Microsoft’s introduction of the Windows App for various operating systems and web browsers marks a major shift in remote PC access. It serves as a central hub for streaming Windows from a remote PC, Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Dev Box, and more, essentially replacing the previous Windows 365 app.
The Windows App supports multiple monitors, custom display resolutions, scaling, and device redirection for peripherals like webcams, storage devices, and printers. Notably, the preview version is currently unavailable for Android.
The Windows App is currently limited to Microsoft’s business accounts, but there are indications that it will be made available to consumers in the future. It’s worth noting that the sign-in prompt for the Windows App implies access using a personal Microsoft Account, despite this function not being operational at the moment.
Microsoft has a long-standing history of remote PC access apps, notably with its Remote Desktop Connection app. The introduction of the “Windows App” branding suggests a shift towards broader cloud-based Windows services.
Following the departure of former Surface and Windows chief Panos Panay in September, Microsoft established a new “Windows and Web Experiences” team focused on AI-powered web services for Windows. This move signals Microsoft’s commitment to cloud-based Windows services.
During the FTC v. Microsoft hearing, it was revealed that Microsoft aims to transition Windows to the cloud for consumers, a move that has already been implemented for businesses with Windows 365. The Windows App paves the way for consumers to access cloud PCs and Windows apps on non-Microsoft devices.