Goodbye Windows? Microsoft building simplified 'Lite' OS to take on Chrome OS

Early in 2018, we discovered that Microsoft was working on a lightweight version of Windows codenamed Polaris, intended to be optimised for tablets and 2-in-1s as well as desktop and laptops.

According to Brad Sams, a journalist known for breaking news on Microsoft, the computing giant has left a considerable amount of clues in its insider builds of Windows 10 about the lighter version of the OS. 

This, in conjunction with insider knowledge, has lead Sams to make some educated guesses about what he believes is currently called “Lite” (notice a lack of “Windows” in the title). For one, he believes it’s squarely aimed at the likes of Chromebooks – i.e. tablets, 2-in-1s and laptops that use the lightweight Chrome OS from Google.

Sound familiar?

While Microsoft has gone part-way in releasing a trimmed-down Windows in the past with Windows 10 S, this was still able to be upgraded to the full edition of Windows 10 because it used the full code, merely limiting users to UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps.

Sams believes Lite will be a “truly lightweight” and have instant-on functionality, be always connected and able to run on any CPU. He makes special mention of the upcoming Snapdragon 845 successor from Qualcomm, stating it will be powering many of the first Lite devices. 

If the rumors and speculation are to be believed, we could well be seeing Lite launch in early 2019 across a number of devices with a UI rather separate from its Windows counterpart – we suggest keeping an eye on TechRadar for the freshest news on Microsoft’s latest endeavours.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.