We wrote a few days ago about the discovery of a new SKU of Windows 10 – Windows 10 Lean, which appeared to be a cut-down version of the operating system without little used and sometimes superfluous applications.
In fact, when comparing a full install of Windows 10 Pro vs Windows 10 Lean, the Lean version has 50,500 fewer files, and the installer is 2 GB smaller.
At the time we did not know why Microsoft was creating another version of their operating system, but according to new reports, the intention is to once again address the cheap tablet market with less than 16 GB of storage. In many cases these devices are stuck on the OS they ship with, as after a short period of use there is not enough space to download and install a full update of the operating system.
As revealed at the WC, Microsoft is also doing other work to improve the update process for these devices, which, while making updates slower to install, should also make them more reliable.
Some of the files removed include RegEdit and Internet Explorer, but the operating system remains a fully capable version of Windows, able to install full win32 applications, and the applications do work when added back.
I suspect Windows 10 Lean is actually a version of Windows which many of us would prefer to have, especially if it comes without Candy Crush Saga, but it may be a sign of a new push by Microsoft to address the tablet market, which will likely see results sometime next year.