Forget Windows 10 S - Microsoft needs a true 'lite' version of Windows

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I've been thinking this for a long time, heck we all have, yet kudos to Zac at WC for coming out and saying it - shouldn't there be a version of Windows 10 for our partners, parents, kids and other non-geeks, without any of the legacy Win32 stuff. Not just ripping out the x86 app compatibility, as in Windows 10 S, but ripping everything that's not 'modern' out.

So none of those fiddly legacy controls and hiding places for settings and UI elements from Windows XP. Just a fast and modern OS, with UWP compatibility, a speedy Edge browser and virtual immunity from malware, spyware and things generally going wrong. The sort of things that the likes of you and I have to fix for the aforementioned group of users...

From Zac's opinion piece:

In my life, I have bought or given Windows laptops to all kinds of people. Old people, young people, workaholics, casuals, you name it. While everyone's use case is different, I've noticed a trend amongst several of them; their use cases are using the web browser for accessing email, watching Netflix, and writing documents. These laptops often come with bloatware and extra crap that they're not ever going to use, killing performance, and it's overkill for a lot of people.

The fact of the matter is for a lot of people, Windows as a whole is overkill. Not everyone wants to customize every last setting available in the Control Panel. Not everyone wants to access the registry, manage connected domains or organize files in File Explorer. A lot of people just want to use the internet, and I think Microsoft needs a version of Windows 10 that gets out of the way and lets people do just that.

A version of Windows 10 that's true UWP-only, with a simple desktop experience that includes a taskbar, Start menu and windowed apps, is exactly what a lot of people need. Maybe not you or me, but people. Windows 10 S gets a lot right, but it's still the same old Windows under the hood. It still has the extra settings, functions, and capabilities that most people don't need.

As I showcased in my CShell video earlier this year, Continuum has been updated with windowed mode, which actually makes Continuum useful. Take that experience, build the hardware into a laptop rather than a phone, and you've got the exact scenario I'm imagining: A version of Windows 10 with a desktop experience that's UWP only, and runs on ARM-based laptops.

You can read the whole piece here.

What to call it? Windows 10 Edge, perhaps, taking the browser name, as in Chrome OS? Thoughts welcome, but I'd love to deploy something like this in some of my family's PCs. It could probably be deployed for free too, surely, since it would be a cloud-centric product more than usual, and a perfect lead into Microsoft's cloud services.

And hey, run it on ARM as well as x86, that should work fine. Yes, I know Zac said 'build the hardware into a laptop rather than a phone', but why not run it on ARM on a folding tablet and add telephony and you'd have... 'Andromeda'? Surface Phone? Who knows....

Source / Credit: WC