What is Windows Core OS?
Microsoft hints at new modern Windows OS
Microsoft wants to build a modern OS to work with 5G connectivity, and to include a variety of inputs like pen, voice, touch, even gaze. This will be Microsoft’s unified Windows experience, otherwise known as Windows Lite (also known as Windows Core OS or WCOS).
This “modern OS” is also secure by default, according to Microsoft, likely with invisible updates in the background.
With the Huawei fiasco, China is apparently dropping Windows from their military devices. The world is changing fast and Microsoft’s operating systems need to keep up.
Windows Core OS is not just a secret but has been in the works for many years. It’s the future of Windows, which takes the shared code of OneCore and builds a modern, legacy-free OS on top of it.
At Computex 2019, Microsoft execs talked about “a modern operating system,” rather than “the Modern Desktop.” With 5G and an age of AI, you’d hope Microsoft’s Core OS can really impress.
Nick Parker at Computex dropped a lot of hints about just what Core OS will feel like. Here are some hints:
- Seamless updates “invisibly done in the background; the update experience is deterministic, reliable, and instant with no interruptions”.
- Secure by default since “the state is separated from the operating system; compute is separated from applications; this protects the user from malicious attacks throughout the device lifecycle”.
- Always connected. “All of a user’s devices are aware and connected to each other.”
- AI-powered with “cloud-connected experiences that use the compute power of the cloud to enhance users’ experiences on their devices. These experiences are powered by AI, so a modern OS is aware of what a user is doing tomorrow and helps them get it done.”
- Multi-input. “People can use pen, voice, touch, even gaze — whatever input method a user wants to use works just as well as the keyboard and mouse.”
Innovative Multi-Form Factor
- Multi-form factor. “A modern OS has the right sensor support and posture awareness to enable the breadth of innovative form factors and applications that our partner ecosystem will deliver.”
So when will this Modern OS come to consumers? Sources have said Lite, which may not be called Windows at all, is likely to be ready some time in 2020.
Windows Lite is expected to run on Windows Core OS, a common core for all versions of Windows and the desktop project codenamed Polaris, which is thought to utilize a new “composable shell” or C-Shell.
It’s clear that whatever Microsoft is working on for Windows Lite and beyond, it will involve seamless updates, security improvements, 5G connectivity, cloud-powered apps, new form factors, and AI support. I think it’s been a while since Microsoft really wowed us with anything operating system centric. They are due for a big reveal soon. It’s been a long time. This Lite could feel more like Chrome-OS to some extent and the following seem quite promising to me:
The Santorini Upgrades
- Form factor agility
- Augmented voice input & control
Microsoft has reportedly been working on one build of Windows Lite, known internally as Santorini, for consumer devices, such as foldable PCs and laptops.
Windows Core OS is clearly the future of windows.
Microsoft is continuing to develop features for Windows 10 and has a customer base of millions, especially in business, though I find that’s a bit less interesting. Quite a few features were already killed from that even in the latest update.
Core OS suggests a more modular framework. A truly modular platform for the future of Microsoft devices. Any feature or function Microsoft builds for it can then be applied to any Windows Core OS device that it wants. That’s pretty spectacular in and of itself.
Given what Microsoft has been able to achieve in the Cloud with Azure, Microsoft might be entering a new golden age as a Technology firm. It’s a more diversified business model than Facebook, Google or even Apple. Therefore I expect it to be a relatively stable stock.
For now, Microsoft is only willing to drop hints about what we can expect from the immediate future of Windows but there is a lot coming so I think we have room to be optimistic.