Microsoft has been working on a next-generation Windows for many years now. Called Windows Core OS, the kernel would form the basis of a number of shells designed to power next-generation hardware such as the Surface Hub, HoloLens 2 and possibly the Surface Phone, but what has never been clear is how the operating system will deal with legacy Win32 apps.
Now a LinkedIn post has all but confirmed that Win32 apps will be supported on WCOS by using OneCore based containers.
The Washington-based Senior Engineer writes:
Total Duration 7 yrs 10 mos
Title Software Engineer II
Win32 app compact for OneCore-based container operating systems
Windows Core OS platform developer
WDM and WDF driver validation for Windows Core OS
OneCore platform developer
Microsoft device platform engineer
OS componentization and composition
Refactoring Windows components to support the next generation of Microsoft products
A OneCore module includes the kernel, networking, power management, security, authentication, cryptography, device management, storage, and a handful of other essential components. Running a Win32 app in such a container would prevent a misbehaving app from crashing the whole OS or infecting other application or the base system.
The profile also suggests Microsoft is still working on Windows Core OS (including validating drivers) and has not abandoned the effort yet (something which is becoming increasingly common in a risk-averse Microsoft) suggesting we may still get to see new, exciting versions of Windows running on new hardware such as the flexible screens will soon become more common.