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Microsoft may be working on a modern version of Windows (again)
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Quote:[Image: workperch-364mlXhpMgs-unsplash.jpg]

Remember Windows 8 RT? No? What about Windows 10X? No? It appears, filed under rumor for now, that Microsoft is working on the next modern version of Windows. The report comes from Windows Central, and the company cites unnamed sources close to the project.

Microsoft is working on a project that it calls CorePC. CorePC has similar goals as Windows 10x, but Microsoft appears to have learned from past mistakes as well.

The main idea behind Windows Core OS is to snag away marketshare from Google and its Chromebooks. Microsoft's initial attempts, in the form of Windows 8 RT, failed spectacularly at the time. One of the main reasons for that was that Microsoft removed support for legacy programs. Not a smart move, considering that users were left with UWP apps, which were not available in abundance, and still are not.

Windows RT ran on ARM devices only, including Microsoft's original Surface tablet. Only a handful of Windows RT devices were released and it is considered a financial failure today.

[Image: windows-rt-660x432.jpg]

Windows 10X was Microsoft's last attempt at creating a modern version of Windows, but it never was released by Microsoft. Microsoft cancelled the project in 2021 and Windows Central claims that its sources say that Microsoft stopped trying to "modernize the Windows platform to help it compete with its more modern rivals".

Microsoft is working on Windows Core OS, according to Windows Central's sources. The site claims that the CorePC project aims to create a "modular and customizable variant of Windows" that Microsoft may use for different form factors. One key difference between CorePC and previous attempts is that some of these versions will support legacy Win32 applications.

One of CorePCs main new features is state separation. It uses a read-only partitions system, similarly to those used on Android and iPadOS. These partitions are locked and inaccessible by users and third-party applications. The feature improves platform security, updating, resetting, and reinstallations because of that. The ability to reset devices quickly is a core required feature in the Education sector, which Google dominates with its Chromebooks.

Windows Central's sources claim that CorePC devices can compete with Google Chromebooks in regards to the footprint of the operating system, system performance and also supported capabilities. A test version, that comes with Edge, Office apps, support for web apps and Android apps, is said to be between 60% to 75% smaller than Windows 11 SE already. It is designed for low-end education PCs, according to the source.

Other versions of CorePC are also in development. Microsoft seems to be working on a version that replicates the functionality of Windows 11, but with the added benefit of state separation, which would make the operating system more secure and allow for faster operating system updates and resets.

There is also one version that is "silicon-optimized", according to Windows Central. It has reduced legacy overhead and focuses on AI capabilities.

Closing Words

CorePC may very well be in development right now at Microsoft, but the company refused to comment on the plans and it should be filed under rumor for now.

The new approach has several advantages over previous attempts, including that it is modular and capable of producing different versions for different tasks.

Whether this will become Windows 12 in the end, or something entirely different remains to be seen.
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