Leak: Windows 12 Will Feature Modular Design, Faster Updates


Windows 11 was a minor upgrade over Windows 10, which is surprising given how long Microsoft lingered on 10. According to a new report, Some elements of the ill-fated Windows 10X and Core OS projects could come back in Windows 12. Microsoft’s alleged design philosophy aims to modernize Windows to make it more reliable, modular, and secure.

Microsoft hasn’t so much as mentioned the next version of Windows, but internal sources have reportedly spilled the beans to Windows Central. According to the leaked info, Microsoft has spun up an internal project called CorePC. Probably the most significant change is a holdover from the Core OS project—state separation. This will make Windows 12 (or whatever Microsoft calls it) more like Android and iOS. Rather than giving every installed program full access to the OS, they must interact with the system via a set of APIs.

State separation unlocks several valuable new capabilities. For one, making core parts of the system read-only will make the OS more secure. The modularity that comes with CorePC also means developing and installing updates will be quicker. With fewer apps monkeying with system code, Microsoft also believes that Windows 12 will perform better and won’t slow down over time.

This ground-up rebuild could also finally get Microsoft in a position to compete with Chrome OS without sacrificing the app compatibility that makes Windows so popular. The company has tried several slimmed-down takes on Windows, including Windows RT. Windows 11 Lite, and the canceled Windows 10X. CorePC theoretically allows the OS to adapt to different use cases. For example, Windows Central reports that Microsoft is already testing an internal build of CorePC that only runs Edge, Android apps, and Office apps. This build, intended for ultra-budget PCs and education machines, is said to be 60-75% smaller than the education-focused Windows 11 SE. On the flip side, more powerful PCs would still have access to the entire ecosystem of Windows software. There may even be a compatibility layer (code named Neon) that ensures legacy apps that need a shared state OS will still work.

Windows 10x PC in tablet mode

Windows 10X never made it to release, but the UI survived in Windows 11. Credit: Microsoft

Lastly, the report claims Microsoft is going all-in with AI functionality; unsurprising given Microsoft’s infatuation with ChatGPT. Windows 12 may be able to scan the screen to offer contextual information and project templates based on what it sees. However, some of these features might depend on optimization for specific chipsets.

Microsoft isn’t commenting on this report, but the leaker suggests CorePC could be ready for prime time for the next major OS revision in 2024.

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