Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Dec 2018 01:43 UTC
Windows

Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows that may not actually be Windows. It's currently called Lite, based on documentation found in the latest build, and I can confirm that this version of the OS is targeting Chromebooks. In fact, there are markings all over the latest release of the insider builds and SDK that help us understand where this OS is headed.

If you have heard this before, it should sound a lot like Windows 10 S and RT; Windows 10 Lite only runs PWAs and UWP apps and strips out everything else. This is finally a truly a lightweight version of Windows that isn’t only in the name. This is not a version of the OS that will run in the enterprise or even small business environments and I don’t think you will be able to ‘buy’ the OS either; OEM only may be the way forward.

[...]

And there's something a bit different about Lite that we haven't seen from every attempt at launching this type of software in the past: it may not be called Windows. With a new name and a different UI, uses WCOS, and is going to be Microsoft's next 'big bet' in the Windows space.

All I'll say is that you should keep an eye on Build 2019.

Order by: Score:
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

If at first you don't succeed... change the name and repeat. Eventually, someone will care.

Reply Score: 5

The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

No they won't

Reply Score: 0

CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Microsoft has been doing this for ages with tech no one likes or wants. Remember Silverlight? That was 7 different packages before, and 9 after (including UWP).

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Silverlight seemed quite nice to me, in some aspects nicer than eg Flash...

Reply Score: 2

Too bad
by WorknMan on Thu 6th Dec 2018 04:57 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Was hoping it would be a slimmed down version of Windows 10, kind of like XP/Vista/7 Lite.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Too bad
by avgalen on Thu 6th Dec 2018 12:43 UTC in reply to "Too bad"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Was hoping it would be a slimmed down version of Windows 10, kind of like XP/Vista/7 Lite.

For that you can use Windows PE, Server Core or Nano Server depending on your exact needs. This Windows Lite will be slimmed down a bit because the "legacy" (x86) components will really be removed instead of just disabled like in 10-in-S-mode

Reply Score: 3

Why?
by franzrogar on Thu 6th Dec 2018 08:43 UTC
franzrogar
Member since:
2012-05-17

Why should I keep an eye on a cropped and crippled OS with a kernel known to be full of bugs instead of a real/complete OS (despite the same bugs)?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why?
by Drumhellar on Thu 6th Dec 2018 09:16 UTC in reply to "Why?"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

with a kernel known to be full of bugs


Alternative kernels are known to be bug-free?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Why?
by miqlas on Thu 6th Dec 2018 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
miqlas Member since:
2008-02-19

Windows doesn't even comes with radiation hardened kernel. Into the trash it goes. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why?
by zima on Fri 7th Dec 2018 00:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06
RE[2]: Why?
by RobG on Thu 6th Dec 2018 11:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

seL4 comes pretty close...

https://sel4.systems/

OpenBSD is also pretty good, with "only 2 remote holes in the default install", which actually covers user land too (although that is "remote holes" which is different to bugs).

However, as @the123king points out below, the NT Kernel itself is actually pretty solid, it the drivers and user land that tend to let things down.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why?
by Geft on Thu 6th Dec 2018 12:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
Geft Member since:
2018-12-03

seL4 comes pretty close...

https://sel4.systems/

OpenBSD is also pretty good, with "only 2 remote holes in the default install", which actually covers user land too (although that is "remote holes" which is different to bugs).

However, as @the123king points out below, the NT Kernel itself is actually pretty solid, it the drivers and user land that tend to let things down.

You are talking only about security bugs here, not bugs overall. Furthermore, you're talking only about known/discovered bugs. If there would be as many keen hackers trying to exploit BSD or sel4 as there are hackers trying to exploit Windows kernel, I think situation would be a bit less extreme.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why?
by The123king on Thu 6th Dec 2018 09:58 UTC in reply to "Why?"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

Do you have sources to back up your claims?

AFAIK the NT kernel is actually pretty solid. It's all the stuff slapped on top of it which is buggy and shit

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Why?
by CaptainN- on Thu 6th Dec 2018 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

There was at least one MS Engineer who pointed out a couple of years ago, that the way MS develops the Windows Core is simply inferior to the way Linux is developed, and Windows will therefor never be as fast (he was talking specifically about the nightmarish Windows scheduler) as Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why?
by Geft on Mon 10th Dec 2018 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
Geft Member since:
2018-12-03

There was at least one MS Engineer who pointed out a couple of years ago, that the way MS develops the Windows Core is simply inferior to the way Linux is developed, and Windows will therefor never be as fast (he was talking specifically about the nightmarish Windows scheduler) as Linux.

How is that related to actual bugs?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why?
by zima on Thu 13th Dec 2018 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There was some tumult over Linux schedulers too, some new ones getting rejected because most devs didn't experience issues in their beefy multicpu workstations, some devs leaving... (the story of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con_Kolivas ...also, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Completely_Fair_Scheduler#Fairer_algor... & https://blog.acolyer.org/2016/04/26/the-linux-scheduler-a-decade-of-... )

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why?
by Brendan on Fri 7th Dec 2018 03:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Do you have sources to back up your claims?

AFAIK the NT kernel is actually pretty solid. It's all the stuff slapped on top of it which is buggy and shit


As a fan of micro-kernels; the NT kernel is as solid as a wet paper bag because its susceptible to all of the bugs in all of the stuff that gets slapped on top (drivers, etc). ;)

- Brendan

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Why?
by Geft on Mon 10th Dec 2018 11:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
Geft Member since:
2018-12-03


As a fan of micro-kernels; the NT kernel is as solid as a wet paper bag because its susceptible to all of the bugs in all of the stuff that gets slapped on top (drivers, etc). ;)

Is it just me or does your post makes no sense at all?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why?
by avgalen on Thu 6th Dec 2018 12:44 UTC in reply to "Why?"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Why should I keep an eye on a cropped and crippled OS with a kernel known to be full of bugs instead of a real/complete OS (despite the same bugs)?

By posting on this topic you already confirm that you keep an eye out on Windows related items. Maybe we should ask you why you do that?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Why?
by r_a_trip on Thu 6th Dec 2018 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

The way I read OP is that s/he doesn't see the point in using a stripped down OS vs the full-fledged one. Particularly because of the "despite the same bugs" verbiage, which point to the NT kernel.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why?
by avgalen on Thu 6th Dec 2018 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I perfectly understood that, I was just making fun of him. Apparently he is either:
1) Fine with a big OS with bugs in the kernel but not with that same OS in a more limited version with less attack surface. This would mean he cares about security in a very strange way
2) Reading and commenting and paying attention about an OS that he tells us he doesn't want to pay attention to

Reply Score: 4

How about...
by fretinator on Thu 6th Dec 2018 13:51 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows Chromium Express.

Reply Score: 3

Commes together with Chrome announcement
by dsmogor on Thu 6th Dec 2018 14:25 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

If the ms chromium browser is ready by the time this is announced it would be MS legitimate shot at ChromeOS:

Chrome -> Ms Browser
Google services -> MS services (with option to use Google ones I guess)
Android apps -> Windows store apps

Not if MS can truly best Google at remote management of these boxes and comes with array of app announcements that target this market (read education) they could have a shot here. But that's a long term struggle.
And they will have to to squeeze visibly better performance from paltry HW than Chrome os.
Game on.

Reply Score: 2

??
by computrius on Thu 6th Dec 2018 14:41 UTC
computrius
Member since:
2006-03-26

Why does everyone seem to want a crippled PC that is more locked down and doesn't do half of what the PC they already have does?

Then on top of that we all pretend its innovative and that it is somehow a giant leap forward.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ??
by moondevil on Thu 6th Dec 2018 15:07 UTC in reply to "??"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Because no matter how we educate regular users, they end up with their computers full of malware crap, browsers with endless extensions and running as root.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: ??
by CaptainN- on Thu 6th Dec 2018 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE: ??"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Yeah, some of they more technical people really don't seem to get this. My older family members have all ditched their Windows laptops in favor of overpowered phones, and under powered Android tablets, mostly due to this reality. They are not qualified to administer Windows, and never will be.

What I'll find interesting is, if they gain traction with a platform like this, will they eventually find a way to run legacy apps safely by containerizing them - like ChromeOS will be doing with "Linux apps"?

Edited 2018-12-06 16:33 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: ??
by zima on Fri 7th Dec 2018 01:00 UTC in reply to "RE: ??"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Hm, one local PC service (so tech folks) set up a laptop of my relatives to automatically boot into admin account...
(maybe it was assuring job security, to have them come back to service?)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ??
by kurkosdr on Fri 7th Dec 2018 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ??"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Hm, one local PC service (so tech folks) set up a laptop of my relatives to automatically boot into admin account...
(maybe it was assuring job security, to have them come back to service?)

If a laptop has been "optimised" by a local PC technician or the GeekSquad, just assume a full format is needed. Assume things like default admin accounts, "reg tweaks" that broke things and WinSxS Lite that also breaks things.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ??
by avgalen on Thu 6th Dec 2018 16:23 UTC in reply to "??"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Why does everyone seem to want a crippled PC that is more locked down and doesn't do half of what the PC they already have does?

Then on top of that we all pretend its innovative and that it is somehow a giant leap forward.

Because some of the "buttons" that a PC has aren't useful "buttons" to most people but are "shoot-me-in-the-foot-buttons.
Powerusers like you and I might miss that functionality, but for most users it is much better to have fewer buttons.
iOS is a much more limited version of OSX, yet much more popular.
Android is a much more limited version of Linux, yet much more popular*

* for desktop/mobile use, not servers obviously

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: ??
by The123king on Thu 6th Dec 2018 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE: ??"
RE[3]: ??
by BushLin on Thu 6th Dec 2018 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ??"
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

Whoosh

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ??
by computrius on Thu 6th Dec 2018 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE: ??"
computrius Member since:
2006-03-26

Its not really a fair measure of popularity on mobile devices when there is no competing option that ISN'T locked down and limited.

But we are going to be there on the desktop as well very soon at this rate.

It would be pretty strait forward, and has been the case in the past, to put the advanced options are somewhere that the average user will never see. The people who care and know where to look will appreciate it. The people who don't wont ever know it is there to begin with.

This "security" and "users are stupid" nonsense is just reasoning to lock down the systems so that they can charge money for things and lock users into things that they wouldn't have gotten away with before.

Edited 2018-12-06 17:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ??
by avgalen on Fri 7th Dec 2018 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ??"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Its not really a fair measure of popularity on mobile devices when there is no competing option that ISN'T locked down and limited.

But we are going to be there on the desktop as well very soon at this rate.

It would be pretty strait forward, and has been the case in the past, to put the advanced options are somewhere that the average user will never see. The people who care and know where to look will appreciate it. The people who don't wont ever know it is there to begin with.

This "security" and "users are stupid" nonsense is just reasoning to lock down the systems so that they can charge money for things and lock users into things that they wouldn't have gotten away with before.

Hiding advanced options is one thing, but there is a lot to say for "using the right tool for the job". My mother is way better at using WhatsApp for sharing texts and pictures with me than she is at using mail.
I prefer to have a big powerful mailclient with a UI that I can customize to show the options that I use most, but then I work at a different pc and the UI isn't synched and I hate seeing all those options that I never use. My mother would just walk away with a big "nope, nope, nope", grab her phone (or whatsappweb) and get things done in a minute

None of this is "so that they can charge money" because in general these smaller/limited apps are free while their big brothers are paid

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: ??
by computrius on Fri 7th Dec 2018 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ??"
computrius Member since:
2006-03-26

"My mother is way better at using WhatsApp for sharing texts and pictures with me than she is at using mail."

And the way computers are traditionally designed, she doesn't have to use mail if she doesn't want to. But it doesn't completely disregard that there are people that do.

The problem with the way people are thinking about this in newer systems is rather than being given the choice we are now told: "Sorry, some people aren't comfortable with email, so now we have to lock the entire system down to prevent ANYONE from using it at all.".

There is no logical reason for taking away the freedom to choose.

Edited 2018-12-07 17:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: ??
by avgalen on Mon 10th Dec 2018 08:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ??"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

"My mother is way better at using WhatsApp for sharing texts and pictures with me than she is at using mail."

And the way computers are traditionally designed, she doesn't have to use mail if she doesn't want to. But it doesn't completely disregard that there are people that do.

The problem with the way people are thinking about this in newer systems is rather than being given the choice we are now told: "Sorry, some people aren't comfortable with email, so now we have to lock the entire system down to prevent ANYONE from using it at all.".

There is no logical reason for taking away the freedom to choose.

These "new, locked down" versions of software are extra versions. The "current, 'open'" versions of software still exist so nobody is taking away the freedom to choose. Instead extra choice is now created and an incredible amount of people are choosing those new, locked down, simplified versions of software now that they finally have a choice that suits them

Reply Score: 2

PWA
by daveak on Thu 6th Dec 2018 16:04 UTC
daveak
Member since:
2008-12-29

Pretty Worthless App. Give me native consistent UIs based on well thought out HCI guidelines. I don't want to learn idioms over and over again because some hipster "UX" guru decided to change something in their app.

Reply Score: 0

v Just another MS F(l)ail.
by jholton on Thu 6th Dec 2018 18:02 UTC
Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 6th Dec 2018 18:13 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

I like the idea of packaged win32/win64 apps because they make the Windows computing experience better. For example, two days ago I tried to run Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (the 2002 game) on my Windows 8.1 computer, and it explicitly asked for admin rights, which I gave (the installer had also asked for admin rights as usual, which I also gave).

And then it struck me: Who knows what the installer of the game, or the game itself, both operating under 16-year-old assumptions valid to Windows XP 32-but, did to my Windows installation. I didn't find any new DLLs in the Windows folder, but who knows what it did to the registry. I 'd be glad if the apps and games of today didn't exhibit this behaviour 16 years from now and were properly packaged instead.

Unfortunately, I cannot see a way Microsoft could introduce PWA in a successful manner. Introduce it as an option, and most software vendors (the same ones complaining about Android's permissions) will ignore it and stick to the usual modus operandi of "give our app admin access or no soup for you". Introduce it as the only option, like Windows Lite tries to do, and the thing will go down as another failed Windows version that didn't offer full Windows compatibility, like Windows RT or Windows 10 S.

PS: And this is exactly why Android enforced proper containerization and no random granting of admin rights to random apps from version 1.0 . Gotta give that to Google, they chose their tech debt wisely in the Android 1.0-2.x days.

Edited 2018-12-06 18:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Bravo
by BushLin on Thu 6th Dec 2018 22:03 UTC
BushLin
Member since:
2011-01-26

Just the product I've been waiting for: the 6 month code re-base/re-install, modern Microsoft quality assurance without the win32 backwards compatibility.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bravo
by Geft on Mon 10th Dec 2018 11:55 UTC in reply to "Bravo"
Geft Member since:
2018-12-03

Just the product I've been waiting for: the 6 month code re-base/re-install, modern Microsoft quality assurance without the win32 backwards compatibility.

Sarcasm?..

Reply Score: 1

Targetting ChromeOS
by Xaero_Vincent on Fri 7th Dec 2018 03:24 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

An OS that can only run PWAs and Windows Store Apps isn't a very good comparison for the newest Chrome OS releases.

Chrome OS has expanded in functionality since it's debut as a pure web OS. Now it can run Android and Linux apps in addition to PWAs and Chrome Web Store apps. It can even run Windows apps with Wine and do so better once it gets virtualized GPU and sound support in Crostini.

Windows Lite doesn't sound like a good value proposition compared to Chromebooks or cheap Windows 10 PCs. My guess is it will probably go over with consumers about as well as Windows RT did.

Edited 2018-12-07 03:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Windows NT is a sound operating system
by kriston on Fri 7th Dec 2018 04:15 UTC
kriston
Member since:
2007-04-11

I know we're all trying to sound clever, but many of us know that Windows NT is a sound operating system. It hit its performance stride with Windows 2000 and has just gotten better ever since.

In spite of the risky decision to move Windows graphics drivers into the Windows executive (ring 0) for desktop performance reasons (and betraying the modular philosophy of Windows NT), after over a decade and half that seems to have finally stabilized. Of course, on the server side, this move didn't matter.

I was happy to see MSFT to offer the stripped-down, GUI-less Windows Server Core which reportedly also runs the Microsoft Azure Hyper-V hypervisor and other headless applications.

I wonder how much of Windows Server Core is being used for this "Windows Lite" and what they're using for its GUI. Indeed, most, if not all, of the instability of Windows NT that you clever people like to mock has been caused by the graphics drivers used by the GUI being run in the Windows executive (ring 0).

Getting acceptable desktop graphics performance on Windows NT while respecting the modular philosophy will be interesting to watch. I'm interested to see how MSFT implements the graphics drivers on "Windows Lite."

Edited 2018-12-07 04:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

You seem to be pretty hung up about the graphics drivers being in the kernel, but they were mostly moved out of the kernel since Vista/WDDM: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa480220.aspx.
Windows Lite is surely not going to change any driver-model or anything kernel-related

Reply Score: 5

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

This is also partly responsible for the fact that Windows is the only widely adopted operating system which can gracefully survive graphics driver crash.

Reply Score: 2

Geft Member since:
2018-12-03

I was happy to see MSFT to offer the stripped-down, GUI-less Windows Server Core which reportedly also runs the Microsoft Azure Hyper-V hypervisor and other headless applications.

I assume you're talking about "Nano Server" and not "Server Core"? Because Windows Server Core is not GUI-less. Far from it, in fact...

Reply Score: 1

gonna have to...
by stormcrow on Fri 7th Dec 2018 19:33 UTC
stormcrow
Member since:
2015-03-10

Fix the UWP ecosystem first. Right now there aren't many people enamored about it. It's focused on making UI visuals while the back side has too many limitations to make those UI elements useful. It's like slapping one of Coyote's painted on fake tunnel entrances on a rock face.

If they can't get developers on board with USEFUL UWP programs then there will be nothing for people to want from "Lite" whether it's called "Windows Lite" or "Microsoft-Wannabe-Chrome-OS" and it'll languish just like every other MS mobile attempt.

I get what they're trying to do: return to the old client-server model of computing like Chrome OS. Lite handles the client side while they rake in $$$ with Azure fees for the server/services side. I just think they're a day late and a dollar short with copying the Google model.

Reply Score: 2

RE: gonna have to...
by zima on Sun 9th Dec 2018 21:39 UTC in reply to "gonna have to..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's like slapping one of Coyote's painted on fake tunnel entrances on a rock face.

But the Roadrunner always somehow made that tunnel real... ;) (so maybe there's more to that comparison of yours)

Edited 2018-12-09 21:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3