Microsoft tends to be one step behind and then attempt to catch up. Not long ago Microsoft ran advertisements that rubbished the idea of Chromebooks. Microsoft’s response to Chromebooks may be seen in, for example, the HP Stream range i.e. to offer Windows 10 on low end hardware. However, while these laptops are functional, with some frustration with the low RAM and storage, the streamlined Chrome OS remains better suited to low-end PC hardware. I previously posted on the need, in this PC connect age, to differentiate operating systems to meet different use-case scenarios. Google understood this early on when they released their first Chromebooks in 2011, despite being ridiculed by some, at the time, for releasing a ‘glorified web browser’.
Microsoft, finally, appear to catch-on with the release of a cloud OS version of Windows. From the information provided this is a version of Windows made specifically for low-end laptops and will come with Office applications, the Microsoft Store and One Drive support built-in. The difference between Windows Mobile and this cloud version of Windows is that it will come with desktop-lite versions of these applications. I think this new operating version of Windows will be an in-between operating system comparable to Chrome OS. However, Chromebooks have developed since their first release, with access to the Google Play now being gradually rolled out. Again, Microsoft will have to catch-up – not only will they need to beef-up the Edge browser to measure-up against the Chrome Store but will also have to increase the catalogue of applications available through the Microsoft Store to at least compare, in some way, with Google Play. At the moment, many of the popular applications are absent from the Microsoft Store.