Microsoft is reportedly working on a new, streamlined version of Windows optimised for dual-screen devices.
Unimaginatively codenamed Windows Lite, the operating system could launch later this year, which makes the upcoming Microsoft Build event one to put in your calendar. Sources have told The Verge that the OS is a cross between the Surface Hub shell and Windows Phone Continuum, which allowed Windows 10 smartphones (remember them?) to function as desktop computers when external equipment was attached.
The Verge understands that the mock-up below – made by Petri’s Brad Sams – is an accurate interpretation of how the cut-down OS looks at the time of writing, but an awful lot can change between development and launch.
The dual-screen form factor isn’t a huge market at the moment, with only the likes of the Lenovo Yoga Book attempting it to mixed reviews. But Microsoft itself is rumoured to be working on something similar under the baton of Project Centaurus, and a cut-down version of Windows to showcase its more innovative features could be just the ticket to ensure it’s more Surface than Zune in the pantheon of Microsoft hardware hits.
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But if the dual-screen format doesn’t take off, Windows Lite could still be a success. The sources state that Microsoft also plans on having the slimline operating system being a competitor to Chromebooks in the education sector.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s exactly how Windows 10 S – a version of Windows 10 that would only allow the installation of Microsoft Store apps – was originally imagined. Microsoft will be hoping that Windows Lite, or whatever it ends up being called, will be more successful at getting the company back into schools than its streamlined predecessor.
Is a ‘lite’ version of Windows necessary? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.