Microsoft has been diligently working on modernizing the Windows platform, with their latest project, CorePC, promising to bring major platform upgrades to Windows 12. This new iteration aims to incorporate AI capabilities, faster updates, and better security to the operating system (OS). Here, we delve into the details of what you can expect from Windows 12 based on the information provided by Zac Bowden.
CorePC: A Modular and Customizable Windows Platform
Following the cancellation of Windows Core OS and Windows 10X, Microsoft has shifted its focus to a new project called CorePC. This project aspires to modernize the Windows platform, bringing the innovations planned for Windows Core OS while maintaining native compatibility for legacy Win32 applications on devices where necessary.
CorePC is designed to be modular and customizable, enabling Microsoft to create different Windows editions with varying levels of features and app compatibility depending on device requirements. This approach allows the company to cater to different form factors, acknowledging that not all PCs need the full extent of legacy Win32 app support.
State Separation: The Key to Faster Updates and Enhanced Security
One of the most significant changes with CorePC compared to the current version of Windows is its state separation feature. This feature partitions the OS into multiple read-only sections, similar to iPadOS or Android, which are inaccessible to users and third-party apps. State separation enables faster updates and a more secure platform, as well as more reliable system reset functionality.
Revolutionizing Windows with AI
Microsoft is also focusing on integrating AI capabilities into the Windows platform. Some AI features currently in development include contextual prompts based on displayed content, object and text identification within images, and optimized hardware and software experiences similar to Apple Silicon. These features are expected to be a primary focus for Windows in 2024.
CorePC Configurations: Competing with Chromebooks and Improving Security
CorePC aims to deliver a Windows version that can truly compete with Chromebooks in terms of OS footprint, performance, and capabilities. A version of Windows that only runs Edge, web apps, Android apps (via Project Latte), and Office apps is already in early testing internally. This iteration is designed for low-end education PCs and is considerably smaller than Windows 11 SE.
Additionally, Microsoft is working on a version of CorePC that maintains the current feature set and capabilities of Windows desktop while enabling state separation for faster updates and improved security. A compatibility layer, codenamed Neon, is being developed for legacy apps that require a shared state OS to function.
With these innovations, Windows 12 is set to change the landscape of operating systems, making it more adaptable, secure, and efficient. Although Microsoft’s plans may change before the release of CorePC, the company is currently targeting its integration with the next major Windows client update, codenamed Hudson Valley, in 2024.