Microsoft is reportedly working on a huge upgrade for the Windows 10 shell. The new shell is internally known as “cshell” or Composable Shell at Microsoft, and it’s a really big upgrade for Windows 10 and how the OS works across different types of devices.
As reported by Windows Central, the Composable Shell will be an adaptive shell that will essentially allow Windows 10 to adapt to the device it’s currently running on. Right now, Microsoft has different shells for Windows 10 on the PC, Mobile, and Xbox — but the Composable Shell aims to remove that by introducing a single shell that works seamlessly across devices without needing Microsoft to make specific changes for a particular type of device.
Microsoft’s Composable Shell will presumably play a huge role in the company’s rumored “Surface Phone” device as well as Windows 10 on ARM. It is likely we will see devices with small factors and full Windows 10 powered by an ARM processor in the near-future — but for this to actually provide a good user experience, Microsoft needs a Windows that can adapt to the device’s size and type — which is exactly what Microsoft’s Composable Shell wants to address.
The Composable Shell will also be immensely important for Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature as it’ll be able to introduce a UI that looks almost exactly like Windows 10 on the PC. In fact, Microsoft actually demoed this back at Ignite 2016 where Continuum for phones worked and looked very similar to Windows 10 on the PC.
Composable Shell is quite a huge project for Microsoft, and the report states that we’re still a “few major Windows 10 releases away” before we actually get to use the new shell in Windows 10.