Windows 10 Cloud already hacked to run Win32 programs

Microsoft is reportedly developing a new iteration of Windows 10 called Windows 10 Cloud, which is a simplified version of Windows 10 that will be able to run only Unified Windows Platform (UWP) apps installed from the Windows Store. In other words, Windows 10 Cloud is designed to only run Windows Store apps on desktop and mobile devices and traditional (Win32) desktop programs, reveals a recent leak.

Any attempt to run standard desktop programs on Windows Cloud results in the warning message.

The app you’re trying to install isn’t designed for Windows Cloud. Windows Cloud helps protect your PC by running on Windows Store apps.

Still want to install the app? See How.”

The users see the last sentence of the notification when they try to run programs that are not whitelisted provides them with an option to upgrade the operating system to Windows 10 Pro.

While we are confused if Windows 10 Cloud is capable of running Win32 apps, someone has already managed to run Google Chrome on Windows 10 Cloud.

A Twitter user Longhorn claims to have actually got the Google Chrome work on Windows 10 Cloud, by turning it into a Store app via the Desktop App Converter. Longhorn explains how Win32 apps are blocked and described how he hacked it on his blog.

According to him, Windows 10 Cloud uses a “strongly enforced UMCI to make unsigned applications not work.” Centennial apps do not run in an AppContainer, so they are subjected to the UMCI signature checks.”

Basically, he found that while main features like Command Prompt, Powershell and Regedit hat give users control over the operating system were locked, Linux Bash apparently was not. He was able to use this to test signing of programs, and run a handful of other commands to get the legacy Win32 programs to run on Windows 10 Cloud.

To sum up his findings, Longhorn says:

At the end, Windows Cloud is nothing more or less than a Professional variant with UMCI enforced.

As such, its compatibility with existing Windows software is only and solely prevented by having UMCI enabled and active.

Rumors of Win32’s death are exaggerated to say the least, Windows itself relies on it.

He has also released a short video of Windows 10 Cloud.

Microsoft is yet to make any official announcement about Windows 10 Cloud.


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