Microsoft drops some very big hints about its modern 'Windows Lite' OS

It’s been hinted for a while that Microsoft is working on a new operating system for dual-screen and Chromebook-like PCs, and while the software giant has yet to confirm the existence of the rumored "Windows Lite" OS, Nick Parker, Corporate Vice President, Consumer and Device Sales, did drop some pretty big hints about it at Computex 2019 in Taipei.

While on stage he referred continually to a modern operating system designed to run on "modern PCs and innovative devices" that offers seamless background updates and zero interruptions, greater security, and always on connectivity.

In his Computex post about next generation devices, Parker says:

These new modern PCs and innovative devices the ecosystem will continue to build and bring to market in the future require a modern operating system. An OS  that provides a set of enablers that deliver the foundational experiences customers expect from their devices, and includes a set of delighters that deliver innovative human centric experiences. Enablers include seamless updates --with a modern OS updates are invisibly done in the background; the update experience is deterministic, reliable, and instant with no interruptions! A modern OS, is also secure by default, the state is separated from the operating system; compute is separated from applications; this protects the user from malicious attacks throughout the device lifecycle. Always connected -- with a modern OS Wi-Fi, LTE 5G will just work -- and users never have to worry about a deadspot. All of a users devices are aware and connected to each other. A modern OS provides sustained performance, from the moment a user picks up their device -- everything is ready to go -- without having to worry about the next time the PC needs to be charged. These enablers will satisfy customer’s basic needs, but to truly differentiate we must also delight them. A modern OS does this by enabling cloud-connected experiences that use the compute power of the cloud to enhance users experiences on their devices.  These experiences are powered by AI, so a modern OS is aware of what a user is doing tomorrow and helps them get it done, and it enhances applications making them more intelligent. A modern OS is also multi-sense. People can use pen, voice, touch, even gaze -- whatever input method a user wants to use works just as well as the keyboard and mouse. Finally, a modern OS provides the ultimate in form factor agility. A modern OS has the right sensor support and posture awareness to enable the breadth of innovative form factors and applications that our partner ecosystem will deliver.

He goes on to add:

These enablers and delighters underpin our vision for a modern OS, they will provide the foundational elements for an evolution of the PC ecosystem and enable partners  to deliver the more human-centric experiences of tomorrow. Microsoft is investing to enable these modern OS experiences, and to deliver new ones that take advantage of silicon advancements, powerful PCs, the cloud and power of AI. Experiences like an Asian Inking platform, cognitive recognition services that help with photo tagging and new Your Phone capabilities that let users mirror their Android phone screen on their PC and use the PC mouse and keyboard to interact with phone apps and content using either Wi-Fi or LTE.

Interestingly, in all of its talk about the need for a "modern operating system" Microsoft doesn’t once mention Windows. Make of that what you will…

Photo Credit: Stas Ponomarencko/Shutterstock

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