Cloudy Windows, you say? Well, after a cloud-powered version of its Office productivity suite, there was a strong possibility that Microsoft would also offer a subscription-based variant of the Windows operating system.

Now it appears that something along these lines is cooking at Redmond, and you will soon be able to use your shiny new Start Screen via the Internet.

Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet has all the details, and claims Microsoft is reportedly working on a new project known as Mohoro — basically a desktop virtualization service based on Windows Azure.

It is said to give users access to a Windows installation over the Internet, without the need of deploying the OS on a local computer. If true, this would, essentially, be Microsoft’s first major foray towards a subscription service for its Windows operating system.

The software titan is developing this as a pay-per-use system specifically aimed at enterprises and businesses that want to access their own applications stored in the cloud. Options for setting up restrictions and limitations for the employees are also said to be in development.

As for the release date, 2014 is being thrown around as a likely candidate.

Nothing official from Microsoft on this (as you may have guessed) but the software titan has actually purchased the Mohoro.com and Mohoro.net domain names recently. Meaning there is a fair chance that Redmond is working along these lines.

Windows Azure as a cloud platform (just like Skype as a communication one) is gradually taking center stage in Microsoft’s long-term strategy. Considering just how much work Microsoft has put in to develop and enhance Windows Azure, a cloud-powered Windows was only a matter of time.

Expect more on this interesting new development in the months to come.

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