloat removed, have it updated to 2011's UEFI's technology standards, etc. I really want my OS on my Hardware and not in the cloud!

I am staying in a country where having a 4 Mbps connection is a big deal (I do) and I'm sure this will be an issue.

They should make more advanced Microsoft softwares for PDF, Video-Audio, Image editing, music, etc. (the basics and other necessary stuff) so that people don't need to have 3rd party applications.

I like it and I don't.
For the large enterprise, great, however, they should be allowed to host their own Cloud so that all virtualisation is pushed out internally. So at least if there is an issue with their Internet connection, or network hardware to allow a connection out, they don't lose all ability to function.
But at the same time, I think they'll push this in a big way to the home as well. This would be a serious push to stop piracy both from an application level and an OS level.

Nowadays, productivity is everything, so unless MS can convince me that I won't lose functionality and my productivity won't suffer I'm all for it. I think anyway.....

yeoo_andy_ni said,
I like it and I don't.
For the large enterprise, great, however, they should be allowed to host their own Cloud so that all virtualisation is pushed out internally. So at least if there is an issue with their Internet connection, or network hardware to allow a connection out, they don't lose all ability to function.
But at the same time, I think they'll push this in a big way to the home as well. This would be a serious push to stop piracy both from an application level and an OS level.

Nowadays, productivity is everything, so unless MS can convince me that I won't lose functionality and my productivity won't suffer I'm all for it. I think anyway.....

I'm hoping that's what they mean, that the "cloud" refers to the company network, not the Internet itself.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
I'm hoping that's what they mean, that the "cloud" refers to the company network, not the Internet itself.

Still no guarantee. Our mail server goes down several times a week, sometimes for several hours at a time. As they moved us all over to IP Phones a year ago, and that systems links in to the mail server, that means we ALSO lose our phones too.

Which is really good when we need to provide 24/7 support to our clients... Not.

All this cloud nonsense is just that. Nonsense. Everyone's jumping on the popular bandwagon with the mistaken impression that it's the way "forward", when in reality, it leads to a degradation in service.

Oh yes. Brilliant idea. Let's ALL have our desktop in the cloud. Then, when there's some glitch somewhere and your internet connection is down, you're SO gonna have fun not using your computer.

Apps in the cloud is dumb enough. OS in the cloud? Mind numbingly stupid.

Don't worry.. where there is will there is a way. When that bad time comes, there will be a way to still use it without paying a dime.

...So this means.. after 8 years of using Windows, I'll either have to pay for my first copy or use Linux... lame.

....sigh

VoX said,
...So this means.. after 8 years of using Windows, I'll either have to pay for my first copy or use Linux... lame.

....sigh

How would having to pay for your first copy be any different? You don't think it won't be preloaded?

Mr aldo said,
How would having to pay for your first copy be any different? You don't think it won't be preloaded?

He means he's a pirate

I dont really understand the concept, I understand VirtualMachine, but application virtualization? Is it like when I forward X through SSH from my box onto my Windows box and have Xming give me the render?

jasonon said,
lets get instant start up in there too please

Shouldn't be too far away with UEFI coming along soon I'd imagine.

For individual users, the idea of a desktop operating system that you install on your computer isn't going away any time soon. This technology is better targeted at the enterprise, where desktop virtualization actually makes sense for just about everybody. As for application virtualization: well, that's basically how things already work for any web app (Facebook, Gmail, etc). Try unplugging your ethernet cable and see if TwitterFace still works. "Cloud" is just a market rebranding for something that already exists.

The day that you require an internet connection in order to boot a centralized Windows desktop is the day that Linux sees it's consumer market share skyrocket. Microsoft isn't that stupid; if they were, they'd already be charging a subscription service for Windows.

boogerjones said,
Microsoft isn't that stupid; if they were, they'd already be charging a subscription service for Windows.

That's what they've been looking at with this. Aside from the technology "DaaS" would be just that I'd imagine in their eyes, which is stupid in general imo.

boogerjones said,
For individual users, the idea of a desktop operating system that you install on your computer isn't going away any time soon. This technology is better targeted at the enterprise, where desktop virtualization actually makes sense for just about everybody.

I work for a company that is not only an MS Gold partner, but also working very closely with Microsoft for bringing their Cloud and IP Phone services to other companies. Our own network is down more often than a whore's drawers and we SELL it to others! I absolutely shudder to think of the complete disaster waiting for the public as a whole with this.

For those who are thinking that Apple could be left behind if Microsoft goes in this direction with Windows 8 may need to take a step back. Because of Apple's secretive policies we cannot know what direction they are moving toward. But, just maybe Apple is looking in this direction for there next major jump to a new OS. . .may be Mac OS XI, who knows, however, do not assume that Apple is asleep at the wheel.

Exactly. I mean you only have to look at the leaps and bounds they made towards gaming and... oh wait, despite the fact DirectX was release over 15yrs ago Apple still hasn't done anything. And adding support for Windows through BootCamp does not count as gaming support.

Apple are too busy trying to monetise their platform with an app store.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Exactly. I mean you only have to look at the leaps and bounds they made towards gaming and... oh wait, despite the fact DirectX was release over 15yrs ago Apple still hasn't done anything. And adding support for Windows through BootCamp does not count as gaming support.

Apple are too busy trying to monetise their platform with an app store.

Indeed. They are willing to screw over their developer community in a heartbeat. That isn't so with Microsoft.

Sure, Microsoft does stupid stuff from time to time, but if it is one thing Microsoft has always cared for, always tried their best to keep are developers. They know and understand that without developers, Windows is not much. Usable without them? To an extent, but not as much as it could be.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Exactly. I mean you only have to look at the leaps and bounds they made towards gaming and... oh wait, despite the fact DirectX was release over 15yrs ago Apple still hasn't done anything. And adding support for Windows through BootCamp does not count as gaming support.

Apple are too busy trying to monetise their platform with an app store.


OS X doesn't use DirectX for its hardware acceleration. Steam has recently been launched for Mac.

theyarecomingforyou said,
oh wait, despite the fact DirectX was release over 15yrs ago Apple still hasn't done anything.

OpenGL for 3D rendering (assuming that's what you're referring to) works on OSX, and Linux, and Windows, and anything else it cares to be ported to. Why would they go and create ANOTHER proprietary 3D rendering API when a perfectly capable one already exists? The fact is that it isn't the lack of DirectX that's the problem with gaming on OSX, its the fact that everyone (until recently) used closed Microsoft APIs to create their games, effectively locking out the OSX crowd. Nothing to do with Apple, its perfectly capable as a gaming OS.

Am i the only one who doesn't like this? If i go to my fav sites, or the bank i don't to connect to the "Cloud" first. some times i don't use the internet for typing docs. Why should i have to now? Who sees what i do on the other side of the "Cloud"? The "Cloud" is connecting to some server with out my ability to pull the plug or ethernet cable if i want!

Ps. Tinfol Hat.

blade1269 said,
Am i the only one who doesn't like this? If i go to my fav sites, or the bank i don't to connect to the "Cloud" first. some times i don't use the internet for typing docs. Why should i have to now? Who sees what i do on the other side of the "Cloud"? The "Cloud" is connecting to some server with out my ability to pull the plug or ethernet cable if i want!

Ps. Tinfol Hat.

+100

blade1269 said,
Am i the only one who doesn't like this? If i go to my fav sites, or the bank i don't to connect to the "Cloud" first. some times i don't use the internet for typing docs. Why should i have to now? Who sees what i do on the other side of the "Cloud"? The "Cloud" is connecting to some server with out my ability to pull the plug or ethernet cable if i want!

Ps. Tinfol Hat.

I don't mind this idea in a corporate environment, assuming the "cloud" refers to server banks in the company itself. But as for home computing? Never. I don't even like using Google much for this reason. I want control of my own information.

Digitalx said,
why don't they virtualise the hardware too...

Also why are the slides from March and April that was some time ago ?

Either no one noticed this, or the slides were recently leaked. The dates on the slide are when they were made, not when they leaked

From the possibilities I am thinking with DaaS, if MS could achieve it Mac would go few decades behind.

Damn.... I just couldnt stop thinking of innovations with DaaS.

_DP said,
So what does this mean to the average user and why should I be excited?

Basically means bye bye large windows install you'll be seeing more of what Microsofts done with Office 2010 home and student with it being virtualised.

Why should you be excited ? well you shouldn't. cause unless you have fiber optic internet or at least upwards of 50Mbps it'll run like garbage just like office does where it'll lag and just randomly cease up all over the place while it loads. It maybe alright on a local network for big business but for home OS ... nah.

Digitalx said,

Basically means bye bye large windows install you'll be seeing more of what Microsofts done with Office 2010 home and student with it being virtualised.

Why should you be excited ? well you shouldn't. cause unless you have fiber optic internet or at least upwards of 50Mbps it'll run like garbage just like office does where it'll lag and just randomly cease up all over the place while it loads. It maybe alright on a local network for big business but for home OS ... nah.

That's not true... not exactly. Couldn't the applications still be stored on the hard drive itself? It wouldn't need to be in the "cloud."

Unless I don't fully understand it, what it means is bye bye legacy! To an extent. It will still be available to applications, but that will be virtualized with the application if it needs it, not something that will always be running especially if you don't need it.

Since the OS is virtualized, couldn't you then run Windows XP applications without much, if any trouble?

ЀVÌ£ Ïñ Ðì§gû燎 said,
exactly.. someone?

It could mean that a lower cost competitor could quite possibly enter the market and seize these vacated opportunities with an even more innovative operating system, which could be better suited to fit the needs
of the home user, who may not have cloud access but would very much still desire access to their applications which run privately, safely, securely...and without a second, or third pair of eyes. After recently learning about what had transpired within Google involving a middle aged male employee, whom was reading private emails of some teenage female account holders whom were friended on Facebook, I now personally feel very differently about even having email in the cloud. In the cloud who exactly is in charge of the home user's data, applications, settings and operating system?

Edited by onebadolepuddycat, Nov 17 2010, 12:00am :

It really depends on what direction they want to go with this, but certainly there would be local caching. At the very least you should be able to sign in on a new computer and have all your settings/favorites/other transfer over automatically. Perhaps you would have access to your documents/pictures/music, but they wouldn't actually be copied unless you specifically requested them (tried to open one). Perhaps a list of the applications you have would be visible. When you try to run one, it copies the necessary code + data to your local machine. And in the background it could be optimizing these tasks by learning which applications you run all the time so that they could be immediately available without waiting.

In this way, you could walk up to any machine in the world and be presented with your desktop.

onebadolepuddycat said,

. . .I now personally feel very differently about even having email in the cloud.

This is my concern.
My internet connection isn't the greatest and I can't afford a better speed, so I am happy having all my docs and stuff on my own PC. I currently don't use another PC that I want all my personal stuff on anyway.

_DP said,
So what does this mean to the average user and why should I be excited?

That depends on how they position it and whether the communications infrastructure has evolved sufficiently to allow low latency high speed access.

However in theory you should be able to remote access your "cloud desktop" from almost anywhere and it would have all your apps/settings preserved, also if done properly the performance should be pretty close to local performance which is why it would differ to current remote desktop based offerings.

Of course having ones desktop remotely accessible from anywhere does raise a few security concerns.

Meph said,
Now the only question is: can hardware be virtualised?

It can be other then screen keyboard and mouse for I/O unless you go full on touch interface but that would be near impossible with amount of lag on internet considering people already complain about 1ms delays on touch screens on phones.

Sounds great, just noticed this in the article by the way - I don't want to be picky but I just saw it - "with totally compatibility with hardware and applications."

Electric Jolt said,
Ah! A spelling mistake! I shall report it!

Seriously though, why can't Neowin staff proofread their damn articles...

cause its neowin, its not a professional site, relax grammar nazis

Electric Jolt said,
Ah! A spelling mistake! I shall report it!
Seriously though, why can't Neowin staff proofread their damn articles...
<title>Neowin.net - Where unprofessional journalism looks better</title>