Microsoft May Move Beyond Windows

John Lister's picture

Microsoft says it is working on a "modern operating system" for the computers of the future. It avoided using the term "Windows" and the features and characteristics it describes share a lot with Google's Chrome operating system.

The details came in a talk by Microsoft executives at Computex, a conference in Taipei. They demonstrated some of the latest laptops that run Windows, but then discussed how future PCs will have continually evolving requirements.

The company's write-up of the talk says Microsoft is investing in "modern OS" experiences and uses that term eight times in a single paragraph, rather than refer to Windows as an evolving operating system. (Source:

Eight Key Features

The talk was based around a set of eight characteristics that Microsoft describes as "enablers" and "delighters" but normal people would call features:

"Seamless updates" that install automatically in the background with little or no need to restart a computer.

"Secure by default", meaning clear security barriers between hardware, software and the operating system.

"Always connected" with support not just for WiFi but LTE 5G data coverage.

"Sustained performance", which appears to be a fancy way of saying battery life long enough that users don't need to worry about recharging during the day.

"Cloud-connected" to carry out remote processing and improve the computer experience without more demanding hardware requirements.

"AI" to do a better job of saving the user's time and effort by figuring out what they'll do next on the computer.

"Multi-sense" inputs that make touch, voice and other methods as easy as a keyboard or mouse.

"Form factor agility" meaning a system that works equally well on either a computer or mobile device.

'Windows Lite' Fails to Appear

It's certainly an ambitious set of requirements for an operating system and the talk raises questions about Microsoft's future strategy for Windows. Previous attempts to have a single version of Windows for PCs, tablets and phones have not exactly been met by overwhelming adoption on pocket devices.

Recent reports have suggested Microsoft might introduce a special "Windows Lite" edition for small and low-spec devices. Now it appears possible this might be a completely new system that resembles the Chrome OS used on Chromebooks - or even incorporates the underlying open source code called Chromium. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Are these worthwhile goals for Microsoft? Does it need a completely separate operating system for low-spec laptops and tablets? How important is the Windows brand name to you?

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davolente_10330's picture

It's about time MS made an OS that didn't wreck computers with updates. I have had problems myself with Win 10 Pro on the three machines I have in the house and have turned off updates completely for now, using the group policy editor. I have tried Linux several times and have been sorely tempted to switch, as a friend of mine has, and he states the updates are a doddle. Rarely any problems. I expect we'll soon hear from folk who disagree!

pctyson's picture

I too am very seriously considering Linux but only partially for the above named reason. I am more tired of the way that Microsoft is making it harder and harder to change the things in Windows that one may not like. They seem to think that one size fits all. That may be true with mobile devices, but it certainly is not true in Windows. As an example, I have a shortcut in my taskbar to the control panel because it is so difficult to find many of the settings in the W10 "settings" menu which I loathe. It is difficult yo remember what submenu they are under. Is "Administrative Tools" even anywhere to be found under the W10 systems menu? I have far more difficulty fixing issues that arise with W10 and Linux is certainly not one size fits all.

kitekrazy's picture

I'd rather go back to OS versions, service packs, and pay for it. When something is offered for free it's too good to be true. I don't think they have the same quality of development since millions of users got W10 for free.

W10 is still a good OS. At least with these bad updates you can still revert. I am able to still run legacy hardware.

As for Linux I just can't ride that train since I work with multimedia software.