In the new Windows 10 build 18917, Microsoft is working on the first steps to separate Shell from the system. The new infrastructure offers flexibility towards new form factors such as foldable tablets.
Windows 10 build 19817 is available since yesterday for Windows Insiders within the Fast Ring. Microsoft is working here on the major Windows 10 20H1 update scheduled for the spring of 2020.
Here we go
Build 18917 shows first signs of Microsoft’s work towards separating the base OS and the shell when it comes to standard desktop Windows
The build introduces a new component called the “Shell Update Agent” which is capable of obtaining and updating the shell on demand
Albacore (@thebookisclosed) June 12, 2019
Initially this update remained under the radar until Twitter user Albacore noticed changes to Shell. According to him, in this build, Microsoft takes the first step towards separating Shell from the rest of Windows. There is now a Shell Update Agent available with which you could update Shell on request.
New form factors
There have been rumours that Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows 10. In the past names like Windows 10 Lite or Windows 10 Core leaked, but so far Microsoft has not confirmed anything. With the announcement of the first foldable PC earlier this year, it already announced that a new version of Windows is in the pipeline.
With the arrival of foldable devices and other potential form factors, Microsoft needs to be flexible with Windows in order to function on various screens. By pulling Shell away from the rest of the infrastructure, different Windows experiences are possible within the same environment.
The new build also includes a new synchronization system for the settings menu, which is now more advanced. It would support synchronization like your Explorer configuration. All these adjustments are still being made under the hood for the time being, without you actually being able to see or test them. Microsoft still has time until spring 2020 before everything is publicly available.
Related: Will Microsoft now focus on one major Windows 10 update per year?