Microsoft is secretly building a slimmer, more modern version of Windows

Microsoft is secretly building a slimmer, more modern version of Windows

Microsoft’s latest internal project is reportedly a new pared-down version of Windows codenamed Polaris. This new version of Windows isn’t a successor to Windows 10, not in the traditional sense.

Microsoft’s latest internal project is reportedly a new pared-down version of Windows code-named ‘Polaris.’ This new version of Windows isn’t a successor to Windows 10, not in the traditional sense. Instead, it’s an alternative operating system more like iOS or Chrome OS — a lightweight OS designed for devices like ultra-mobile laptops, 2-in-1s, and tablets. According to Windows Central, it could be the future of Windows.

All right so what is it? At this point, it looks like Polaris could takeover for Windows 10 S, the pared-down student version of Windows 10 that Microsoft is using to test the lightweight OS waters.

Windows 10 S could be seen as something of a trial balloon here, with Microsoft angling toward the education market to see how a pared-down Windows experience would go over with the average Windows-user.

Reportedly, Polaris aims to strip out all the legacy components that make Windows 10 a fully featured operating system in favor of a system designed around the basics — like Chrome OS. An operating system designed for people who typically work out of a web browser. The new Polaris-based Windows would be quicker, more nimble, and carry a lot less baggage.

Polaris would, according to Window Central, be built entirely on Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform, or UWP, making it a much more hospitable environment to existing UWP apps and potentially offer battery life and performance gains.

“The current Windows Shell is one of the major legacy components that Microsoft is replacing in Polaris; along with stripping out legacy, unneeded Win32 components and apps like Notepad or Paint, in favor of a UWP experience, just like Windows 10 Mobile,” Windows Central reports.

It’s an interesting move and it certainly makes sense with Microsoft’s recent shift toward unifying its Windows experience across all of its platforms, but it’s unclear whether or not Polaris would end up seeing widespread adoption. Currently, Chromebooks offer a unique niche for lightweight on-the-go computing, and Windows 10 exists in its full version on laptops and mobile devices up and down the price spectrum without any issues. Pulling out functionality in favor of marginal gains in performance and battery life might not appeal to the average laptop, tablet, or 2-in-1 user.

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