Microsoft X Windows Lite

Microsoft X Windows Lite

Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows that may not actually be Windows. It’s currently called Lite. Microsoft might be targeting dual-screen devices initially, but the longer plan is for Windows Lite to help the company better compete against Chromebooks. The software maker is stripping back its Windows user interface with dual screens in mind. This new hardware could launch as early as later this year, depending on chip and PC maker readiness.

Microsoft Courier

A sketch of the dual-screen from Microsoft.


We do know Windows 10 is the number one choice for the low end of the laptop market, but as we head into ChromeBook and tablet pricing territory, Windows disappears to be replaced by Chrome OS and mobile operating systems.

What is Windows Lite?

Windows Lite is alleged to be a lightweight version of Windows that will be both faster and leaner than previous Windows operating systems. A big part of the new “Lite” OS is that it will not look like Windows, Windows 10 Lite only runs PWAs and UWP apps and strips out everything else. It operates like an offline app but runs through an online service. It’s also said to be designed for dual-screen devices.

Windows Lite will reportedly be instant on, always connected, and will work with any sort of CPU to provide a wide array of options for manufacturers and consumers. And there’s something a bit different about Lite that we haven’t seen from every attempt at launching this type of software in the past; it may not be called Windows. With a new name and a different UI, uses WCOS, and is going to be Microsoft’s next ‘big bet’ in the Windows space.

Now, the question is how will Microsoft make Windows Lite a success where Windows RT and Windows 10 S have failed?

Microsoft is removing the baggage from the OS by not naming it Windows, while a risky move, it shows that the company understands that Windows is not its future. This also helps to explain why Microsoft is aggressively pursuing the PWA platform with Edge, it will be a central part of the Windows Lite experience. Hopefully, if ChromeOS can do it, so can Windows Lite; Microsoft is finally going to take on ChromeOS at every value proposition, not just one or two.


As to when we can expect to see these new devices, apparently it all depends on chip availability and PC vendors being willing to launch a new category of products. If they are, we could see them appear before the end of 2019.

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