Microsoft has struggled to keep tablet and budget-minded notebook buyers within its "walled garden" of software and services. Apple's iPad was a serious competitor at one point yet as of late, it is Google's Chrome OS and resulting Chromebooks that have been chomping away at market share traditionally owned by Microsoft.

That's not to say Microsoft hasn't given this segment of the market attention. Indeed, Windows RT and Windows 8.1 with Bing were both lower-cost operating systems designed for entry-level use but neither gained traction for a variety of reasons.

Evidence has recently cropped up that suggests Microsoft will soon try once again to win over the market with a low-cost version of its current operating system called Windows 10 Cloud.

As ZDNet's well-connected Mary Jo Foley points out, sleuths have discovered mentions of the mysterious version of Windows inside newer versions of Windows Insider test builds. Sources tell Foley that Windows 10 Cloud will be unique in that it'll be able to run only Unified Windows Platform (UWP) apps from the Windows Store.

Despite its name, Windows 10 Cloud won't really have anything to do with the cloud in the traditional sense.

When probed on the matter, a Microsoft rep told Foley they had nothing to share.

Foley's guess is that Microsoft will unveil Windows 10 Cloud on or around April 2017 which, according to her sources, is when the company will start rolling out Windows 10 Creators Update to mainstream users.

Lead image courtesy Elaine Thompson, AP