Microsoft is working on a new OS that may not be called Windows

A lighter version of Windows 10 has been on the cards for a while. Microsoft attempted as much with Windows RT and Windows 10 S, both of which met with ill a rather frosty reception by consumers upon release.

That doesn’t seem to have deterred Microsoft though, as reports are circulating that the Washington-based company is working away on another operating system. However, this time it may not be called Windows.

A mention of a “Lite” version of Windows was first spotted in the code for Windows 10 build 18282 but a new report from Brad Sams of Petri has shone more light onto the topic. The report suggests the new Microsoft OS will run on Windows Core OS and is aimed at taking on Google Chrome OS at its own game. This software is different from Windows 10 S, which attempted to do the same thing, as it will run as a standalone OS. Windows 10 S is now being switched to Windows 10 in S Mode to help differentiate between the performance and security boosts of Windows 10 S and the full-fat nature of Windows 10.

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It’s believed the change to Windows 10 in S Mode was to make room for Microsoft’s new “Lite” OS.

Interestingly, “Lite” is set to be even lighter and faster than Windows 10 S and is designed with always-on chipsets like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon-powered laptops. This means that Win32 apps from the Microsoft Store may not work with this new Lite OS, which are supported by Windows 10 S, but that could be a key differentiator for the system.

It’s believed that this new Lite system will actually run Microsoft’s seemingly abandoned Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and progressive web apps (PWA). If true, it could see a revival of Microsoft’s mobile version of Office and may explain why the company recently revamped Office’s icon set out of the blue.

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Interestingly, it’s also believed that this new Microsoft-made OS isn’t something you’ll simply be able to go out and buy. It’s primarily aimed at consumer markets over businesses and it could only be available as pre-installed software. This means it’d be sold directly to OEMs for them to install on their machines.

If all of this information is true, it makes sense as to why Microsoft would want to distance it from the Windows name. Not only does it not run like Windows has done in the past, but it also runs on devices Windows is traditionally not known to run on. It’s also likely that Microsoft wants to ensure that people don’t tar Windows 10 with the same brush if this gamble doesn’t pay off.

As with all rumours, it’s worth taking it with a pinch of salt, but perhaps a new OS is on the way from Microsoft after all.

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