Microsoft is working on modular Windows

Modular Windows will run faster and more smoothly on devices with different form factors
(photo: Microsoft)

Microsoft is working on a new project called CorePC, which is trying to create a completely redesigned Windows operating system. It will include the innovations previously developed for Windows Core OS, but now the emphasis is on modularity, security and artificial intelligence.

For years, Microsoft has been trying to modernize the Windows platform. The last attempt to do this was Windows Core OS, also known as Windows 10X – a modular, UWP-enabled operating system stripped of legacy features and limited in terms of compatibility in favor of a lighter footprint, faster updates and much more security .

Unfortunately, Windows Core OS did not appear for PCs in traditional form factors. The Windows 10X project was canceled in 2021 after several months of internal testing and years of development. However, CorePC will allow Microsoft to customize versions of Windows with different levels of feature and application compatibility, Windows Central notes.

CorePC is a project for a modular and customizable version of Windows that can run on devices with different form factors. One of the most important differences from all previous versions of Windows is the separation of CorePC states.

The current version of Windows is installed by default on a single disk partition with write permission, where the system itself, user data and program files are stored in one place. CorePC, on the other hand, divides the device into multiple partitions, and this radically speeds up operating system updates, provides a quick and reliable system reset, and increased security, due to the presence of special read-only partitions that are inaccessible to the user and third-party applications , as in iPadOS or Android.

CorePC will allow Microsoft to finally release a version of Windows that truly rivals Chrome OS in terms of size, performance, and features. A low-cost education version of Windows that runs only the Edge browser, Android apps (via Project Latte) and Office programs is now in early internal testing and takes up 60-75% less disk space than Windows 11 SE.

Microsoft is also working on a version of CorePC that matches the current feature set and user experience of the Windows desktop, but with split state enabled for faster updates and better security. There is also a compatibility layer, codenamed Neon, for legacy applications that require a single partition (shared state) operating system.

At the same time, Microsoft is experimenting with a version of CorePC that is not backwards compatible and “optimized for silicon”, that is, for specific hardware. This version focuses on the capabilities of artificial intelligence and vertical optimization of hardware and software, similar to the Mac and MacBook with the company’s Apple Silicon processors.

AI features include content analysis and contextual alerts to quickly launch projects or applications. AI can also identify objects and text in images and allow the user to easily manipulate these elements. Some AI features will require special hardware.

Of course, these plans, features, and configurations are subject to change until Microsoft is completely ready with CorePC. The company appears to be aiming to release the system in 2024, along with the next major version of Windows, codenamed Hudson Valley, or Windows 12. Microsoft officials have not yet officially announced such intentions.

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