They know what they are doing. Azure is to the desktop what Netflix is to DVD's. The desktop OS is no more significant than the firmware in a smart tv. I understand that is not entirely self evident, yet.
I had come to that conclusion a while back. Especially since Microsoft seem to be more magnanimous towards Linux in recent months. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have a choice of good broadband providers and access to modern hardware, then cloud-based solutions is the way we are heading unfortunately, albeit with the additional concerns regarding security.
But for others in countries less fortunate who neither have the means or the technology to use cloud-based systems and just have basic Internet access, Linux may be the solution and this would seem to present opportunities for Linux distros to gain more downloads or provide installation media for PC desktops or laptops in those countries.
I wonder if Red Hat/IBM or Ubuntu/Canonical will step up their cloud-based applications to compete with Microsoft.
No matter what, we seem to be herded into 'moving with the times', whether we like it or not, with the big global tech companies having even more control of what we do online.