One of the drawbacks of social media among its hundreds of benefits is the spread of rumors and incomplete information. One such case is the widespread rumor of Microsoft developing a new operating system known as Windows 10x Core OS. This piece of news was a bit overwhelming, and I decided to investigate a little further to find out the truth about yet another operating system.
If you did not know, Microsoft Windows (all versions included) had a 70% + market share in the world of computers. And Windows 10 is quite a decent product if you know how to secure it and customize it as per your requirements. So, what is it that is going to replace Windows 10? The answer to that question in simple plain words is “No”. Yeah! that’s true, nothing is replacing Windows 10, but there is actually is an operating system by the name of Windows Core OS.
Now, What Is Windows Core OS Or WCOS?
What is Windows Core OS – Non-technical way?
Why are those Screwdriver images being displayed, and how does Windows Core OS have any connection to Hardware tools?
To understand Windows Core OS in a non-technical way, the best relating example would be that of a multi-bit screwdriver that has an interchangeable handle. The previous version of the screwdriver set, which included a dozen screwdrivers all with separate handles. Similarly, Microsoft has developed all its operating systems like the older set of screwdrivers with each screwdriver representing each Windows version for each device. To make it clearer, the Windows 10 for a PC is different from Windows 10 installed on a Windows Mobile and both these Windows are different from the Windows 10 installed on a Surface device.
Microsoft has finally decided to adopt the technology of a common ratcheting screwdriver handle by designing Windows Core OS. This Operating system will be applicable for all Microsoft devices like Windows laptops, desktops, foldable phones, HoloLens, Xbox, Surface Hub, and every future product released by Microsoft. With the same core, the only change required between various devices will be that of the size of an interchangeable bit in a screwdriver.
I hope you understand the core OS will remain as the universal base as the handle, and the removable bar remains the same in a screwdriver set. The only change required can be fulfilled by adding certain features as per the device requirement similar to the interchangeable bit placed on the top.
What is Windows Core OS – Technical way?
For all the tech-savvy readers, Windows Core OS is the shareable and modular base, which will remain the same for all the upcoming Microsoft Devices with a few changes added as per the device requirement. WCOS will not be a complete operating system like the traditional Windows 7 or Windows 10 but rather a core on which all the future Windows OS will be built. One such operating rumored with WCOS at its base is Windows 10X.
It would closely resemble the current Android OS process. The Stock Android is designed and released by Google, which is then tweaked by other smartphone manufacturers and released in their respective devices as a customized version of the original OS. The most noted examples are Oxygen OS in OnePlus, MIUI in Xiaomi phones, etc. Similarly, Windows Core OS will be the universal base for Windows laptops, desktops, foldable phones, HoloLens, Xbox, Surface Hub, and every future product released by Microsoft.
Why did Microsoft Create the Windows Core OS?
Not all Windows OS versions were great masterpieces except Windows XP and Windows 7, which were the two most used operating systems across the globe. And, with Windows 10 nurturing well as a healthy baby just five years old and has become the third most popular operating system, but then why did Microsoft take the trouble of developing a new OS?
The answer is Microsoft wanted Windows 10 to be the universal base for all its endeavors in the future. But it failed as Windows 10 was developed with computers in mind and failed to function as intended on other devices, especially Windows 10 Mobile devices. Taking a hint from Google, Microsoft decided to develop a base operating similar to the likes of Android that could function all devices from mobile devices to Chromebooks.
An attempt to reinstate Windows 10 in the form of Windows 10 S mode was tried but, it was more of a cut down version of the original Windows 10. What Microsoft wanted was a light-weight OS that could be used as a base to build different types and versions of operating systems on it.
Where would Windows Core OS be used?
Microsoft is moving one step further when it comes to Hybrid personal computers and has announced a dual-screen device that acts as a tablet and laptop. The real use of the Windows 10 Core OS would be used in such a device where the Windows installed will shift from limited featured Tablet OS to full-fledged Laptop OS.
While one might say that the Windows 10 laptop has a tablet mode but the fact that a few screen changes do not actually make your Laptop Windows 10 into the real tablet. Windows 10x OS which is lighter and has features limited to an original tablet only. This can only be possible in a true sense when there is a portable based OS that can be changed according to the physical form of the device.
Another device announced by Microsoft is the Surface Hub 2X, which will feature all-new Surface OS powered by Windows Core 10 OS.
What are the features of Windows Core OS?
1. Composable Shell or CShell
One of the most important features of Windows Core OS is the Composable shell, which is a user interface that can change the way it functions depending on the devices it is installed. CShell can be easily understood if you have tried using Tablet mode on your Windows 10 Desktop or Laptop. Although you find certain differences like full screen and no taskbar, you don’t get to see the real tablet features like the gestures, touchscreen, snapping, etc.
Now if you want to experience two devices in one, then you will have to wait for Surface Neo, which would release somewhere in the last quarter of 2020. Surface Neo is based on Windows Core OS and is powered by Windows 10X. As announced by Microsoft, this device will contain two types of CShell supporting both Tablet and Laptop modes. This means that when a user wants to use the Surface Neo as a tablet he would be able to avail all the features of a tablet and the same goes with Laptop mode where the user would be able to experience the classic File Explorer, Taskbar and Support for the keyboard.
Another change would be observed while using the Xbox Game Bar on a laptop that has Windows Core OS. Unlike current Windows 10, the WCOS would shift from laptop CShell to Xbox CShell providing the users with a more streamlined and consistent experience which is the same as using an Xbox console.
2. Faster Updates
Another important feature of Windows 10 Core OS is faster updates like that on your Android smartphone. As announced by Microsoft WCOS will receive regular updates that would be smaller in size, and installing them would be accomplished with a simple reboot of the device. Microsoft plans to achieve this by using a separate partition to download and install the updates. It would then wait for a reboot by the user and switch the active boot, thus loading the updated OS for the user. Microsoft also plans to use a Full Flash Update (FFU) format instead of the traditionally used ISO format.
3. App Support
With composable shell and faster updates, I bet you are already waiting for the Windows Core OS. However, despite more enhanced features (most of them are yet to be announced), Windows Core OS is going to have one limitation that has been disclosed and that is the support for applications. Windows Core OS will not support installing Win32 Apps like Microsoft Edge and Office. To run these apps, users will have to use a sandboxed environment, and Microsoft has assured that it would not affect the performance. Apart from that, the Windows Core OS will support the Universal Windows Platform API and Web apps.
When Will Windows Cores OS Release?
Windows Core OS will be available during the Christmas season 2020 and will be first bundled with Surface Neo and will be called Surface Hub OS. Following Surface, Windows Core OS will find its way in the new Xbox as Xbox OS and in the Windows Holographic device. After these projects, Windows Core OS will finally make its way into Laptops as Windows 10 Core OS.
What Will Happen to Windows 10?
As I mentioned earlier, Windows 10 would remain with us on our computers for many years to come. It will also receive constant Updates and Support as is doing now. However, with the launch of Windows 10x Core OS in laptops, a few years down the line, Windows 10 Laptops will be slowly become an expensive premium product for hardcore users who would want to use Windows 10 in its full form with gaming libraries, networking tools, control panel, subsystems, Win32 apps, etc.
Your Thoughts on Windows Core OS?
That concludes the long session on Windows Core OS and its difference from Windows 10. Microsoft has realized that the majority of the computer users would require a simple OS with fancy features just as a Chromebook for Watching movies, listening to the audio, playing games and small office work like email, word processor and spreadsheets. There seems no sense in providing a normal user with a machine that can run high end and heavy-weight software like Adobe Premiere or Dreamweaver. Also, why one would need 16 GB of RAM with 5TB of hard drive space just to perform simple tasks that can easily be done on a tablet.