Microsoft this week offered corporate customers a new set of configuration settings that it said  would create easier-to-manage PCs suitable for wide swaths of users, ranging from remote workers to students who needed little more than a browser and a handful of productivity applications.

Variously dubbed “in cloud” and “cloud config,” the collection of settings was pitched as a way to deploy standardized PCs equipped for the most basic tasks: browsing the web, using Office and running a limited number of business line apps.

“Microsoft sees an opportunity to empower organizations by providing a recommended configuration of Windows 10 for users with focused workflow needs,” Ravi Ashok and Stan White, senior program manager and principal software engineer, respectively, wrote in a setup guide. “Windows 10 in cloud configuration helps IT standardize and simplify management for these users.”

Microsoft’s goals were then two-fold. First, provide IT administrators with ready-made and Microsoft-recommended settings that can be applied to new or existing-but-waiting-to-be-reimaged PCs so that the machines will be useful for lower-rung information workers, front-line workers and students. Second, create a standardized cadre of PCs so they can be managed by admins with the tools they already have, or more properly, have if their employers license specific Microsoft 365 plans. Prime among those tools: Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

The in cloud/cloud config set is reminiscent of other ready-to-deploy configuration settings that Microsoft offers customers, notably its various security baselines for Windows, Edge and other products. Like those baselines, in cloud is free, although it cannot be used by all.

Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education PCs can apply in cloud, but the user must be covered by licenses for several Microsoft products, including:

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