Microsoft is building a cloud restore feature for Windows 10
As noted by The Verge, a reference to a “Cloud download” feature in the latest Windows 10 test build release notes suggests that Microsoft is now building out a cloud-based recovery function for the operating system.
The educated guess is that this function will work like macOS Recovery, which lets you reinstall the OS (even on an empty drive) by downloading the installer from the cloud. In fact, Macs have been capable of reinstalling their OS over the internet since 2011.
Currently, when you do a system recovery on a Windows 10 desktop or laptop made by a PC OEM, the process typically involves some third-party restore tools and a copy of the OS on the hidden recovery partition. When the new cloud-based tool is ready, it should be easier to do a PC reset or refresh. And who knows, maybe there’s no need for a full Windows image on a USB stick for clean installations, too.
While internet recovery is already possible with the Surface lineup, it doesn’t take a genius to know that it’s way more difficult to implement the same method for OEM devices that come with all sorts of different hardware and thus require different drivers. Also, considering that Microsoft has yet to let Windows Insiders have a go at it, don’t expect this function to be ready anytime soon.
Source: The Verge.