Microsoft to reportedly focus on security and AI in next version of Windows

It’s the company’s latest attempt at a “modern” and scalable version of Windows.

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Microsoft is working on a new “modern” version of Windows with better security and faster updates, according to Windows Central. The initiative, called CorePC, would allow Windows to scale better for different devices while still supporting legacy apps.

CorePC would aim for many of the same goals as the scrapped Windows Core OS (including the also canceled Windows 10X), which Microsoft billed as a modular modernization of its OS. CorePC would use “state separation” and split Windows into multiple partitions, similar to iOS and Android. This could make it harder for malware to infect the system while making updates faster.

“The current version of Windows is not a state-separated platform, meaning the entire system is installed into a single writable partition,” explains Windows Central. “System files, user data, and program files are all stored in the same place. CorePC splits up the OS into multiple partitions, which is key to enabling faster OS updates. State separation also enables faster and more reliable system reset functionality, which is important for Chromebook compete devices in the education sector.”

CorePC would let Microsoft offer various editions of Windows for different hardware, supporting specific features and apps for each. For example, one educationally focused variant could have a light footprint like ChromeOS, running only the Edge browser, web apps, Office and emulated Android apps. Conversely, CorePC could also offer full-fledged versions of Windows that support all the current features and capabilities of the modern Windows 11 desktop. (A “Neon” compatibility layer would let the OS support legacy Windows apps.)

The company is also reportedly working on a version of CorePC to rival Apple Silicon, which the iPhone maker began shipping in new Macs more than two years ago. Microsoft’s “silicon-optimized” variant would enhance the operating system’s performance and capabilities when tied to specific hardware (like, theoretically, Surface devices running a particular class of chips).

Finally, Microsoft is (unsurprisingly) baking AI into the new project. Its plans include using artificial intelligence to analyze on-screen content and provide appropriate contextual cues. It sounds like a system-wide extension of the AI capabilities in upcoming versions of Office.

As for when you can get your hands on it, Microsoft is reportedly aiming to use CorePC for the next major version of Windows (presumably “Windows 12”), scheduled for 2024. But, of course, the company’s alleged plans could change between now and then.