Microsoft is gearing up for another attempt to modernize its Windows platform with a new project called CorePC. The project is focused on creating a modular and customizable version of Windows, emphasizing modularity, security, and the use of artificial intelligence. This new version of Windows will allow Microsoft to customize editions of Windows with varying levels of feature and app compatibility.
The CorePC project is based on the Windows Core OS, also known as Windows 10X, which was previously developed as a modular, UWP-enabled operating system with limited compatibility and stripped of legacy features for faster updates and increased security. Unfortunately, Windows Core OS for PCs in traditional form factors was never released, and the Windows 10X project was cancelled in 2021 after years of development and months of internal testing.
One of the main differences between CorePC and previous versions of Windows is the separation of CorePC states. Unlike the current version of Windows, which is installed by default on a single disk partition, CorePC splits the drive into multiple partitions, speeding up OS updates, providing a quick and reliable system reset, as well as boosting security by utilizing designated read-only partitions that are unavailable to the user and third-party apps.
CorePC will allow Microsoft to release a version of Windows that can rival ChromeOS in size, performance, and features. An early internal testing version of Windows for low-cost education PCs that only runs the Edge browser, Android apps (via Project Latte), and Office programs takes up 60-75% less disk space than Windows 11 SE.
Microsoft is also working on a version of CorePC that matches the current feature set and Windows desktop experience but with a split state enabled for faster OS updates and improved security.
Additionally, the company is experimenting with a version of CorePC optimized for specific hardware, similar to macOS on Apple Silicon processors. This version focuses on AI capabilities, including content analysis and contextual cues to quickly launch projects or applications and identify objects and text in images. Some AI functions will require special hardware.
The release of CorePC is expected in 2024, in time for the next major version of Windows, codenamed Hudson Valley or Windows 12. Microsoft representatives declined to comment, and the plans, features, and configurations are subject to change before the project ships. However, CorePC shows promise as a modular and customizable version of Windows, with the potential to rival Chrome OS and provide new AI capabilities.