It’s boring if everything goes in the cloud. I wonder if everything is on edge. This is why hybrids are needed and we are running after them. It’s the good Shioume, sloppy computing that will come in the future.
No border between PC and cloud
Microsoft held an event called Windows Powers the Future of Hybrid Work. It introduced a number of new features for Windows 11 which will be available in the future.
The focus was on trying to break down the boundary between PC and cloud by improving Windows 365. The Japanese version of the press release introduces this issue as follows.
Soon we will be offering new integrations that combine the power of Windows 11 and Windows 365. This integration includes Windows 365 Switch, which lets you move seamlessly between your cloud and local PCs with just one click, Windows 365 Boot, which allows you to start your Windows 365 Cloud PC in one step, and automatically without losing data when working offline. Includes Windows 365 offline and more that can be resynced. Although these scenarios are extremely powerful for businesses, they are only the beginning of the integration of Windows and the Microsoft cloud.
Windows 365 is a cloud PC service that Micorosft launched in 2021 last year. I wrote the outline and the disappointing points in the following article at that time.
With a PC in the cloud, there are far fewer factors that depend on the device accessing it. It seems secure and easy to manage. However, high performance but high priced PCs will not sell. Indeed, any high-performance PC depends solely on the performance of the cloud PC.
It’s bad for Microsoft, where partner business matters. It also leads to life or death problems for PC vendors.
Edge computing using a local PC that’s not cloud-based and has all the resources and data at your fingertips is different from the cloud PC which is a story of cloud grabbing, and there’s a real real PC in front of you. High performance PCs are expensive and low performance PCs are cheap. Except in special circumstances, price, performance, added value, etc. are almost proportional to each other.
And, if you only pay for it, you can get high performance, and many users want that. However, this “so many PCs” would be a big deal if it disappeared for some reason. There are many instances where the one and only PC suddenly disappears in front of you, such as natural disasters, man-made disasters, accidents, thefts, and breakdowns.
Use a cached PC that works offline online
I think there are different ways to make Windows 365 services compatible with local PCs, but this time Microsoft is
- Windows 365 switch
- Starting Windows 365
- windows 365 offline
We offer three functions. I don’t think 1 and 2 are that appealing. Both depend on the processing performance of the cloud PC. Since the target of the operation is always a cloud PC, performance depends on the cost paid for cloud services.
But 3 is different. At this point, Microsoft describes the service as “automatically resyncing without losing data when working offline,” but it will be refined as a service that allows seamless traffic between the cloud and local PCs. Then I felt that I could expect a lot.
Part of the environment as a PC depends on the local hardware. Screen size, keyboard, touch operation support, CPU and GPU performance, memory capacity, storage speed, etc.
What if all of these elements were synchronized with the PC cloud, except those that absolutely depended on the real hardware? If you want to do something stingy like “resync without losing data”, you can do it today with your own ingenuity.
Instead, the local PC syncs the environment as a mirror or clone of the cloud PC when online, allowing end users to fully utilize the hardware capabilities of the PC in front of them.
For example, if there is an end user who uses three PCs, “pin”, “bamboo” and “ume” properly, and each PC synchronizes the cloud PC and the operating system environment, the work with a high processing load is high. Even if you work with high performance pine PC, take out bamboo PC when you are on business trip and use plum PC when you are at home, the only difference is the hardware dependent part, at all anytime, anywhere, any device. The same environment unfolds before you.
If so, PC vendors won’t be in trouble. The number of users wanting multiple PCs is likely to increase.
The price of a cloud PC is determined by the amount of memory and the number of processors, but if you only think of synchronization, memory and processing performance are not so necessary, it seems that it will work well even with a minimum contract, and the payment amount will be removed, which seems to contribute to this.
Of course, users who choose to operate with a single cloud PC can invest in a cloud PC to secure rich equipment.
The photo at the beginning shows the FCCL (Fujitsu Client Computing) LOOX presentation which weighed less than 600g, which was announced the other day, but if these services can be used with these products, it is likely to become even more useful.
Unknowingly going back and forth between the cloud and the local
It’s an implementation that seems to be ready for service, but there are a lot of things that need to be resolved, such as licensing issues.
For example, for the operating system and applications installed on a cloud PC, do you think that the edge computer that is the mirror destination of each license is another computer or the same? It seems we need to change the way we think about licensing.
Moreover, with such services, business managers and others only need to maintain easy-to-manage cloud PCs. The edge PC used by the end user will automatically be controlled in sync with it.
In this sense, it seems that the local PC should not work as a standalone Windows PC. Even though it looks like it works like a PC, it’s better to be a clone of a cloud PC and just a cache.
It is only a short period of the day, for example when your local PC goes offline. It’s a time when even on a plane, it’s connected. Unless you’re consciously logging out, it’s becoming commonplace to make sure you’re online when you open your PC.
The fact is that the usability in the online state is not driven by the performance of the cloud PC, but rather by the direction of use of the performance of the local PC.
Based on cloud PC, if the performance is higher than that, use the local PC, and if the performance is lower, use the cloud PC. The user does not need to be aware of the switch. Is it a hybrid image of smart and barrage? I want Windows 365 to become such a service. I hope it’s not an illusion…