Microsoft’s Surface product range is currently a whole load of beautifully designed, powerful, but boring devices. Where is the exciting hardware Microsoft? The recently launched Windows Dev Kit 2023 (Volterra) barely qualifies, but the company’s aim to deliver low-cost Windows 11 PCs might.

According to fresh reports, Microsoft is working on a model that will allow it to build and sell a low-cost PC that customers pay for through ads and subscriptions. It seems this project is the real deal because Microsoft has a job listing that discusses it.

The position is for a Principal Software Engineering Manager that will help to build a Windows 11 PC that is affordable. It seems that the whole concept will be underpinned by Windows 365.

In July 2021, Microsoft introduced Windows 365 Cloud PC, a virtual version of the OS available in the cloud. It is a Cloud PC or PC-as-a-service platform where Microsoft does all the heavy lifting. Users are essentially using a virtual Windows desktop that works in the cloud. In other words, it does not take local storage or hardware to run the OS.

Affordable PC

Streaming and subscriptions are a fundamental part of Windows 365 because everything runs in the cloud. Microsoft has previously discussed how it sees the platform shaping the hybrid work environment. It also seems like the company views Windows 365 as a gateway to affordable PCs.

In the job listing, Microsoft makes direct reference to this new kind of Windows hardware. The company says it will build “low-cost PCs powered through advertising and subscriptions”.

“[The] team will partner with Product Management and Design to ideate and build new experiences aligned with the mission to drive cloud-first experiences into Windows, create prototypes to validate early thinking, and use on-going customer data and research to validate our ideas,” the job listing reads.

Tip of the day: Did you know that you can assign keyboard shortcuts for starting applications quickly in Windows 11 and Windows 10? This is a great way to have your most used programs always at your fingertips. In our tutorials we show you how to set those hotkeys for your favorite apps.