Windows 10 is now four years old and Microsoft has started to look to the future. Its flavors are available on everything from your PC to your Xbox. Although they share the same name and some resources, they are very different.

The Windows Core OS project is Microsoft’s plan to develop a single operating system for the future. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What is the Windows Core operating system?

Windows Core OS has not been officially announced, but eagle-eyed spotters have been spotted this LinkedIn job description, with Microsoft looking to hire someone for the team developing it. Given that Windows 10 is its current operating system, it is clear that Windows Core OS is destined to replace it.

Rather than developing the same operating system four or five times, each with different components, Microsoft wants to develop a single base operating system. It takes “OneCore”, which is a piece of shared code already in place, and builds this new operating system around it. With this he will build the new “ecosystem” mentioned in the job description.

With just one base, they can then prepare different versions with different features and settings much more easily than was the case with Windows 10.

It’s also important to note that Windows 10 is an evolution of the previous Windows NT, starting with Windows NT 3.1 in 1993. Any older, unsupported code can be scanned by the new, more platform-independent Windows kernel.

How is it different from Windows 10?

Right now, Microsoft offers several different versions of Windows 10. They share some features, but you can’t install Windows 10 for Xbox on a PC, for example.

We also have to think about new types of technology: new mobile devices, new formats, different sizes and new platforms. The CPU architecture, for example, requires different versions with the same main interface.

To streamline the process, Windows Core OS (“AndromedaOS” in previous leaks) will make this simpler. Any additional information on the differences between Windows 10 and Windows Core OS will come with leaks, or via official announcements from Microsoft, in the near future.

What we can speculate is that “C-Shell”. a shared interface for Windows devices that is already in development for Windows 10, will play a major role in the Windows Core OS ecosystem. “Polaris,” another leaked project code name, will rely on C-Shell to provide a common interface for all Windows Core OS devices.

When will the Windows Core operating system be released?

Don’t expect Windows Core OS to hit your devices anytime soon. Microsoft Core OS has not been announced to the public, with information extracted from job postings and profiles.

You can expect a first release of Windows Core OS to come one to two years after an official announcement. Windows 10, for example, was announced in the fall of 2014, then released in the summer of 2015. Windows 8, before it, was announced in early 2011 with the initial release in the summer of 2012.

There’s no way support for Windows 10 will end anytime soon, either. Microsoft releases new versions every spring and fall, and it is likely that Microsoft will continue to develop new features and support for its current operating system for several years to come.

The future of Windows

Windows Core OS is the next evolution of Microsoft’s central strategy for one platform, many devices. Windows 10 was the first step, but Windows Core OS will streamline the process.

This is still an internal Microsoft project, so it’s safe to assume it will take a few more years. You can try Linux for a different desktop experience in the meantime.

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