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Monday, December 3, 2018

The Future of Windows: What Are Polaris and Windows Core OS?

Microsoft is working on a secretive “Windows Core OS” project that will unify Windows across all devices and a “Polaris” desktop to go along with it. Here’s what we know about it.

Bear in mind that Microsoft hasn’t officially announced these projects yet. Windows Core OS, C-Shell, and Polaris may change drastically before release, or they may never even be released.

Microsoft Wants to Go Beyond OneCore

Microsoft wants a single unified operating system for all Windows devices, from Windows 10 PCs to the Xbox One, HoloLens, and potential future Windows Phones. But it’s not quite there yet.

Today, a Microsoft project called “OneCore” means that Windows 10, Windows Server, Xbox 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 IoT, and the HoloLens operating systems are all built on the same “core” operating system.

This kicked into gear two years ago with the release of the Anniversary Update. Since then, the Xbox One operating system has been based on OneCore, just like Windows 10.

But, although these are now based on the same core, they’re still different operating systems on top of that core.

Windows Core OS is a Single OS For All Devices

Microsoft wants all Windows devices to be based on the same operating system, and it’s building Windows Core OS to be that operating system. A Microsoft job posting on LinkedIn says Windows Core OS (WCOS) will be “the OS shared across all new devices.” That same Microsoft job listing also refers to Windows Core OS as a “new operating system” and says the OneCore team at Microsoft is involved.

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