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Windows 12 might take a page out of Android's update playbook

Microsoft's new project is also aimed at Chromebooks and Macs.

Published onMarch 30, 2023

Windows 11 stock photo 6
  • Microsoft could bring a more seamless update process to Windows.
  • This approach would be in line with Android and Chromebook devices.
  • The company is also apparently working on a version of Windows with AI features.

Microsoft’s Windows 11 brought changes like a major UI tweak as well as Android app support. Now, a trusted news outlet has claimed that Windows 12 will tackle system updates, and could copy Android in this regard.

Windows Central has reported that Microsoft is working on a project dubbed CorePC that’s meant to be a modular, customizable version of Windows. This entails a number of changes compared to Windows 11 and earlier.

Seamless updates come to Windows?

The biggest change compared is that the OS will be split over multiple partitions, as opposed to having system files, user files, and program files all on the same partition.

Google accomplished this same goal with Android devices and Chromebooks in recent years, with seamless updates being one major benefit. Seamless updates on Android allow a new update to be installed on an inactive partition in the background, while an active partition keeps your phone running like normal. You’ll then be prompted to restart your phone, with the device simply switching to the previously inactive partition containing the new update.

This approach means you don’t have to sit through an “installing” screen on Android, and would likely make for a similarly seamless experience on this new version of Windows. The outlet also notes that this approach is what enables faster and more reliable resets on Chromebooks, so Microsoft could benefit in this regard too.

What else will Windows 12 bring?

Microsoft Windows Logo

This isn’t the only big change that we could potentially see from future versions of Windows. Windows Central adds that the CorePC project could allow for different versions of Windows with varying feature sets and app compatibility levels, depending on the form factor.

In fact, the outlet reports that Microsoft is testing a version of Windows that’s meant to compete with Chromebooks, only running Edge, web apps, Android apps, and Office apps. This version targets the low-end education PC market and is said to be up to 75% smaller than the education-focused Windows 11 SE.

Fortunately, the outlet adds that Microsoft is also working on a full version of Windows with state separation/split system partitions for easier updates. It’s also said to be working on a compatibility layer for older apps that still require a single system partition.

Are you happy with the Windows Update process?

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Finally, Windows Central adds that Microsoft is tinkering with a “silicon-optimized” version of CorePC that focuses on AI features and packs tighter integration between hardware and software. The outlet specifically compares it to Apple Silicon’s close integration with Apple software. These AI features purportedly include the ability to cut out objects and text within images (much like Android and Apple devices), as well as contextual prompts for projects and apps based on what’s on-screen.

Either way, it’s believed that Microsoft is aiming to complete the CorePC project in time for the next major Windows launch in 2024. So those of you wanting a much-improved Windows update experience will have to wait a while.