Microsoft has been toying around with the idea of making Windows a lighter operating system for a while, and there have been a couple of attempts at doing so. After Windows RT and Windows 10 S, the company is reportedly working on "Windows Lite", but there's a catch - it may not even be called Windows.
The name "Lite" was first spotted in the code of build 18282, but Brad Sams of Petri has discovered a few more tidbits of the purported operating system. According to Sams' report, the new version will be based on the rumored Windows Core OS, and try to take on Google's Chrome OS, which Windows 10 S already tried to do.
Since its release, it's been announced that Windows 10 S will become Windows 10 in S Mode, which allows users to choose between the increased performance and security of S Mode and the freedom of full Windows. It seems that this change was made to help accommodate the arrival of Windows Lite.
Lite is said to only run UWP apps and PWAs from the Store, and it will strip even more legacy components from the OS. This is so that the software becomes lighter and faster, while also enabling instant-on and always-connected capabilities, as well as making the OS more suitable to run on different chipset architectures such as ARM. It remains unclear, however, if this means Win32 apps from the Store won't be supported, since they are still supported in Windows 10 in S Mode.
If it does indeed support only UWP apps, Microsoft would also be making a push for the platform, which has been seen as dormant for a while; the Redmond company itself seemed to abandon its Office apps built on the platform a while back, but that would likely need to change in order to fit this strategy.
Dropping the name Windows may also play an important role in adjusting the expectations consumers will have for the OS. Since many legacy components will not be present in the experience, this could help sell this new variant of Windows as something completely new.
One thing to note is that this version will apparently not be aimed at business environments, and you may not even be able to buy it directly yourself. It seems like Windows Lite will only be available for OEMs to include in their machines.
This new version of the Windows might also power the Andromeda-like device that was mentioned in a report last week. Codenamed "Centaurus", this foldable device is said to serve as a showcase for the new experience, and it could be coming as soon as next year.
As with all unofficial information, it could be that Microsoft's plans will change dramatically in the future, but the report suggests that this new vision for Windows will be discussed at Build next year.