On Wednesday, October 2nd, Microsoft made some interesting announcements regarding new devices and notably, a new version of windows. This Windows Central article gives a great overview of how Windows 10 is being reimagined, and I think it looks intriguing.
Windows 10 in its current state is a big monolithic dinosaur, the accumulation of 10 + editions of the base windows 95 architecture. I can only image the spagetti code that exists inside windows 10, but the fact that every patch that is released for Windows 10 comes with headlines of issues, it appears that it is really getting unmaintainable.
So Microsoft announced Windows 10x, which appears to be a rearchitecture of the operating system to cover a wide variety of devices. Instead of a ‘one windows for all devices’ mentality, it is being modularized to only run the components that make sense for each device. According to the Windows Central article referenced above:
This new edition of Windows 10 is based on Windows Core OS, a modular version of Windows 10 that aims to modernize and componentize the OS for all kinds of device form factors such as HoloLens 2, Surface Hub 2X, and more.
Initially, Windows 10x will only run on the new mobile devices they announced. This stripped down windows 10 assumedly will contain only the bare minimum of functionality needed, which makes sense for new mobile devices. To reduce Windows size and complexity, why not strip out printer support, win32 support and other ancient code needed to run older technology? Windows 10 still has code to run 1990’s era Visual Basic 6 on Windows 10 – is it necessary to port support for that to a new operating system?
I think Microsoft came to the conclusion that Windows 10 in its current state is unmaintainable, and it needs to be rearchitected. I give them alot of credit for thinking ahead and envisioning a better future for Windows. Here is a prediction – I think they will re-brand this before launch, dropping the 10x name and having a name not related to Windows 10 at all.
I have been pretty critical of Microsoft over the years, but I have to give them credit for turning it around. Since Satya Nadella arrived as CEO of Microsoft in 2016, things have changed much more than I expected. They are making smart decisions (mostly..), and really challenging the old ways of doing things. I knew that Nadella would be a huge improvement over the Ballmer administration, and so far I think Microsoft and Nadella have exceeded everybody’s expections.