Windows 10 Cloud’s UWP Walled Garden Crumbles, Allowing Win32 Apps To Run Unopposed
Microsoft hasn’t even officially announced Windows 10 Cloud, but the new operating system has already been “hacked” to add functionality that isn’t officially sanctioned. For those that need a refresher, Windows 10 Cloud is a new variant of Microsoft’s current consumer operating system that will only allow you to install Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps from the Windows Store.
According to Microsoft’s own description of Windows 10 Cloud, “This version of Windows was made to help protect you and your device by exclusively running Windows Store apps.”
This walled garden approach, however, has just been bypassed to allow Win32 apps to be installed and executed. After all, Windows 10 Cloud is still derived froth same codebase as other Windows 10 variants, so it was probably relatively trivial for Twitter user @never_released to find the secret to unlocking the functionality.
Here is Chrome, and the Desktop App Converter(a Centennial app) running on Windows Cloud. pic.twitter.com/NPWkNVTeXo— Longhorn (@never_released) February 8, 2017
@never_released is not revealing his method for bypassing Windows 10 Cloud’s defenses just yet, but he’s probably trying to not show his hand this early in the game. If he were to reveal the exploit, it’s likely that Microsoft would have it patched up before the operating system is officially released.
However, once Microsoft does officially launch Windows 10 Cloud, all bets are off. With that being said, it's unlikely that the primary demographic that would be purchasing devices with Windows 10 Cloud installed — namely a similar user base to those who might purchase Google Chromebooks — would be all that interested in mucking around with the inner workings of the operating system to unlock functionality. Power users looking for a cheap way in, on the other hand, may have something to gain. However, most enthusiasts either have already moved over to Windows 10 or wouldn’t be interested in a neutered version of Windows in the first place. Of course, it's an interesting development regardless.