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Windows On Weight Watchers? 'Lean' Version Spotted

(Image credit: Lucan (@tfwboredom))

If your computer has so little storage that it can't easily run Windows updates, Microsoft may soon have a solution for you. Eagle-eyed Twitter user Lucan spotted a reference to "Windows 10 Lean" in Microsoft's latest "skip ahead" build for its Windows Insider beta testers.

While Microsoft has been mum, telling Laptop Mag that it has no comment, Lucan speculates that Windows 10 Lean is a lighter-weight version of Microsoft's operating system that's made for low-end computers that have weak processors and small storage drives.

The main clue that this new OS option is for low-end PCs is the smaller size; Lucan reports that it is 2GB smaller than a typical Windows 10 Pro install, which would be perfect for budget devices. It would also leave room for updates on devices that sport only 16GB of storage.

Elimination of features such as the wallpaper, Registry Editor, and the Microsoft Management Console could streamline operation on low performance computers like the HP Stream or the Lenovo Ideapad 100S.

The focus seems to be on cutting certain features that the target user would not use, in favor of an OS that will stay efficient and quick. Others speculate that Windows 10 Lean could become an option for mobile devices. However, just saving a mere 2GB isn't particularly impressive, so perhaps there are more changes than we know.

There is no reported date of release for this install option, but Microsoft could make an announcement at its upcoming Build conference.

  • johnrhenle
    2GB isn't going to help 16GB devices much if at all. You still won't be able to fit Windows 10, Chrome, and Office 365 in 16GB, and Office 365 won't let you install it anywhere other than c:\Program Files. And the real problem with 16GB devices is the big Windows 10 feature updates require an additional 8GB or space to download and install. Again, 2GB doesn't help any here. You basically have to do a fresh install from a USB drive on all the big updates.
    Reply
  • kuhndj67
    I certainly hope it also fixes the bloat that has windows updates constantly expanding the WinSxS folder without allowing you to go in and clean house.
    Reply
  • kuhndj67
    Good point Johnrhenle... I can barely get Win10 installed on a 32GB netbook, I can't imagine cutting a few GB will allow the lean version to squeeze onto 16GB.
    Reply
  • Soda-88
    Technically, you can use mklink command to create a junction for Office 365 installation to separate storage device. I used to do this back when I had a 60GB SSD.
    Reply
  • kep55
    They could just return what MS-DOS was - Microsoft's Disc Operating System. All the rest is just useless garbage.
    Reply
  • pjmelect
    I have had laptops, notebooks to repair with an SSD drive of 30GB or so, which worked fine, however the laptops keep trying to update to a newer version of Windows 10 and no more updates are available for the current version. You can't change the SSD and windows can't update itself to a newer version because there is not enough disk space. The solution is to do a clean install from a bootable memory stick (no CD drive).
    This is not something that a typical user could do so they have to go to the expense of getting a professional to do it for them. A light version of Windows 10 which does not create the file windows.old might be a solution.
    Reply
  • Pedasc
    Wasn't this what Windows 10 S was supposed to be? I suppose they kind of screwed that up by trying to lock it down, this seems more sensible.
    Reply
  • stdragon
    So, only 2GB was freed up, and they couldn't manage to keep REGEDIT installed??!! That's so tiny, and exceedingly useful to have in correcting an OS/App issue.

    I have a better idea. How about stripping out all the useless Windows 8 / 10 included Tile apps along with whatever engine is used to capture and report telemetry data. That would be an ideal place to start.
    Reply
  • antilycus
    With everything becoming processed on servers and HTML5 being the new "green screen" MS doesn't much stand a chance with WINDOWS O.S. Free thin clients will reduce IT COSTS on corps by a very large margin. MS-SQL is crap, REGEDIT is crap, the WINSXS folder is crap and MS themselves can't support CORE (guiless servers). I know because I worked them for weeks on an core issue that Dell ended up solving instead.
    Reply
  • kuhndj67
    20931502 said:
    With everything becoming processed on servers and HTML5 being the new "green screen" MS doesn't much stand a chance with WINDOWS O.S. Free thin clients will reduce IT COSTS on corps by a very large margin. MS-SQL is crap, REGEDIT is crap, the WINSXS folder is crap and MS themselves can't support CORE (guiless servers). I know because I worked them for weeks on an core issue that Dell ended up solving instead.

    We went the cloud direction just like many other F500 corps. There are some things that can and do work well as cloud apps... but the fad of 'cloud everything' is already fading under an avalanche of substandard network throttled performance. Windows is safe for a while yet... especially if they keep innovating.
    Reply