Does it make sense to use a hosted Windows desktop for development?

Maybe this is a goofy idea, I am just thinking about it.

I do casual development on OSX and Windows. I probably do more on OSX but would like access to both environments.

So I’d like to have a windows desktop machine with a full windows dev environment, all kinds of dev tools installed, pointing to my source libraries and storage. And I want it available to me everywhere — at home, at work, on the road, wherever.

Today I have all this set up on my home office machine. But that limits me, I can’t do dev at work, or on the go.

I could carry a windows laptop but…I already carry a Mac laptop and don’t want to walk away from that. I could put a vm on my mac laptop i guess, but I don’t always have a laptop with me, sometimes like today I am tablet-only, but would still like to do some work.

So I am wondering if maybe I should pay for a hosted windows desktop somewhere. And then remote into it from whatever machine I am at right now. But I am seeing prices of $25-40 a month for a full hosted windows desktop and this seems expensive. I am not using this machine 24/7 so I want a price much more suited for casual use.

Of course I could remote into my home machine. But a) this requires me tearing thru firewalls and nat and I find this to be unreliable, and b) this requires me to open up the home machine to remote ops and that makes me a little nervous about security implications, and c) this requires me to really manage that home machine well, keep it backed up and updated and running perfectly, and I tend to want to tinker on that machine and not be held to this level of reliability.

Another alternative is to accept that the entire tool chain just lives on the one machine, and of course I’ll use github or the moral equivalent for source storage, and all I do on other machines is edit. That is not a terrible outcome but I’d like to do better.

What I’d really like is something like which would let me develop win phone apps, as well as a variety of other targets.

Advice welcome!