Imagine my surprise upon stumbling across mention of a new Window 10 edition yesterday. An alert installer named Lucan found it in the latest Skip Ahead Insider Preview (Build 17650). That’s how I cobbled my headline — “Skippy Shows Off Lean Win10 Edition” — together. But it’s not yet clear what it really means, though it has promoted several interesting guesses online.
How Skippy Shows Off Lean Win10 Edition
The old saw: “A picture’s worth 1,000 words” seems apt here. To that end, here’s the OS selection window from the 17650 setup.exe. It shows Lean as a new item at the top. It appear above Home (and Home N) and Pro (and Pro N) editions.
The new Lean edition appears at the head of the list on 17650’s OS selection pane.
What apparently makes this OS lean is that it’s about 2 GB smaller than Win10 Pro. The space savings apparently comes from foregoing various bells and whistles. These include IE, wallpapers, the Microsoft Management Console, the Registry Editor, and other items. According to Lucan, Lean runs UWP programs from the Store, and also old-school Win32 applications as well.
The Verge cites anonymous sources “familiar with Microsoft’s plans” to position the new edition for OEMs with low-budget laptop and tablets (and limited RAM and storage). It claims that “the edition will be available for devices with 16GB of storage…” And further, “… it’s primarily designed to ensure these machines will still receive Windows updates.” Others have speculated that with a folding screen device patent in the works, MS is ready to jump back into the mobile device market. Peter Bright at Ars Technica speculates that Lean is unlikely “to be the final branding.” He observes further that this OS edition self-identifies internally as “Windows 10 S.” (It’s true, even though MS claims to have abandoned that moniker as an edition label.)
It will be interesting to see how all this works itself out. Once we get past 1803 and advance toward the upcoming Fall feature update/upgrade, we’ll probably know more. Stay tuned!