the future of Windows revealed by a confidential document

A document from the trial between Microsoft and the FTC reveals part of the strategy of the American giant, in particular concerning Windows. The firm seems frustrated by Apple’s success with its Mac M1/M2.

We know more about Microsoft’s strategy with Windows thanks to a confidential document than CssTricks was able to consult in the context of the lawsuit between Microsoft and the FTC. This is a report on the strategy of the whole group shared on June 9, 2022 between Phil Spencer and Bonita Armstrong, respectively in charge of Microsoft Gaming and director of finance and administration.

In this document, for each of its activities, Microsoft provides an update on the situation, on its strategy for the fiscal year and especially on its plans for the future. It is this last part that caught our attention in the case of Windows.

Move Windows 11 to the cloud

For its fiscal year, Microsoft wants above all to promote the growth of Windows 11 and its subscriptions around the system such as the PC Game Pass or Microsoft 365 Personal. Beyond that, Microsoft says it wants to “ move Windows 11 more and more to the Cloud “.

Microsoft wants to “move Windows 11 to the cloud” to arrive at a version of Windows that can be “streamed to any device”.
She also wants to invest in custom chips (ARM? AMD?) for her Surface

— Cassim Ketfi (@NotCassim) June 26, 2023

It would be about building a version of Windows that you can stream to any device and that uses the power of the cloud to ” enable AI-powered services “. It is true that generative artificial intelligence currently requires large resources for certain models such as OpenAI’s GPT.

Obviously, it is hard to imagine Microsoft abandoning the local version of its operating system. But the firm seems very serious about improving its cloud offering, which will particularly concern Chromebook and Mac users.

In the same document, Microsoft makes a comparison of its results with the competition. The firm notes there a strong pressure on the PC market at more than 800 dollars on the part of Apple which “ continues to invest in its Apple M chips and on Google’s entry-level Chromebooks.

Specifically regarding Apple, Microsoft has dedicated another slide to its lifelong competitor to praise the Apple brand’s investment in its own chips. We can read there that Apple presented its mixed reality headset to its board of directors. The very one that will become the Apple Vision Pro a year later.

Microsoft also wants to offer its own chips

It is therefore no surprise that we can read that Microsoft also wants to invest in the development of its own chips. Of ” custom silicon would allow the Windows ecosystem and Surface products to become more competitive.

To achieve its goals, Microsoft wants to continue to innovate with our Surface products and underlying silicon to improve Windows performance “. The firm notes more clearly “ we will move to ARM-based technology to ensure Windows remains a top-tier system “.

The firm would like to integrate its future ARM solution with Windows with an optimization equal to what Apple does with its Macs. It describes a “SoC + OS” strategy that would allow Windows to gain in performance and reduce its consumption, a competitive advantage enabled by ARM. Microsoft seems particularly frustrated with x86: Almost all Windows devices are x86 today. We need to guide the ecosystem to ARM to optimize price and functionality “. Not sure that AMD and Intel appreciate these revelations.

Microsoft has been timidly stepping into the ARM pool for several years, but Apple has managed to outpace the Redmond firm by making mobile chips its only future. It would seem that for the future of Windows, Microsoft is more motivated than ever to embrace this new ecosystem.

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