What is Windows Core Operating System?

Posted by Rob Schnetzer on Thu, Oct, 10, 2019 @ 15:10 PM

At Microsoft's Surface event in the early part of October they debuted several pieces of software and a new operating system. What will happen to Windows 10 as a result? Or will Windows be looking at a whole new platform?




What is Windows Core OS?

Core is a stripped down version of Windows, it is a very modular and adaptable in its design. It isn't a consumer product, but a foundation Microsoft will use to build their next generation hardware around.

If you've followed any of the recent news about hardware being designed by Microsoft then you've probably seen examples of Core and didn't even know it. Several of those include the HoloLens 2, an artificial reality or mixed reality headset, and the Surface Hub 2X an interactive whiteboard.

The concept for a core framework has been around since the modern OS. It functions as a template to plug modules into, and those modules can vary greatly. From things like the aforementioned Hololens 2 all the way to simple tablets. 

There are at present three different versions of the Windows Core OS.

Aruba: This is what the Surface Hub 2x is running, it is tailored to the collaborative display enabling it to rotate the display, combine it with other displays and has a multi-user interface that can share files and documents and changes to those documents across real time.

Oasis: Designed for the Hololens 2, it enables gesture controls to grab, scale or move objects, finger position tracking, head and eye tracking. All things that are crucial for a high-end AR headset.

Santorini: Is probably what most of us will be exposed to, designed for consumer products like laptops and tablets. Santorini has also been referred to as Windows 10X and Windows Lite, it is also being optimized for dual screen computers such as Surface Neo. It has an emphasis on battery optimization and seems that it’ll be stripped down to support mobile computing and productivity focused computers.

You'll also find Santorini in Windows Surface Neo, a new dual screen laptop that will be out in late 2020.

And now to Windows 10, now referred to as Windows Classic, it will still be around and upgraded in tandem with Windows Core OS modules. Windows won't drop support for it any time soon because it will be targeted towards power users, gaming and business and enterprise users. Core OS is just there to fill in the blanks that Windows 10 hasn't had the capability to do.

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Topics: Windows 10, Windows Core OS