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The patent itself is as follows: "Various aspects of the subject matter described herein are directed towards a technology by which a virtual storage device for a physical or virtual computing machine is maintained as a chain of data structures (e.g., files) including far data maintained at a far (e.g., remote) backing store and near data maintained at a near (e.g., local) backing store (which initially may be empty)."
Back in February 2010, Microsoft filed a patent for "streaming storage", a concept that describes an operating system which boots up using cloud storage. The streaming storage patent provides a glimpse of what the future of Microsoft operating systems may hold.