Microsoft developing a Second Edition of Windows 11: CloudEditionL or ‘SE’ version could drive the Cloud PC ecosystem

Windows 11 Second Edition
Windows 11 SE for the Cloud PC platform? Pic credit: Navarr Barnier/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Microsoft Windows 11 might multiple iterations under development. The Windows 11 SE, codenamed CloudEditionL is for “specialized use cases”.

Windows 11 is nearly confirmed through leaked screenshots and a fully working ISO build. However, Microsoft is reportedly developing a second iteration of Windows 11.

Windows CloudEditionL appears in leaked Windows 11 build:

Way back when personal computers were just getting popular and Windows 95 was replaced with Windows 98, people heard the term “Second Edition” for an OS. The Windows 98 SE was a slightly tweaked edition of the OS which contained a few new features and functions.

From Windows XP, Microsoft adopted the term Service Pack or SP. Both Windows XP and Windows 7 had Service Packs. In other words, Microsoft seemed to have stopped using the term SE to denote an update.

However, with Windows 11, Microsoft seems to have salvaged the ‘SE’ moniker. The Windows 11 SE could be a slightly different version of the upcoming successor to Windows 10.

Microsoft reportedly refers to Windows 11 SE as the “Cloud” SKU. There are a few references to this mystery edition of Windows 11 in the leaked build.

The names ‘CloudEditionL’, CloudEditionN’, and ‘CloudEditionLN’ appear in the recently leaked development build of Windows 11.

What is Windows 11 SE?

The key ranges for the CloudEditionL and its “N” derivative appear inside the product key configuration data of Windows 11. It is interesting to note that these iterations do not feature Windows Media Player and related technologies. Hence, Windows 11 SE could be a locked-down edition that Microsoft could reserve for specialized use cases

Another interesting aspect is that these builds also mention Windows 10. The CloudEditionN sits alongside Win 10 RTM CloudEditionN Volume: GVLK. The CloudEditionL sits alongside Win 10 CloudEditionL Retail, and finally, the CloudEditionLN sits alongside Win 10 CloudEditionLN Retail.

Windows 11 CloudEditionL
Pic credit: XDA

Unlike Windows 11 SE, there is no product policy or upgrade path that Microsoft has defined for these mystery editions. This merely means there’s no clear consumer-facing strategy yet, for the Windows CloudEditionL SKU.

According to the pkeyconfig certificate, Microsoft could sell the “L” variant of the Cloud edition primarily through the retail channel. Meanwhile, the regular Windows 11 SE could sell through OEM and Volume Licensing deals.

It appears that Microsoft may be actively pursuing its aim of offering an entire OS through the cloud. The Windows Cloud PC initiative has leaked previously.

Moreover, Microsoft has officially put Windows 10X on the back burner. But the company might not let the development work on the OS go to waste.

Since these are mere references, they could turn out to be nothing more than internal codenames instead of full-fledged OS iterations. More information may surface as and when Windows 11 hits mainstream distribution, quite possibly, through free upgrades.

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