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Close to the Metal Ep. 29: Windows puts its head in the cloud

Microsoft’s Windows 10 is our favorite desktop operating system, but it has more competition today than it has in a long time.  That’s not because of Apple’s MacOS, which has run into trouble as of late, but instead due to Google’s Chrome OS. The cloud-based operating system is still niche, but definitely has its converts among those looking for a bargain PC.

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It appears that Redmond’s bigwigs know that, and are attempting to counter with their own low-cost OS, which rumors and leaks suggest will be called Windows 10 Cloud.

We still don’t know much about the new version of Windows, because Microsoft hasn’t officially revealed it. However, a leaked version of the OS hit the web last week, and we gave it a try. Our time with the OS indicates that Microsoft isn’t changing as much as you might think for this upcoming release. In fact, Windows 10 Cloud is almost exactly like “standard” Windows 10.

More: Our first impressions of Windows 10 Cloud

There’s one big caveat to that — applications. It appears that Windows 10 Cloud will either be locked to the Windows 10 Store or, more likely, be locked to it by default, with an option to load other apps if desired. Rumors say that this new version of the operating system would be only available to system builders and, if not free, it’d be very low-cost.

Does this add up to a threat to Chrome OS? Or is Google’s desktop operating system — which is now gaining access to Android apps — the more sensible choice for budget buyers? We’ll discuss on this week’s Close to the Metal.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Tuesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.