What the heck is Windows Core OS? Here's a not-so-brief explainer.

what the heck is windows core os heres a not so brief

Trying to keep up with Microsoft's internal Windows Core OS (WCOS) project is not an easy task. We even find it difficult to keep up with all the different code names, plans and changes that are made in Windows with Windows Core OS. So, to try to keep things online, we have compiled this definitive guide for Windows Core OS, CShell and everything else.

Windows Core OS is something we have been writing about since early 2017 and we have been in the Works for much longer. It is the future of Windows, which takes the OneCore shared code and creates a modern and legacy-free operating system. The Windows Core operating system together with CShell allows Microsoft to quickly build new versions of Windows 10 and share common components and features on different types of devices and WCOS versions quickly and easily.

Let's get into details.

a future OS today

What is Windows Core OS?

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To answer this question, we first have to explain what Windows Core OS is not. Today, Windows 10 is a number of different operating systems on the many types of devices on which it can run. There are Windows 10 for desktop computers, Windows 10 for HoloLens, Windows 10 for IoT devices, Windows 10 for Surface Hub, Windows 10 for Xbox, and there were also Windows 10 for phones. Although all of these are Windows 10, they are all technically different operating systems that do not work very well on devices for which they are not designed. The Windows 10 desktop, for example, would be a terrible experience on a phone, and vice versa.

However, all these versions of Windows 10 share universal elements, such as OneCore and OneCoreUAP, which are layers of the operating system that you can find in all these versions of Windows 10 that allow things like the Universal Windows Platform. But the rest of everything included in these operating systems is specific to that version of Windows. Not everything is interchangeable or shareable among them, since most of these features have to be rewritten each time by the teams that work on these individual versions of the operating system to work.

A great example of this is with the Start menu and Activity Center in Windows 10 for desktop and Windows 10 Mobile. While Microsoft tried very hard to make these experiences look the same, they were very different. Users with enthusiastic eyes would probably have noticed differences in characteristics between the two Startup experiences, and that is because for a feature to be available on both platforms, it must be built twice, not just once. Live mosaic folders are a perfect example of this, a feature that was first found in Mobile took more than a year to appear on the desktop.

Windows Core OS is the future of Windows.

As it stands today, there is a lot of additional work and overhead that Microsoft must deal with every time it wants to create a version of Windows 10 for a new type of device, such as folding devices. None of the versions of Windows 10 on the market today would be a suitable folding PC, and although Microsoft could start building another version of Windows 10 for this category of devices, they would also have to rebuild many of the existing features and functions that already You can find it in other versions of Windows 10 to ensure that those features behave and function correctly in this form factor. It is a waste of resources and effort.

That's where Windows Core OS comes in. With Windows Core OS, Microsoft is building a universal base for Windows that can be used on all these different devices. Instead of having to develop a new version of Windows 10 for each new type of device that comes, Microsoft can simply use the Windows Core operating system, incorporate the features and functions that it has already created for it, and create it as an operating system for that type of device, with much less overhead and resources.

Windows Core OS eliminates Windows to a minimum. It has no compatibility with the legacy Win32 program, nor does it present any legacy shell interface, and adheres to UWP as the core of the operating system, since it is lighter and more universal. From there, Microsoft can build the Windows Core operating system with different components and features that can then be applied to the devices when necessary. But this time, those components and features can be shared on the different devices on which Windows Core OS will run.

It is essentially a modular platform. Any feature or function that Microsoft creates for it can be applied to any Windows Core OS device you want. For example, imagine that Microsoft develops compatibility with Win32 as a component for Windows Core OS for desktop and portable devices. Since that work has already been done, Microsoft can also bring that Win32 component to HoloLens 2 or Surface Hub 2X with Windows Core OS, allowing that functionality also in those experiences.

The great selling point for Windows Core OS for Microsoft is that for people who work on Windows, it takes much less time and resources to build new Windows experiences when necessary. If Microsoft or any of its partners want to create new device form factors with Windows, they no longer have to wait years for Microsoft to create a version of Windows 10 that works for it. Using Windows Core OS, they can create new Windows experiences in a fraction of the time and more efficiently.

Explaining composable

What is CShell for Windows?

The idea of ​​the shared component extends to the user interface as well, thanks to a universal shell that Microsoft has been creating called Composable Shell, also known as CShell for short. CShell is the other half of this universal idea for the Windows Core operating system, and allows Microsoft to create shell experiences that can be shared between devices and even grouped where it makes sense. For example, any shell-oriented feature, such as an Action Center, a Start menu or a taskbar, can be used on all devices with CShell technology without having to rewrite them to fit on different devices each time.

A great example of This is our exclusive practice with CShell in 2017 before Microsoft decided to end its smartphone efforts. Microsoft was working on CShell at the time, and it looked a lot like the current Windows 10 shell, except that it was completely modern and universal. Then, when we ran CShell on our Windows Phone, we could see many of the modern desktop experiences already available, such as Start context menus and the same Action Center that is on the desktop.

Imagine a gaming PC that changes to an Xbox "game mode" when an Xbox controller is connected.

So that Microsoft can build different shells with CShell, and share elements between them without having to rewrite them. You can build a true desktop CShell experience, and a true mobile CShell experience, and share components among them. In some cases, Microsoft can even group multiple different CShell experiences on a device and boot into them where it makes sense.

Let's imagine that Microsoft finally decides to build a Surface Phone with Windows Core OS. It will mainly have a mobile experience, but if you connected it to a Dock Continuum, Microsoft could also combine the real desktop experience you created with CShell. So, instead of getting a fake desktop experience like it did with Windows 10 Mobile, it will actually start in the real desktop experience that Microsoft created for CShell, which runs on real desktops. That's great.

Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to have finished trying to build mobile devices, so we can apply this idea to something a little more plausible. Tablets! Microsoft can build dedicated desktop and tablet experiences with CShell and apply them to 2-in-1 devices like Surface Pro. Then, every time the user enters the tablet mode, instead of getting a mediocre experience, they can boot into a dedicated tablet mode that Microsoft created for CShell. On some devices, perhaps tablet mode is the only experience available, and on others, there is more than one.

Or imagine a gaming PC, which when used with a mouse and keyboard uses a normal desktop interface with a taskbar and Start Menu. However, when an Xbox controller is connected, it starts in a "Game Mode" that enables the same Xbox shell that you can find on Xbox consoles, except that everything runs on your PC and has all your PC games ready. to work. That would be great. All these ideas are very possible with CShell and Windows Core OS.

There is more than one experience

The different flavors of Windows Core OS

Now we know all about Windows Core OS and what it is, let's take a look at all the different Windows Core settings OS we know so far. Officially, Microsoft has announced two devices running the Windows Core operating system: Surface Hub 2X and HoloLens 2. While the company has not yet spoken about the Windows Core operating system, it has begun to show it in demonstrations by displaying these devices.

There are a lot of different code names and words that are used to describe the different versions of WCOS. So we try to include all the names that Microsoft uses for these editions of the Windows Core operating system internally.

We will update this page periodically with new versions of the Windows Core operating system as they become known. For now, we have three to talk about that are in active development internally. The images below are models created by Windows Central, which are an accurate representation of what we have seen internally. To protect the sources where necessary, we have recreated what we have seen as close as possible to reality. However, as is the nature of pre-launch software, things can change and look different when they are sent.


Windows Core operating system for laptops and folding PCs

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Santorini, also known as "Windows Lite" or "PC modern "is a flavor of the Windows Core operating system that seems to be for multiple different types of devices. Because of this, Santorini has subcodes that Microsoft uses to describe the different Santorini shell experiences that you can expect depending on the type of device on which the operating system is running.

Microsoft is building Santorini as the version of Windows Core OS that runs on PCs, laptops and 2-in-1 tablets foldable for the consumer and education. It may even appear on the mythical Microsoft Andromeda device. It's a new version of what Windows can be, presenting a new user experience that looks a bit more like Chrome OS and less like old-school Windows. It has deep links to web experiences and puts universal Windows applications in the foreground, with the ultimate goal that everything in the Microsoft Store can be run in Santorini.

Santorini presents a focused taskbar experience, similar to that of Surface Hub 2X, but with a key difference: the taskbar in Santorini can be adapted according to the position of the device on which it is running. There is a simple application launcher that does not have live tiles, which lists installed applications from the Microsoft store or anchored websites. Windows Sets also played an important role throughout the Santorini UX, but I'm not sure if this is the case now that Edge is moving to Win32.

From what we have seen regarding Santorini, it does not use Windows logo for its Start button. Instead, Santorini uses the Microsoft logo, which suggests that this version of the Windows Core operating system will not be called a "Windows" product. This is a great idea, as it allows Microsoft to expand and try new things, without all inherited expectations.

Rumors suggest that "Windows 10X" will be Santorini's final name for double-screen folding devices.

Folding PCs are coming

Centaurus and Pegasus

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This is a prototype of Intel's dual-screen PC (via PC World 🙂

Regarding those subcodes , Centaurus is the code name Microsoft uses for Santorini on folding PCs. These can range from single-screen tablets to double-screen tablets or devices the size of a laptop, something like the Intel TigerRapids prototype. The Santorini housing adapts a little differently when it is executed in the multiple modes that a folding device could present, such as the tablet mode, the portable mode or some intermediate point. Pegasus is what we think Santorini is, but for more traditional form factors, such as a laptop or 2 in 1 with a physical keyboard. These are devices without unique folding capabilities. This customized version of Santorini will have a more familiar PC experience, but with the same design aesthetic found in Centaurus.

Why the next big thing about the 2-in-1 PC will be the double screens

This version of the Windows Core operating system will probably be the "flagship" version that Microsoft drives the most. It is the version with which most normal people will interact, as it will be available for more consumer-oriented PCs. Its main objective is to assume Chrome OS in the educational market, but over time, it will become the next generation of Windows for most people.


Windows Core OS for collaborative screens

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Aruba (also known as HubOS) is the flavor of the Windows Core operating system running on Surface Hub 2X. We have already seen it in action, and I even had the opportunity to implement it very briefly in Ignite 2018. It is a completely new Windows experience designed for collaborative experiences and inked in the workplace. It has a shared desktop, which allows several users to interact and share files on the same device, from different accounts. Users can also write directly to the lock screen, which will remain there during the session in which they participate.

It also features something called "dynamic rotation," which is a great demonstration of the fluidity of CShell. When the screen rotates, many of the housing elements remain exactly in place, and the rotating parts do so very smoothly. They also told me that live wallpapers are something that Microsoft was working on for Windows Core OS, and was included with Aruba. However, when I had the opportunity to try Surface Hub 2X in Ignite 2018, this was not shown to us. Perhaps the feature was still too faulty to show.

what the heck is windows core os heres a not so brief

Surface Hub 2X is the first device with Windows Core operating system that Microsoft showed the world. It's no surprise to hear that the initial release of Surface Hub 2S will not come with the Windows Core operating system installed, which will come as a hardware update in 2020 known as Surface Hub 2X. It is unclear whether this version of the Windows Core operating system will be something that Microsoft licenses partners such as Dell or HP to install on their own collaborative screens. The original OS Surface Hub was not delivered to the partners, so it is quite possible that the same thing happens here.

Aruba is probably one of the rarest versions of the Windows Core OS that you will see, since it will only be installed on a limited number of devices that are expensive and built for commercial use only.


Windows Core OS for Mixed reality devices

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Oasis is the taste of Windows Core OS for mixed reality experiences like HoloLens 2. HoloLens 2 is the first product with Windows Core operating system from Microsoft Officially known as "Holographic Windows," this flavor of the Windows Core operating system is very similar to the old HoloLens 1 operating system. From a usability point of view, HoloLens 2 is a generational leap forward over HoloLens 1, thanks to the ability of touching and interacting directly with the holograms. Being able to walk and manipulate holograms with your hands is a complete game change. HoloLens 2 does not have a learning curve once it knows how to interact with it. The human instinct is to reach and touch when you want to interact with something, and that is precisely what you do with HoloLens 2.

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To access the Menu Start, the start button is on your wrist. Simply lift your wrist and a small Microsoft logo will appear. Simply touch it with the other hand and the Start menu will appear. From there, you can touch any of the items in your Start menu to get where you want to go. Displacement is a unique experience, and there are two ways to do it. You can do it through "tap", which is as expected; Simply reach out with your finger and scroll as if you were scrolling on a tablet. There is also eye tracking available in HoloLens 2, and in certain areas that eye tracking is used in displacement. If you reach the end of a window and there is more content available to scroll, the window will start scrolling automatically.

One new thing I could try and that didn't work when the press was first practiced HoloLens 2 in February was the new holographic keyboard. Because users can now reach and play holograms, Microsoft had to rework the HoloLens keyboard to adapt to this. As such, it is a bit bigger, and the keys are round now. It works like I'm writing on a tablet. He extends his hand and begins to delve into the area where the holographic key appears. It is not too precise, but you can say some sentences if you really need it.

Holographic applications can be much more advanced now, thanks to the new manual and visual tracking capabilities. In one of the demonstrations, a virtual bird is floating around the room, and if you extend your hand, the bird will fly wherever you are in the room.

During my practice, I asked if the HoloLens 2 can run Win32 programs. Microsoft was not willing to comment, but I know from sources that this is really the plan. I asked why I noticed that the version of Microsoft Edge that ships in HoloLens 2 is the old Edge, not the new Chromium Edge. I don't think the ability to run Win32 programs is there when HoloLens 2 starts shipping, but it's something that is in process and will probably come in the form of an update later.

Speaking of updates, HoloLens 2 was playing with the 19H1 RTM version and it worked fine. Since HoloLens 2 is a Windows Core OS device, you will benefit from the new and improved Windows Update that takes less than a minute to restart once the update is ready to install.


Windows Core OS for Xbox

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Details about GameCore are quite scarce, but this is what we know so far. It is a version of the Windows Core operating system designed for Xbox, specifically the next generation of Xbox with the code name Scarlett. The main focus of this variant is to allow game developers to build once, run everywhere, including full Windows 10. While Microsoft is not forcing game developers to use GameCore for the next generation of Xbox, it is an option for those who want to point to multiple Windows platforms quickly and efficiently.

Its objective is very similar to UWP, except with a game-oriented approach. For example, GameCore is much more open, like Win32, which allows things like modification capabilities and more, but with the ability to develop games using tools and debug options similar to UWP. I’m interested to see how this translates into an Xbox console. Xbox OS is a hybrid of many different operating systems, all working together, and the addition of GameCore will allow developers to create games using a modern code base. It offers developers more resources and, in general, is faster.

Interestingly, GameCore looks a lot like something that will also reach full Windows 10, since GameCore's goal is to optimize game development on many different Windows platforms, including PCs for games that run on legacy Windows. Therefore, GameCore is an underlying component with which the user will not interact directly.

Less than 60 seconds

Faster Operating system updates

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One of the great things that Microsoft has been working with Windows Core OS is an improved Windows Update system that installs updates in the background and requires less than a minute to restart once those updates are ready to do so.

The way it works is very similar to how Android and Chrome OS update updates today. On those platforms, the operating system runs on two separate duplicate partitions, and when an update is ready to install, the update is downloaded and installed on the offline partition that you are not currently using. When finished, the operating system will ask you to reboot, and although it seems that it is only rebooting, what really happens is that it is starting on the partition that only spent 25 minutes installing a background update.

Windows Core OS keeps system updates in less than a minute.

It starts as if there was never an update waiting to be installed, and that is because the entire installation was already done while it was busy using the other online partition. Now, it has booted into the partition where the update is installed, and the partition it was on becomes the offline partition for more recent updates to be installed in the future.

This should solve one of the big problems Windows has when it comes to updates. Updates can take between 5 and 30 minutes to install, and even longer on older devices. Windows Core OS solves this problem by making the user unable to use his PC for no more than a minute. It just restarts as usual, and it works again.

Compatible with legacy applications

Will Win32 execute programs ?

In the original tone for Windows Core OS, inherited Win32 programs were not in the picture, not really. Today, however, Microsoft understands that if the Windows Core operating system ever has the opportunity, it should be able to run Win32 programs. Microsoft is exploring many different ways to support legacy programs to the Windows Core operating system, including virtually through remote and local emulation.

This functionality will be available where it makes sense, as in Santorini or Aruba. Win32 programs, by default, are protected and in containers in the Windows Core operating system. This keeps the operating system safe and also allows Microsoft to emulate the additional components needed to run a legacy program in a modern operating system, without those components affecting the operating system experience even when not using a legacy program, as it does today. Windows 10 Most users probably won't notice a difference, but it's a difference worth mentioning.

Windows Core OS, ready to use, is not included with any of the legacy Win32 programs found in Windows 10 today. Many of them will be available as optional features that you can enable from the Settings or download from the Microsoft Store. However, things like the Legacy Control Panel or File Explorer will not be part of the Windows Core operating system.

The past is a prologue

What will happen to the current Windows 10 ?

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Naturally, that brings us to what this all means for current Windows 10 users. Will existing Windows 10 PCs receive an update to the Windows Core operating system? Probably not. From what we have been able to say, Windows Core OS is only for new device experiences. Legacy Windows 10, internally known as Windows Classic, will continue to be the advanced user option, which features all legacy components and backward compatibility for users who need it.

It is not clear if you can install an edition of the Windows Core operating system on your current device, I suppose there may be some driver related issues in that area. In fact, as far as I know, I think Microsoft is looking to adopt the .FFU recovery method when it comes to loading Windows Core OS on devices, since that method is much faster to apply to devices than to install from an ISO. [19659019] Windows Classic will still be updated with new features and will remain on par with Core OS.

Windows 10, as you know, will not go anywhere. It will remain the robust and powerful option for people who need it. Windows Core OS devices will be for new device experiences and for people who simply don't need everything Windows 10 has to offer. Windows Core OS can offer simplified experiences for those who prefer something like iOS or Chrome OS, instead of being bombarded and almost intimidated by the complex experience that is Windows 10.

You will probably find that over time, Windows 10 will let us know today it will become the option for advanced users, businesses and players, and Windows Core OS will become the option for everyone else. Like Apple, it is trying to position macOS as the advanced user option, and iOS as the option for everyone else.

Windows Classic will still be updated with new features and will remain on par with the Windows Core operating system when it comes to OneCore and the work of the platform, but I don't think we will see Windows 10 evolve as much as it used to. Microsoft understands that Windows 10 users don't like change, and they just want a PC that works. It is very likely that any unique idea or innovation that changes things in an important way will reach Windows Core OS.

It is no longer a thing

Andromeda OS and Polaris [19659026] If you have been following our coverage of the Windows Core operating system from the beginning, you probably remember two more editions of the Windows Core operating system known as Andromeda OS and Polaris. These were the first two versions of the Windows Core operating system on which we wrote, but the reason they are not included above is because at some point these editions of the Windows Core operating system were put in the background, when Microsoft decided to make Windows Core operating system a platform for new experiences instead of existing ones.

Polaris was essentially a copy of the old Windows 10 S, except that it was based on Windows Core OS, which means it had no inherited parts. Andromeda OS was an experience designed specifically for dual-screen mobile devices that focused on magazine experiences, which Santorini replaces. Both flavors of the Windows Core operating system looked a lot like Windows 10, but Microsoft has decided that it makes no sense to try to mimic Windows 10 with the Windows Core operating system. Instead, he is building new experiences. So, for now, Andromeda OS and Polaris are considered "dead." Santorini is a suitable replacement for both.

When will Windows Core OS arrive?

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Microsoft has not yet made any official announcement about Windows Core OS, although it has shown two products to be sent within the next year. Según mis fuentes, las discusiones sobre cómo para anunciar y hablar sobre Windows Core OS están en curso internamente, y en Computex 2019, la compañía hizo su primera mención oficial de un nuevo "SO moderno".

Esto El sistema operativo moderno no se mencionó por su nombre, pero destacó algunas áreas clave en las que Microsoft se enfoca, incluyendo cosas como las actualizaciones mejoradas de Windows como se mencionó anteriormente, la agilidad multisensorial y el factor de forma que está relacionado con el trabajo que se realiza con CShell, más más. Es nuestra primera confirmación oficial de que Microsoft está trabajando en un sistema operativo completamente nuevo, pero no dio detalles reales de lo que es, cuándo vendrá y para quién será.

Con respecto a una fecha de lanzamiento, sabemos Windows Core OS es lo que impulsa a HoloLens 2, que se espera que comience a distribuirse este otoño. Estamos escuchando rumores de que Microsoft podría comenzar a hablar más abiertamente sobre Windows Core OS en octubre, probablemente en un evento de hardware dedicado donde se anunciarán nuevos productos Surface, incluido un dispositivo Windows Lite. Todo esto no está confirmado en este momento, y los planes pueden cambiar. No se espera que los sabores específicos del sistema operativo Windows Core, como Windows Lite, estén listos hasta algún momento en 2020.

Desglosando todo

tl; dr

Entonces, ¿qué significa todo eso? Esto es lo que es el sistema operativo Windows Core, en su núcleo:

  • Una base universal para los productos de Windows.
  • Permite a Microsoft crear nuevas versiones de Windows para diferentes tipos de dispositivos de manera rápida y eficiente.
  • Comparte componentes y características donde hace sentido.
  • Presenta actualizaciones más rápidas.
  • Es el futuro de Windows en tipos de dispositivos nuevos y únicos.
  • No reemplaza a Windows 10.

Como mencioné en mi escrito inicial del sistema operativo Windows Core. en 2017, esto es un gran problema. Es el futuro de Windows, y Microsoft está jugando el juego largo aquí. Si bien el sistema operativo Windows Core no se hará cargo de inmediato, en 10, 15 años, las cosas definitivamente serán diferentes. Para entonces, Windows Core OS puede ser principalmente la plataforma de Windows, a medida que evoluciona y madura para ser como tal. Actualizaremos este artículo con frecuencia con nueva información a medida que esté disponible. ¿Qué piensas sobre Windows Core OS? Háganos saber en los comentarios.

23 de septiembre de 2019: Artículo actualizado con la nueva sección GameCore e información adicional sobre el soporte de Win32.

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