One of the main advantages of Windows 10 has always been
compatibility support for older apps and hardware. This is
possible because Windows has decades of legacy stuff to support
the vast majority of apps and games created in the past decade.
Lately, Microsoft has been experimenting with modular and
modern versions of Windows to ditch decades of legacy cruft
that simply can’t be removed from Windows 10. While Microsoft
has given up on long-rumoured Andromeda mobile OS, the related
“Windows Core OS” project or WCOS, is still underway.
Microsoft has been actively working on legacy-free ‘Windows
Core OS’ since 2017 and it’s widely believed that the OS has
been in the works for much longer. Windows Core OS is a
stripped-back version of Windows, primarily designed for new
form factors such as Surface Neo, Chromebook-like devices and
it is said to be the future of Windows.
Windows Core OS uses a ‘Composable Shell,’ a modular version of
the existing Windows Shell, to easily create new versions of
Windows 10 such as ‘Windows
10X‘ and share features across different form factors.
I’ve previously reported that
Microsoft has already started optimizing Chromium for Windows
Core OS. Now, there’s more evidence to support my claim.
Microsoft is working
on a new feature that will allow Chromium (Chrome, Edge and
other browsers) to support a wider range of modern gamepad
devices on Windows 10.
The change will enable “Windows.Gaming.Input (WGI)” by default
on Chromium, which should allow WGI to provide support for
gamepad-specific Plug & Play APIs, even on WCOS devices.
In a support document, Microsoft has noted that the WGI
provides access to game controller input for Windows apps and
The tech giant believes that WGI support could also allow
Chromium to support rumble triggers on the Xbox One gamepad,
and paddles on the Elite controllers when you use
Chromium-based browsers on Windows 10, Windows Core OS (WCOS),
and Windows 10X.
“While low-level APIs like Raw Input does not support WCOS
support for gamepad-specific Plug & Play APIs, even on WCOS
devices. This feature can work on both Windows Desktop (Win32
apps) and Windows 10X,” Microsoft noted.
It’s also worth noting that Windows Core OS-powered Windows 10X
has deep ties with web experiences. It also puts UWP and PWA
Windows apps front and center. Since Microsoft has abandoned
EdgeHTML, there are plans to optimize Chromium, which will also
power the web-based interface of apps and games in the upcoming
versions of Windows 10.
Microsoft recently announced that Windows 10X is no longer
exclusive to foldable PCs and
it will first launch on laptops and 2-in-1’s, which also
confirms the adaptable and modular nature of Windows Core OS.
Windows Core OS-based Windows 10X is expected to launch next
year and there are plans for public beta testing of the
operating system on existing hardware.