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Microsoft might have pulled the plug on Windows Core OS. The succesor Windows 10X never saw the light of day. But Microsoft isn’t giving up, according to reports it’s now working on something called CorePC. A Windows OS for different form factors.

For years, Microsoft has been on a mission to modernize its Windows platform. It tried several times to to strip the Windows-platform of legacy features and app compatibility in favor of a modular, UWP-first OS that could be updated more easily and quickly. Unfortunately, despite its best efforts, Microsoft could never ship a version of an optimized Windows version.

According to insiders familiar with Microsoft’s plans, the company is currently working on a new project codenamed CorePC, designed to modernize the Windows platform with many of the same innovations it was working on for Windows Core OS. The twist? CorePC will focus on native compatibility for legacy Win32 applications on devices where it makes sense.

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CorePC is runs on separated read-only partition

That means the OS is split up into multiple partitions, allowing for faster updates and a more secure platform via read-only partitions that are inaccessible to the user and third-party apps, much like Chrome OS and in part iPadOS, and Android.

CorePC will also allow Microsoft to configure “editions” of Windows with varying levels of feature and app compatibility. This means that not all Windows PCs need the full breadth of legacy Win32 app support. CorePC will enable Microsoft to deliver a version of Windows that competes with Chromebooks in OS footprint, performance, and capabilities.

Insiders say that a version of Windows that only runs Edge, web apps, Android apps (via Project Latte), and Office apps designed for low-end education PCs is already in early testing internally and is roughly 60–75% smaller than Windows 11 SE.

It could be here by 2024

Microsoft is also working on a version of CorePC that meets the current feature set and capabilities of Windows Desktop but with state separation enabled for faster OS updates and improved security benefits.

But that’s not all Microsoft has up its sleeve. The company is also experimenting with a version of CorePC that’s “silicon-optimized,” designed to reduce legacy overhead, focus on AI capabilities, and vertically optimize hardware and software experiences like those of Apple Silicon.

AI experiences are a key focus for Windows going into 2024, with features like contextual prompts based on the content being viewed, object and text recognition within images, and more.