Microsoft has been working to modernise Windows for quite some time now, its latest effort being Windows 10X, a project cancelled in 2021 after failing to ship a version of Windows Core OS after months of internal testing and years of development.
However, WindowsCentral reports that Microsoft hasn’t given up yet. While Windows Core OS might’ve ground to a halt, Microsoft is hard at work on a new internal project named CorePC designed to modernise the Windows platform with many of the same features it originally planned to implement in Windows Core OS, but with a focus on support for legacy Win32 apps on “devices where it makes sense” instead.
The biggest difference between CorePC and the current implementation of Windows is state separation. Much like iPadOS or Android, state separation allows for faster updates and an overall more secure platform by designating read-only partitions inaccessible to the user and third-party apps. This also allows for faster and more reliable system reset functionality, a must-have if Microsoft is looking to interrupt the Chromebook-dominated education sector device market.
Instead of using its old approach of building Windows Core OS from the ground up, Microsoft is taking the full Windows desktop and breaking it down into a modular, configurable system that maintains support for legacy apps and features whenever required.
This means that CorePC could finally be able to compete with ChromeOS in terms of OS footprint, performance and capabilities, as confirmed by Bowden’s sources. A version of Windows that only runs Edge, as well as web (PWA), Office and Android apps (via Project Latte) designed to work on low-end education PCs, is already in testing internally. It’s also roughly 60-75% smaller than Windows 11 SE.
On the flip side, Microsoft is also working on a version of CorePC that matches the current feature set and capabilities of Windows desktop but with state separation for faster updates and enhanced security. Legacy apps that require a shared state OS to function will run using a compatibility layer codenamed Neon.
Last but not least, given Microsoft’s latest push into AI bringing it to its search engine in the form of Bing Chat, Office Copilot and Security Copilot, a version of CorePC with a focus on reducing legacy overhead, AI capabilities and vertically optimised hardware and software experiences similar to that of Apple’s custom M1 and M2 silicon is also in the works.
With Microsoft’s next major version of Windows codenamed Hudson Valley due to arrive in 2024, we could see a dramatic change in Windows’ trajectory, not to mention adoption on a higher number of devices as Microsoft tries to fight back its more modern rivals.
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