Microsoft is working on numerous iterations of Windows 10 as it aims to make the platform more modular across devices. The latest is Windows Lite, which will be a stripped-down Windows experience designed to compete with Google’s Chrome OS.
Yes, Microsoft has attempted a direct competitor to Chrome OS before in the form of Windows 10 S. That stripped back Windows experience largely went unnoticed by users. So much so, Microsoft eventually withdrew it as a separate SKU and folded it into Windows 10 Pro as a dual-boot option.
Windows Lite will run on a specific user interface called Webshell. Importantly, this version will look and feel different to the existing Windows 10 interface. This may help Microsoft address some of the problems that Windows 10 S faced.
Another interesting aspect of Windows Lite is that it will not run full PC programs but will support any app from the Windows Store.
A report from Windows Central today suggests the platform will also remove Live Tiles, another differentiator next to full Windows 10. Internal documentation shows the company has been monitoring Windows use and found many users are not customizing Live Tiles in the Start menu.
Perhaps the company will eventually remove Live Tiles entirely from Windows 10. It certainly makes sense to remove them from Windows Lite to create a lighter experience.
While Live Tiles are a nice idea, users are not spending enough time in the Start menu to care about customizing them. Furthermore, Microsoft has hardly been showing much development love to the feature in recent years.
One possible way to breath new life into Live Tiles would be to allow users to put them on the desktop. Windows 10 is a nice-looking OS, but it is also one that does not have a load of first-party customization. However, it seems Microsoft is going the other way and Live Tiles may eventually be removed.