Microsoft preparing "Windows Lite" for dual-screen devices

Image Credit: Microsoft (Image credit: Image Credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft is reportedly developing a new lightweight version of Windows (opens in new tab) that will be used in upcoming dual-screen devices as well as in laptops positioned to compete against Google's Chromebooks.

Sources familiar with the company's plans told The Verge that the software giant will simplify its Windows user interface so that the software can run on dual-screen devices that are in development from several hardware manufacturers.

Microsoft's new version of Windows has been codenamed “Windows Lite” internally and the stripped-down version of its OS will likely first appear on dual-screen devices.

If this sounds familiar, you may be thinking of the company's Microsoft Courier concept that was shown off back in 2010. While the product was merely a proof of concept at the time, Intel has recently revived interest in dual-screen devices and the chipmaker went so far as to design a few prototypes of its own while pushing OEMs to get behind this new hardware category.

Windows Lite

Microsoft has slowly been working on creating a new Composable shell (C-Shell) as well a more modular version of the existing Windows Shell that powers much of Windows 10 as we know it today called Windows Core OS. Parts of Windows Core OS can already be seen today powering Microsoft's HoloLens 2 and its upcoming Surface Hub 2X.

The interface used in Windows Lite will apparently be similar to how Windows exists today though it will more closely resemble the company's Surface Hub shell.

According to Windows Central (opens in new tab), Microsoft is using the codename “Santorini” to refer to the shell work it is doing to make Windows Lite look and feel different than Windows 10.

While dual-screen devices will likely be the first to ship with Windows Lite, a stripped-down version of Windows would also be a great fit for laptops aiming to unseat Chrome OS in the education market.

Via The Verge (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.