Microsoft has been trying to offer a stripped down version of its Windows 10 operating system for sometime now. The Redmond-based software major launched Windows 10 S with Surface Laptop last year only to spin it into S mode later. Now, it seems Microsoft will actually launch a stripped down version of Windows 10 dubbed ‘Lean’.
The new Windows 10 Insider Build 17650 has given away details about Microsoft’s plan for an OS version that uses approximately 2GB less space than the Windows 10 Pro version on an x64 system. The Windows 10 Lean cuts down on its default install space by not installing many of the standard apps and features that are usually installed in standard versions. With the arrival of Lean, Windows 10 will now be available in three different variants.
Welcome to Windows 10 Lean/CloudE/S (once again?)
This new edition started shipping with this week’s Skip Ahead build (17650)
It seems to be heavily cut down, an x64 clean install is roughly 2 GB smaller than Pro
Its edition ID is 0xB7 which was missing from SDK headers pic.twitter.com/2Sn3SVXeZB
— Lucan (@tfwboredom) April 20, 2018
The details regarding the Windows 10 Lean version were first spotted by Windows expert Lucan when the Redstone 5 Insider build was released. This particular edition started shipping with the release of Windows 10 for those in the Skip Ahead build of Windows 10. The screenshots posted by Lucan reveals that Windows 10 Lean misses out on a number of stock applications and features and users can see placeholder button displayed that act as a hub to download and install an app that is shipped by default with Windows 10 Pro.
It is not immediately clear what Microsoft plans to do with this particular release of Windows 10. Once installed, the Windows 10 Lean variant gives away little information in the Windows Registry but it does point at being a part of the “Windows 10 S Insider Preview” branch and has a CompositionEditionID and has subID called “CloudE”.
Is Windows 10 Lean just another spin of Windows 10 S? Lucan points out that this version does not include the normal restrictions that are usually found in Windows 10 S version. Microsoft, like Google and Apple, is looking to enter the entry-level computing segment, and has been pitching Windows 10 S as the operating system to its OEM partners.
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The idea here is to offer an operating system that does not take a lot of space, function smoothly with little resources and stay secure all the time. Simply put, Microsoft is looking to create the Chrome OS equivalent of Windows 10. It tried that with Windows RT then with Windows 10 S, and now it is trying again with Windows 10 Lean. The operating system does sound interesting, but there is no clarity on what Microsoft plans to do with the version and whether it will succeed against Chrome OS and iPad.