Microsoft could launch a new Azure-powered virtualisation service called Cloud PC in 2021, according to a report from ZDNet.
The publication discovered a job posting on the company’s website for a Program Manager for Microsoft’s Cloud PC team.
According to the description of the position, Cloud PC will be a new offering built on top of Windows Virtual Desktop for delivering desktop-as-a-service.
It further states that Cloud PC will be a Microsoft 365-powered user compute experience delivered from Azure and managed by Microsoft.
This means that the service could remotely deliver Microsoft’s 365 productivity programs – including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook – running on Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure.
A user will therefore not need to install the programs beforehand, which eliminates the need for storage space and should make it possible to access the programs across multiple Windows devices.
Microsoft added that the service will be charged at a “flat per-user price,” which indicates that it may be available for a set subscription fee.
This will be a divergence from Windows Virtual Desktop, which is priced based on the Azure resources that are consumed.
ZDNet reported that Cloud PC could be launched as early as the 2021 US spring season, which runs from June to September.
Lockdowns drive massive Microsoft growth
Microsoft’s cloud services have spurred the company to immense growth over the course of global COVID-19 lockdowns and a subsequent increase in remote working.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Microsoft analysts have been growing more optimistic about the company ahead of the release of its Q4 results later this week.
The company has been riding a wave of growing adoption of its Teams productivity suite, which runs on Azure, as well as increased usage of its online gaming service Xbox Live.
During his keynote address at the Microsoft Build 2020 developers’ conference, company CEO Satya Nadella said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in two years worth of digital transformation happening in just two months.