Windows 10X As Web-First OS Streaming Apps From Cloud And Compete Against Google Chrome OS?

Windows 10X, the lightweight iteration of Windows 10 Operating System, is reportedly being repositioned as a “Web-First” OS. The platform will perform as an OS in the cloud, and stream apps from remote servers with no or limited local installation.

Microsoft is apparently rethinking the Windows 10X deployment strategy. According to new reports, the OS will be stored and streamed from remotely hosted servers, making it a Cloud OS. There should be some locally installed core components to help the computer or hardware device boot, but there won’t be any local Win32 App support. The entire app ecosystem, including installation and operation of apps, could take place from the cloud.

Microsoft Is Keeping Windows 10X ‘Lite’ On Local PCs With All Processing And Apps Running From The Cloud:

Microsoft has remained silent on the development of Windows 10X. Recently the company indicated that the OS would evolve from dual-screen devices to single-screen devices as well. This meant Windows 10X might compete against Windows 10 OS. However, it appears Windows 10X’s primary rival could be the Google Chrome OS. Both the operating systems could reside majorly in the cloud and could be streamed on-demand.

An important component from the Windows 10X was recently stripped out from the latest internal builds of the OS. Microsoft has reportedly removed ContainerOS, (also known as VAIL). The platform is critical to virtualize legacy Win32 programs on Windows 10X. According to reports, Microsoft has made the change deliberately to reposition Windows 10X as a platform designed to compete at the low-end, head-to-head with Chromebooks. Hence, in the future, Windows 10X would work primarily with web apps and these remotely hosted applications would be front and center for the OS.

Essentially, the dynamic revision of the intended Windows 10X deployment and hardware are being reported as the reason. Windows 10X, also known as Santorini, Windows 10 Lite, was originally planned as an OS for flagship premium PCs in the foldable space. However, that is now just part of the entire deployment strategy. In the future, Windows 10X could also end up on low-cost tablets and laptops designed for the education and enterprise markets.

Eliminating ContainerOS And Local Win32 App Support Will Benefit Windows 10X?

Apparently, removing a critically important component from Windows 10X will benefit the OS and the hardware. ContainerOS won’t be part of Windows 10X on these low-cost PCs is because of app performance and battery life. Devices with entry-level hardware are usually poorly equipped to virtualize legacy Win32 applications on top of Windows 10X. Forcing the platform to perform virtualization will have a negative impact on performance and battery life.

A Windows Operating System without the ability to run Windows Apps doesn’t make any sense. Hence, Microsoft is reportedly planning to offer the ability to run Win32 Apps through legacy app streaming using the cloud infrastructure. The currently existing Windows Virtual Desktop, an enterprise service that lets companies run applications installed in the cloud on client PCs, could be an excellent example as well as a usable service on Windows 10X.

One more benefit of eliminating local Win32 App support would be the ability to run Windows 10X smoothly and reliably on multiple processor architectures. In other words, Windows 10X might just be the ideal OS for the Windows on ARM (WoA) project. Up until recently, ContainerOS was the main limiting factor forcing Microsoft and Windows 10 to remain loyal to Intel-based PCs.

It is important to note that these reports are uncorroborated. Microsoft hasn’t offered any information confirming or denying the roadmap of Windows 10X. Hence the company might make some significant changes in the future.

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Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.
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