Microsoft is allegedly experimenting with streaming apps and games to Windows machines. An internal team is said to be working on "Arcadia," a codenamed project which would let software to run from Microsoft's Azure cloud services rather than on a local machine, streaming the app or game to PC users with lower-than-average specifications.
Sources of ZDNet claim the service is being built by a streaming team within the Operating Systems Group, and effectively replaces a game-streaming technology called "Rio" the company demonstrated in September last year. Microsoft apparently considered the possibility of streaming Android apps and games from their cloud servers to Windows devices through the system, though this is said to have been put on the back burner for the moment.
The idea of streaming games from high-powered servers over the Internet has been done a few times before, to varying levels of success. OnLive was one of the first major attempts at the concept, and despite having financial issues, it is still in operation. Sony purchased the Gaikai platform, reworking it into the game streaming rental service PlayStation Now for the PlayStation 4. Though the rumor does point to it being primarily for Windows systems, it is possible for Microsoft to extend its functionality to its own game console, providing Xbox One users streaming gameplay or even allowing PC users to play their Xbox One games on the desktop.