Windows 10 may feature modes for different types of users

Windows 10 laptop

We've just heard another interesting revelation about Microsoft’s alleged future vision for Windows, and it involves an operating system which is fully adaptable and boasts various different modes, like a ‘gaming mode’ which is specifically designed for playing games with an Xbox controller.

In this rumored ‘gaming mode’, you’ll be provided with a tailored environment for playing games using an Xbox controller. Additionally, there will be a ‘quiet mode’ with a productivity-centric desktop, and a ‘kids mode’ which is essentially a highly simplified tablet-style interface.

All of this flexibility comes thanks to a piece of technology Microsoft has been working on called CShell. This is a new Windows Shell which offers a scalable and flexible UI that allows it to work across a whole host of devices.

In other words, it’s a modular version of the Shell capable of utilizing different components to build a desktop which fully suits the device it’s running on – whether that’s a phone, tablet, PC, Xbox console and so on. Think of it as like Continuum – which allows for the UI to transition between tablet and PC desktop, for example, when used with a 2-on-1 – but on a much grander scale.

As to its practical application, Microsoft is reportedly building a new streamlined version of Windows 10 codenamed Polaris which will leverage the adaptability of CShell.

And the latest word from sources who spoke to the Verge is that Microsoft’s vision of this future modular Windows will include various modes for different types of usage of the OS.

Doubtless there will be scope for other modes, too, and the beauty of building all this on the bedrock of CShell is that the different modes will scale seamlessly across a whole gamut of devices – including hardware which hasn’t been released yet.

Shell out for a Surface

We’ll get our first taste of Microsoft’s operating system’s modular future with the release of the Surface Hub 2 which should happen before the end of June (with the unveiling likely to take place at Build 2018 in May). Apparently this will be the first piece of hardware to show off the benefits of CShell, so that will make it an intriguing prospect indeed.

Furthermore, we may see Microsoft’s supposedly incoming dual-screen tablet (or phone) which is codenamed Andromeda sporting this technology to help make it a truly flexible device.

Clearly big things are around the corner for Microsoft on both the software and hardware front, and we should hopefully know a lot more about them in the next few months.

Meanwhile, even Apple is making further moves to blur the lines between its desktop and mobile operating systems, with the recent news that iOS apps may arrive on Mac computers this year.

  • How long will it be before Windows 10 Polaris graces our best laptops?

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).