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Windows Lite OS Being Developed by Microsoft for Dual-Screen, Chromebook-Style Laptops: Report

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Windows Lite OS Being Developed by Microsoft for Dual-Screen, Chromebook-Style Laptops: Report

Windows Lite device may launch later this year

Highlights
  • Microsoft is working on Windows Lite OS for dual screen devices
  • It will also be compatible with low-tier PCs to compete with Chromebooks
  • Windows Lite device may launch later this year

Microsoft's reported work on a stripped down version of Windows for dual-screen devices and Chromebook competitors has some fresh rumours. The new software is internally called Windows Lite, and it should be compatible with dual-screen laptops and possibly foldable displays as well. According to a new report, Microsoft is working on a new Composable Shell (C-Shell) and Windows Core OS for the new software. Windows Core OS is reported to be a more modular version of Windows Shell used on Windows 10.

The Verge reports that Windows Lite will be a more pared down version of Windows 10, with fewer features and may also have the ability to run apps from Microsoft Store and progressive web apps (PWA's). While its built keeping dual-screens in mind, it also looks to enable low-tier PC segment that will give competition to Google's Chromebook product line. To recall, work on Windows Lite has been reported for a while, said to be an evolution of Windows Core OS.

The interface of the new Windows Lite will be similar to Windows, but it will reportedly be a blend of "what Microsoft does with its Surface Hub shell and the limited functionality of its Windows Phone Continuum user interface." The new shell was first leaked on Windows 10 Mobile to bring some existing Windows 10 components to the handheld devices. Further, it is touted to be an "adaptive shell" to let developers scale Windows 10 to any form - even on a foldable device.

The report also says that the first device with Windows Lite may launch as soon as later this year, depending on chip and PC makers readiness. Intel has also been forcing PC makers to make this new hardware category, and Microsoft has also been reported earlier to be working on a courier-style foldable note-taking tablet with stylus. The software is called Windows Lite internally, and it could launch commercially under a new name. Microsoft may outline beginning strategies of Windows Lite at the Build Conference in May.

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Tasneem Akolawala Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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