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Microsoft Operating Systems Windows

Microsoft Plans Version of Windows 10 For Devices With Limited Storage (engadget.com) 142

An anonymous reader shares a report: A smaller, more pared down version of Windows 10 was spotted in the latest Redstone 5 preview build. Microsoft is calling it Windows 10 Lean and it's 2GB smaller in size than standard editions of Windows 10 once installed. Missing from this version are the Registry Editor, Internet Explorer, wallpaper, Microsoft Management Console and drivers for CD and DVD drives, and Windows Central notes that the lighter Windows 10 might be designed to ensure tablets and laptops with little internal storage can install Windows 10 feature updates. Additionally, the Redstone 5 preview also features phone-related APIs that support functions like dialing, blocking withheld numbers, video calling, Bluetooth headset support and speakerphone mode, stoking those persistent Andromeda rumors.
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Microsoft Plans Version of Windows 10 For Devices With Limited Storage

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  • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:34AM (#56500239)
    Just kidding! Get rid of the useless stuff first, like registry editor and DVD drivers.
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:59AM (#56500391)

      I was already worried they might dump the telemetry code. I mean, I can live without DVD drivers, without the ability to fix Registry entries after their update shoots the system in the foot and being able to manage the system, but MS not knowing that I still diligently dig through the system to squelch Cortana, get rid of the Windows Shop (or whatever they call that iTunes Store and Steam spoof/mockup), remove their "cloud" connection (insert vaporware joke here) and get rid of all the other ridiculous bloatware they cram down my throat ... I mean, why do you think I spend my evenings after updates ripping that crap out if it doesn't piss off MS that I refuse to use more of their shit than I absolutely have to?

    • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @12:25PM (#56500607) Homepage Journal

      Seriously? How big is a DVD driver?

      Back in the day when I worked on lots of DOS systems I used to have to load the Mitsumi driver on floppy disk, usually after having booted to said floppy disk. The Mitsumi driver took up so little room on the floppy I didn't even consider it in my "space budget" when figuring out what I was going to put on a floppy and what I was going to leave out.

      FLOPPY

      I'm going to go out on a limb without actually testing it, and assume that if I were to boot to DOS from a floppy on a modern system with legacy support on (because honestly how are you going to boot to a floppy otherwise?) I could likely use the latest SATA Mitsumi driver to access data on a CDROM in the latest BluRay drive as long as the BIOS is setup with ATAPI support on SATA, which it usually is. I'm not going to go so far as to guess I could access a DVD or BluRay simply because I don't trust the huge file system to be accessible on such an old OS.

      I would guess optical drive access overall would be kernel level these days.

      Anyone want to test this?

      Removing IE was a good idea, the registry editor, meh, MMC - hey as long as we're remove lots of stuff tablet users not on a domain won't need sure. I've got an idea to save space - how about NOT installing Candy Crush, Adobe Photoshop Express, Duolingo, Translator, and a host of other things while I'm not looking and wait for user request? I'm sure even the smallest of these programs far outweighs a DVD driver.

      • I bought a external USB floppy drive and am able to boot the computer from it. Either I got lucky or it's pretty much standard.
        • A USB floppy drive doesn't use floppy drivers and doesn't appear to the BIOS as a standard floppy. It has a lot more in common with a USB flash reader. The floppy driver Win10 removes is the standard AT floppy controller one; USB floppy drives should still work normally.

          • by Retron ( 577778 )

            "The floppy driver Win10 removes is the standard AT floppy controller one;"

            While it's true that some beta builds of Windows 10 removed the standard floppy driver (flpydisk.sys - which is all of 26K in size), it was restored in time for the final release. It's still in the latest builds of Windows 10, too.

            I would imagine though that it's gone in Windows 10 Lean.

      • I really should proof read myself. Should have read I could likely use the latest PATA Mitsumi driver to access data on a CDROM

      • You're using the wrong point of view: That of a rational computer-oriented used not that of Microsoft. For them, the crap like Candy Crush and others are useful since they make them money, the registry editor and other useful thing do not.
        • Still, the Candy Crush ICON file is probably bigger than the optical drive driver. Removing an optical disk driver is more of a publicity stunt to say "look we're removing things that are not longer current!" than it is an effort to save space. It's the Microsoft version of virtue-signalling.

          They could make more money and save more space by offering a Citrix-like remote program service that had an ad-banner attached to the client side window/toolbar. I'm not 100% sure what the average person would want t

      • Two ideas here. Either they write in typical Microsoft style and bloat up even the simple stuff, ie, programmers who don't know how to write efficient code. Or else they are not listing all the stuff they jettisoned to make space, ie, dishonest marketing. Or maybe it's a mix of both.

    • This is meant for tablets and ultra-low-end laptops, which don't have DVD drives. It's true that you can connect one to a USB port, and if you do that Windows will probably fetch the driver from Windows Update. I hope that they make the Registry Editor available for download in case you need it.

      Internet Explorer is only needed for compatibility with legacy sites. Edge will still be included, so most users won't miss IE. It would be nice if they would also remove Edge and give you a free choice of browser (e

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Windows needs a certain amount of space for the data exfiltration and telemetry. Your files are irrelevant. Your applications are irrelevant. The computer is used to collect data for MSFT, your "needs" are secondary at best.

    The extra space is used to enable telemetry updates, security enhancements for enabling data exfiltration, and other critical functions.

  • With all that garbage you stuffed into Win10, I think you'd do much better!

  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:44AM (#56500295)

    "Device with limited storage" == "Phone" or "Tablet"

    So this says that Windows 10 is targeted for embedded devices like phones and tablets... So the death of Window's phones was announced prematurely then?

    • MS might be abandoning the strategy of having both Windows Phone 10 and Windows 10 going forward. However that doesn't mean that those who have existing Windows phones will benefit. Well if it has been like every other Windows Phone transition, a lot if not all existing hardware won't work with the newest version and apps. So those who have existing phones may be stuck with a phone that is essentially abandoned. That may not entice existing customers to buy new Windows phones considering MS has abandoned th

  • Will gamers be able to get this so-called Lean version, maybe even possibly at a lower price than the regular version?

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:45AM (#56500299)

    If they're jettisoning wallpaper, it seems like they're scraping the bottom of the barrel. Even Windows 95 had wallpaper.

    I would suggest to them that they could try getting rid of all of those spam applet tiles in the start menu. That would certainly free up more space than a couple of wallpaper jpegs.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Something is very wrong here. Somehow these few apps and JPEG files account for 2GB of data. And Even after removing them, the base install is 10GB.

      I can't help but feeling that they removed some rather important stuff like the registry editor, and left in all the Windows Store shovelware that no-one wants.

      When will Microsoft learn that no-one wants the shit edition of Windows? They will either buy or pirate the proper version, just like with Windows 8 RT.

      • Unfortunately their Windows 10 move and transition was pretty succesful.
        • Which means that in a few years, the only decent Windows version will be some sort of Windows 10 LTSB with the telemetry disabled.

          Sadly, LTSB is currently only available for companies and organizations. There MAY be some pirate versions around, but I think I'll take another route:
          Dual boot with Linux as OS for real work and Windows for games. In the optimistic assumption that Microsoft won't bother to implement an EXT4 driver just to snoop around the other drives.
          *grabs tinfoil hat*

        • Define Success.

          was it 12% market share after being free for a year?
          Is it 43% after almost 3 years?
    • I'd bet the real reason is that the wallpaper division lacks political power inside Microsoft, and are easily brushed aside.
  • regedit is 328kb (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You guys are completely insane.

  • by Train0987 ( 1059246 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:48AM (#56500317)

    How much space does Registry Editor take? Good lord.

    • Granted for normal users Regedit should be avoided. But if you are going to optimize Windows it seems like a tool that is needed. Even though in my opinion the registry was a bad idea. But they use it, so we need to be able to edit it.

    • It's done on purpose. The Lean addition could prove popular enough to offset the standard edition of Windows. MS basically is offering this administratively PAINFUL edition of the OS as a last resort.

      Basically, if you need Lean, don't expect to troubleshoot or fix error. For that capability, upgrade the hardware.

    • How much utility does it provide to the normal user? Seriously I know a guy who lost both hands in an industrial accident who can count the number of times most users would use regedit on his nonexistent fingers.

      And MS has the telemetry to prove it

  • by iTrawl ( 4142459 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:50AM (#56500331)

    I feel so luck to have a device with unlimited storage. Windows can grow and grow and I never run out of space. Yet somehow I never have enough free space for my stuff... It's like each time my storage increases Windows catches up.

    • Try running Windows 10 in VMware and scratch your head about why your damn physical size of the VM begins to grow to gigs of crap. It's a good thing VMware has snapshots, because I would get very annoyed moving 40+ gig size vms around.
  • by pruss ( 246395 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:53AM (#56500349) Homepage

    I feel a bit paranoid here: I doubt they removed regedit just to save 313K.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xack ( 5304745 )
      Regedit is used for disabling telemetry which Microsoft dosen’t want. If Microsoft was serious about a lean Windows they could revive minwin or even Windows XP.
      • by pruss ( 246395 )

        Maybe, but I am not sure. After all, if they wanted to, they could have just hard-coded all the telemetry without registry switches for it.

    • Nah. The real goal is to make a more limited, mobile-like OS. The user must be prevented from controlling the system
    • Regedit is just one of many thousands of programs that nearly all people never use. I have no doubt they applied some criteria to it, feed it some telemetry and then saved 313k automatically without realising that regedit was gone.

  • If only Microsoft removes the bloat that winsxs is, and make sure that only the last version of a dll is there, and that all dlls instead provide versioned calls, then windows should drop to 2-3gb. If the install disk is 3 gb, the OS should take 3, not 12.

    • And they would promptly lose compatibility with the majority of software. Which is fine, but then why not just go with an RT version?

    • That's what the disk cleanup feature is for; to purge superseded files that have been replaced by prior updates. But the WinSxS is there to prevent the old days of "dll hell" when installing and running applications.

      • by I4ko ( 695382 )

        What I am saying is have the DLLs expose functions like we do rest apis these days. Each function features a version, so then you add a new function version into the same dll, not a separate dll file. So even if you change one function the DLL grows a few bits, not with 100% having a new copy of the entire dll.
        I have never experienced DLL hell in 3.X, 9X or XP/2003 days. And I used these a lot. Sometimes an application needed to provide a local DLL copy in its executable folder, but it was rare and used way

        • Oh, but DLL hell was a major issue back in Win9x era; i'm very surprised it never plagued you. However, the rest of your comments are valid.

          Unless Microsoft re-engineers the entire OS with a future Windows 11 (or whatever), I'm not sure WinSXS is going away gracefully.

  • by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @12:01PM (#56500409)

    I am posting from a cheap windows netbook that I picked up for under a hundred bucks at Wal-mart. It does the job perfectly - provides a nice screen and good connectivity for browsing, web apps, email and video streaming. It has nice long battery life. And no hard drive. Just a tiny 32 gig "solid state drive". It does have an SD slot, but that gets treated as removable media, so installing stuff there is limited.

    This means that after the first update to Windows downloaded the entire drive was full. I had to do some hoop-jumping just to get it completed. It has since pared itself down enough that I have 5 gigs free. Trimming 2 more gigs would be a great thing.

    • by I4ko ( 695382 )

      Would you post model number & manufacturer please? I find that buying refurbed chrome books with the Celeron U processors for under $180 and adding a little more storage and full featured coreboot does give very nice, almost expendable devices.

      • It is an HP Stream 14. Model X7S52UA#ABA

        Super cheap. Lightweight plastic body that is really thin and light... and probably not the most durable thing in the world.

        No touch screen, but otherwise a good netbook. My only real complaint other than the storage is the big trackpad that is right where your palms rest.... but you kinda get used to it. As long as you recognize that this is built to be really cheap and grade on a curve for that, you'll be happy.

        I haven't gotten around to moving everything around

    • I am posting from a cheap windows netbook that I picked up for under a hundred bucks at Wal-mart. It does the job perfectly - provides a nice screen and good connectivity for browsing, web apps, email and video streaming. It has nice long battery life. And no hard drive. Just a tiny 32 gig "solid state drive". It does have an SD slot, but that gets treated as removable media, so installing stuff there is limited.

      I have one of those too, it's called a Chromebook. ;)

      • They had a chromebook for roughly the same price at the time. It was a little smaller, but it had a touch screen and a better build quality. Slower ARM processor though.

        Comparing the windows version with a chromebook - the windows netbook feels more cramped, but has more flexibility in the software that it runs, since it is a full-on windows PC. I'd say Microsoft is trying to make their city bus into an economy car by shoving windows into this niche, but it does work OK. If they really slimmed it down l

    • Sounds like a Pinebook knock-off. A real Pinebook has only 16GB "disk", of which the system takes 2GB which you are free to reduce a lot further (no need for many kinds of bloat). If, as you say, that reduced Windows takes 27GB and needs manual steps to complete point release updates with 5GB free, sounds like Windows is a complete no-go on such machines.

    • Tip: You can move an application folder to the SD card and then use mklink /d to create a directory symlink to the new location at the old one. The program won't see any difference unless it knows to look for it. Alternately you could give your SD card a mount point inside of C:, thus fooling most installers.

      I picked up a convertible laptop with 64 GB eMMC and 4 GB RAM for $200 and used this trick to force Dropbox to put my files on my 200 GB SD card.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @12:11PM (#56500489)

    Instead of getting rid of the registry editor, which weighs in at about 400k, how about getting rid of Cortana? I have a hunch the lady is heavier than a few k.

    While we're at it, there's a bunch more of your crapware you dumped into the system I can't get rid of, maybe scrape them out too while you're at it? It's not like Win10 comes without a ton of unwanted, unnecessary and outright useless crap preinstalled. Not installing that would probably be where I'd start before removing drivers and system management tools.

    • I will bet you a dollar that the target market for these devices use Cortana far more than regedit

      • What target market?

        • Not a single person who reads Slashdot. The world outside Slashdot. The people who just use their computers rather than change settings on them. The target market that pretty much everyone on a nerd related forum seems to think just doesn't exist.

          • Ah, the ones that reset everything and lose data whenever MS fucked up yet another update, as if it was a natural rule that Windows must eat your data every couple months.

            That target market.

            I think Apple cornered that market already, by NOT fucking up every other update. Unless of course you dare to let someone but Apple repair your mobile device when it breaks.

            • Ah, the ones that reset everything and lose data whenever MS fucked up yet another update

              Oh that ol' meme. You haven't lost data as a result of anything with windows including a complete reinstall in many years. But you knew that already didn't you.
              "what you're gonna do now! Keep trollin', trollin', trollin', trollin' (what?)"

              • True. I have backups today. Without, well, it's surprising what a little faulty driver can do to a system...

                • I have backups today.

                  Good

                  Without, well, it's surprising what a little faulty driver can do to a system...

                  Then you are absolutely doing it wrong. For the past 3 years Windows can automatically nuke its own install to be completely clean without touching a single user file.

  • by sproketboy ( 608031 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @12:16PM (#56500537)

    A blue screen only.

  • It would be nice instead if the user could pick what you wanted installed. Don't need MMC, or wallpapers, make it a check box. A Windows version with Tiles, NotePad, Wallpapers , Edge all as options would be great. I know I'm just dreaming.
  • While I don't 100% agree with some of what they removed, I have Windows 10 on a couple of low powered tablets. It runs well. As far as a tablet is concerned I don't think I will be missing system management tools. Although the registry editor is really lightweight. I noted an argument about dropping Cortana. That would not make sense for a tablet. Although as someone running Windows 10 on tablets with only 2 gigs of ram, I am more concerned with reducing what get loaded into memory by default than over how
  • Registry Editor, Internet Explorer, wallpaper, Microsoft Management Console

    Registry Editor and MMC are small Win32 applications.... Wallpaper support is a small DLL. The only reason I can think for them eliminating thse
    are to discourage use of this version of Windows outside IoT devices.

    There's a TON of bloat in Windows, but it's NOT these critical pieces.

    If you want to cut the bloat, then revert back to Windows 7, then upgrade the Kernel, Services, and System libraries to Windows 10-equiva

  • Any change to an MS Office 2016/365 installation is done by removing, then reinstalling the entire suite. Add one language pack, lose your machine for 2 hours as it removes and reinstalls, thowing away all your preferences in the process.
    MS seems to be hellbent on wasting resources wherever they can.

  • .. while they're at it.
    20Gb of (mostly) useless drivers on my 128G ssd laptop looks like a really stupid thing to me..

  • If you have had windows installed for a while navigate to this folder:

    C:\Windows\Installer

    This is a place where all the MSI packages are cached for anything you have ever installed, the full thing.
    I have 10 GB of crap here, that is completely redundant and risky to remove.

    I hear it is so that you can run the uninstaller. But you don't really need the entire msi for that, you just need the list of files and registry entries to remove, like any other package manager in any other operating system.
    I also

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I had a client with an HP laptop they got for Christmas last year - 32GB flash storage. So by the time Windows and her couple of applications are installed, she has 12 GB free, which is great because she doesn't take pictures, download movies, play games, etc. It is documents, email, and youtube+netflix machine and worked fine.

    Well - until Windows update decided she needed the Anniversary Creator DoublePlusGood update and downloaded 10GB of updates, then tries to install itself, only to shit the bed beca

    • Yeah, today I had fun killing Cortana today...Rename the dir in SystemApps, wait for the "in use" to popup, kill Cortana in Task Manager, then as quickly as possible click "try again". Only took three tries, but finally made it go away. My co-worker was impressed at least!
  • Everything in the WindowsApp directory, all the AppX packages, etc. I shouldn't have to spend hours via PowerShell fighting to remove games from an "Enterprise" operating system. I now have a love / hate relationship with DISM. There is always LTSB, but that is meant for "kiosk-like devices" only.
  • I didn't RTFA to see what the original size was but 2GB less doesn't seem that much to gain. I mean it's hardly Linux Slack size is it?

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