At its Computex conference in Taipei, Microsoft hinted at a new type of modern operating system that's flexible across various kinds of devices.
When the company's corporate VP for consumer and device sales Nick Parker took to the stage, he outlined Microsoft's future ambitions in regard to operating systems. Although he did not reveal any concrete products on stage, he did discuss, although somewhat vaguely, what's in store for the future.
A New Kind Of Windows OS
According to Parker, Microsoft's future OS will provide a set of "enablers" and "delighters" that will accommodate things such as seamless updates, security, sustained performance, and constant connectivity. Describing it, Parker often used the term "modern OS," mentioning, although briefly, cloud-connected experiences and artificial intelligence.
Modern OS Updates And Security
Microsoft has promised seamless updates in several years past, but it's now promising that modern OS updates should be invisibly done in the background, with the update rolling out instantly and causing no interruptions to the user. This OS is also secure by default, as a result of the state being separated from the OS and compute being separated from applications. These implementations are not impossible but they'd be harder to implement because of how reliant they are on cloud computing. Thankfully, Microsoft has done a lot of progress with its Azure cloud platform, so this might not be too big of a problem down the road.
Modern OS Input Methods
Park also hinted at the potential input methods for such a platform, which include pen, voice, touch and "even gaze." The details are available in a corresponding blog post by Parker.
In his post, Parker noted that a modern OS should allow "form factor agility" by being flexible enough to accommodate different types of devices. Now, this might not mean much at present and could be just Microsoft spitballing idealistic ambitions. But it's worth noting that last year, the company hinted at new additions to the Surface line of devices, which some have speculated could mean a smartphone is on the way. It's a stretch to think these new devices would come with Parker's so-called modern OS and not regular Windows 10. But a platform-agnostic OS might be a good way to streamline support for all kinds multiple types of devices.
Parker also noted that a modern OS would be connected to 5G LTE at all times, and use AI to make apps run more efficiently.