Microsoft is reportedly taking a page of Google's playbook and is allegedly developing a Chrome OS-like version of Windows 10 called Windows Lite, which would power dual-screen devices and low-powered machines not unlike Chromebooks.
Key to this particular iteration of Windows is that it's lightweight, with a stripped-down user interface that focuses on dual-screen experiences. New hardware could debut with Windows Lite as early as later this year, but that still depends on whether chipmakers and PC manufacturers would be ready by that point.
Sources familiar with the matter told The Verge about the Windows Lite tidbit, adding that it's initially being prioritized for dual-screen devices. Intel has been encouraging software makers to a hardware category such as this one, and that's a fair proposition given that there's a wealth of machines that would fit in this sector, including the Courier concept by Microsoft seen not too long ago, dual-screen laptops, and more. Throw in foldable devices in the mix, too.
When that new hardware category comes to be established, Microsoft wants to be ready with a customized operating system for it, it seems like. Whether Windows Lite will be anything like Windows 10 remains to be seen, but it's well within the realm of possibility for the OS to borrow tricks and elements from its main sibling.
A New Windows 10
As Microsoft has been building toward a more modular version of Windows 10, achieved by gradually developing a new C-Shell and Windows Core OS, Windows Lite will likely be a blend of the existing Windows 10 platform and the company's Surface Hub shell.
Windows Central was the first to reveal about "Santorini," which apparently is the codename for Windows Lite. Santorini is part of the shell work Microsoft is developing to distinguish Windows Lite from the regular version of Windows 10.
How far along Windows Lite is in terms of development remains uncertain, let alone its actual existence. It's important to note that these are all still rumors, and even though they are, say, true, plans can always change, if not scrapped entirely. Whether dual-screen devices are the goal or just a means to an end is also yet to be determined, as it looks as if the ultimate goal is to create a new OS that lets Microsoft better compete with Chrome OS.
Since there are a number of uncertainties, a shipping date for Windows Lite is obviously out of the question, at least for now. Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.