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Windows 10 Lean kills off Internet Explorer, could be coming to smartphones and tablets

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Earlier this week the existence of Windows 10 Lean was discovered, and after a bit of digging more details have been found about this lightweight OS, as well as hints as to what Microsoft plans to do with the software.

We knew that Windows 10 Lean would have an installation size that was 2GB smaller than the standard version of Windows 10, and that this would necessitate cuts to features and apps to keep the size down.

However, Twitter user Lucan (opens in new tab), who first brought attention to the existence of Windows 10 Lean, has done some digging and discovered where these cuts are coming from, and found that over 50,000 files that are present in Windows 10 Pro are not in Lean.

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That’s quite a hefty cut, and the missing files include common tools such as PowerShell, regedit, Internet Explorer and various other Windows 10 apps such as Mail and Windows Media Player.

For people who never use those tools, having a version of Windows 10 that ditches them in favor of a smaller installation size will seem like a pretty decent trade off.

Meanwhile, Inside Windows (opens in new tab) has got a full list of missing files, giving you an idea of what is missing.

Mobile ambitions

However, with Microsoft pushing Windows 10 S and 10 S mode as more secure and trimmed down versions of Windows 10, where does that leave Windows 10 Lean? The clue to Microsoft’s plans for the operating system can be found in the files that have been left intact – or added.

For example, it looks like support for telephony APIs have been included, which usually aren’t in standard versions of Windows 10. Could this hint at Windows 10 Lean coming to smartphones, after the failure of Windows 10 Mobile?

As Lucan points out, there’s also a build of Windows 10 Lean for ARM devices, with ARM hardware usually found in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which could be another hint.

Cutting 2GB from the installation size would certainly make it a more viable operating system on tablets with limited storage space. So, while we may not see a new wave of Windows 10 Lean-toting smartphones, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the operating system crop up on future Windows tablets.

Via MSPoweruser (opens in new tab)

Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Computing and Entertainment, looking after two of the best, and most exciting, channels on the site. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made. He's also a huge film and TV fan and Marvel geek, and his favorite recent film is Dune.