Windows is not only an operating system: now it is also an app. As part of its Ignite event, Microsoft has presented a new application for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Windows and web browsers that allows you to connect to its multiple services from practically any device.
The Windows app arrives to replace the Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop applications, explained those from Redmond. Likewise, it provides access to Remote Desktop Services and Microsoft Dev Box, and allows you to connect remotely to computers with Windows 10 or Windows 11.
“The Windows app is designed with a customizable home screen to meet your unique workflow needs. You can access Windows across multiple services and remote PCs in one place, and set favorites that you access most frequently. And if you use multiple accounts, you can easily switch between them with our simple account switching feature,” the company explains.
Basically, Microsoft intends for the Windows app to serve unify the different ways that exist today to access your operating system. Either remotely to physical computers with their software, or to cloud-based solutions through Azure. Although the choice of the name is still striking, since it lends itself to confusion.
What’s new in the Windows app
Beyond simplifying access to its services from multiple devices, the new Windows app brings other interesting new features. The most important is, without a doubt, support for multiple monitors. Additionally, it supports dynamic and custom screen resolutions.
Microsoft also mentions that the Windows app allows the device redirection. This means that it is possible to access storage media, printers, webcams or audio equipment connected to the computers being accessed remotely.
Of course, for now the application is available in preview. This means that not all of its functions are 100% operational. In fact, as we indicated at the beginning, the Windows app can be installed on Windows 10 or 11, iOS/iPadOS 16 or higher and macOS 12.0 or higher; However, it is not yet available on Android, nor has it been specified if it ever will be.
Those who choose to access the Windows app from a web browser will have to do so from the domain windows.cloud.microsoft. It is worth clarifying that this option will only be available on desktop, since it is not compatible with browsers for mobile devices.
In principle, the Windows application allows you to connect only using business accounts. However, there are signs that support for logging in with consumer credentials will be added soon.
A glimpse into the future of Microsoft?
The Windows app is taking its first steps, but it could offer a glimpse into Microsoft’s future. Those from Redmond are focusing much of their efforts on migrating their flagship operating system to the cloud. A task that has already been launched with Windows 365, the service that allows you to configure a virtual PC from the web and use it directly from the browser.
The strategy could even be deepened with Windows 12. There are rumors that the company could launch its next OS under subscription, although they are somewhat contradictory. What would be a fact is that Microsoft would be working on a new variant of its software to compete directly with ChromeOS.
It will be interesting to see if the new Windows app is useful for build a bridge between local software and the future fully focused on the cloud. The push for a multi-device control center presents itself as an interesting approach, at least on paper.