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Microsoft Expected to Release Cloud PC Service This Year

Chris Rausch

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Do you find yourself looking for more performance from your desktop or laptop, or just want to keep all your files, programs, and data in a single desktop no matter where you go? Cloud computing may be for you.

While software clients accessing hardware is nothing new (web hosting and virtual machines are a few existing examples), Microsoft’s suspected Cloud PC service is looking to make it mainstream and more accessible to everyday consumers.


Previously referred to as “Project Deschutes”, Microsoft’s new subscription service that is expected to drop this summer will allow users to access a Windows 10 PC over the cloud using Azure. With a single login, users will be able to access their cloud desktop from any computer, tablet, or mobile phone through an app or web client. 

Similar to Xbox’s “Cloud Gaming” program, one of the main purposes of this program is to offer improved hardware performance to those who need it without the need to buy new hardware. However, it can also help employees working from home to keep everything in one place even when not in the office and allow work networks to be managed online instead of locally. 

Other benefits of the Cloud PC service include regular updates and compatibility to keep the desktops secure as well as allowing users of other operating systems access to Windows-specific programs or run 32-bit apps on Windows 10X devices.

The subscription is expected to vary in price depending on the resources required, but would be on a per-user basis. More details are expected during Microsoft Build 2021 from May 25th to May 27th.

In my 4+ years as a professional tech copywriter, I've written about everything from laptops & routers to the software that facilitates billions in online sales each day. If it relates to, connects to, or belongs on the Internet, I'm in. Equipped with my Associate's in Computer Science and a computer I assembled myself (no big deal), I write about all things hardware, software, gaming, and digital tech to keep you up-to-date on important news, releases, and tips & tricks.

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Business

Microsoft is (Mostly) Ending Internet Explorer Support Next June

Chris Rausch

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Just a few months after saying goodbye to Adobe Flash, Internet users will lose another legend to retirement – Internet Explorer.

The web browser that so many modern computer users started with back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s is scheduled to be phased out of Microsoft Windows support over the next year. Internet Explorer, the flagship browser by Microsoft, was released in 1995 and became the major browser for more than a decade. However, as new browsers have been developed and the needs of internet users have evolved, Microsoft decided to instead focus on a newer browser – Microsoft Edge – that provides a better user experience to compete with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.


According to a post on the Windows blog, this will begin with ending support of the browser for Microsoft core services like Microsoft 365 later this year before the entire application is to be retired (aka no longer supported officially) in June of 2022. Certain enterprise applications will be supported through 2029 to help with the Edge transition and pre-Windows 10 operating systems won’t be affected. But for most users, Internet Explorer will no longer be an option (not that many considered it an option anyway).

Fortunately, Microsoft Edge already includes legacy support for Internet Explorer websites and apps through “Internet Explorer” or “IE” mode, so most Microsoft-browser users won’t notice this change. Plus, using Edge provides greater security, compatibility, and performance, so Internet Explorer users can only benefit from the transition to the future of Microsoft browsers. However, it does mark the end of another nostalgic piece of the internet for millennials to mourn.

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Apple

Bloomberg Says Apple and Microsoft Are Beefing Again

Colin Edge

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In recent years, we had reason to believe Apple and Microsoft were mending fences. But according to new analysis from Bloomberg, the tech giants may be back at it like Godzilla vs. Kong.

Claims of an improved relationship between the two companies were not unfounded: The Microsoft Office app became available on iPhones/iPads; Apple invited a Microsoft exec to a product launch; and Apple’s TV app showed up on the Xbox. 


So where did things go south?

Bloomberg points to Apple’s Mac revamp announcement back in November, which featured “PC guy” John Hodgman. When Apple revived Hodgman’s character for a bit of fun, the Apple/Microsoft beef was arguably reignited. Intel followed suit, flipping Justin Long’s loyalty in their recent ad campaign. 

These subtle digs occur within the wider landscape of disagreement with Apple concerning their app store. Microsoft is one of many voices in tech that’s frustrated with the Cupertino company’s allegedly anticompetitive ecommerce practices.

Microsoft specifically clashed with Apple about a year ago when the companies couldn’t agree on how to host Microsoft’s all-in-one gaming platform, called xCloud. Microsoft wanted xCloud to give subscribers a plethora of games through a single app subscription, while Apple will only allow individually separate game downloads.

The ongoing Apple vs. Epic Games trial seems to have exacerbated the app store debacle. Microsoft has thrown support behind Epic, as a Redmond executive has already testified against Apple for thwarting Microsoft’s own gaming efforts with its app store policies.


The companies will also be competing in many of the same markets in the future. Apple has doubled down on AR, with a headset rumored to be arriving next year. As Microsoft’s Hololens has served as somewhat of a pioneer in AR headsets, a new piece of dedicated AR hardware from Apple could add insult to injury.

Both Apple and Microsoft will also have hats in the ring in cloud computing and AI – hot markets in the future of tech.

While surface tensions between corporations tend to be mostly tokenary, strife between these companies runs deep, with a history. Keep an eye out for a media fireworks show here and there.

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Microsoft

Why There May Not Be Another Next Gen Xbox

Chris Rausch

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The latest generation of Xboxes were highly anticipated after 8+ years since their predecessor’s launch. In this time, hardware advanced exceptionally and improvements in processor power, storage, and video resolution capability made the Xbox Series X|S formidable machines. But, they may be the last in their line.

Why A New Console Doesn’t Make Sense

The criticism of PC gaming is often how quickly parts become inferior, making it expensive to maintain a high-end PC. Consoles don’t share this depreciation within their own console gaming industry, but they do in the gaming industry overall. As more games are tailored to PC gamers and developers work to ensure compliance with all the innovations in the market, it doesn’t take long for consoles to be underpowered for delivering the ideal gaming experience.


However, with the introduction of Xbox Cloud Gaming – a service that streams games to a browser or app that requires far fewer resources to run – the need for incremental upgrades for both PCs and consoles may diminish. With cloud gaming, older Xbox consoles would be able to “run” games at optimal performance by streaming them to the console. This would then only require the console to handle the display and user input which is far less resource intensive.

Plus, a company like Xbox can’t be too excited to create a whole new console once a decade at a loss. A recent report from the shows that Microsoft has never profited off of a console itself – most income comes from subscriptions and games. Both of these income sources remain even without the addition of a new console, giving even more reason to stay on current gen.

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