Microsoft Lean's in: Slimmed-down Windows 10 OS option spotted

A return to mobile, bloat-busting build or something else?

Pics Microsoft's Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17650 (Redstone 5), released last week via the Windows Insider program, includes a stripped-down version of the operating system called Windows 10 Lean.

Redstone 5 is the Windows update that intended to follow the impending Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, recently redesignated the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, which is expected any day now.

Unrelated to the FAT (File Allocation Table) file system, Windows 10 Lean was spotted by a Windows user who goes by the name Lucan on Twitter.

Boy with binoculars photo via Shutterstock

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According to Lucan, the slimmed down OS variant weighs in about 2 GB less than Windows 10 Pro, thanks to the absence of the Registry Editor, the Microsoft Management Console, wallpaper, and many other files.

Windows already has a stripped down version, Windows 10 S, which started as a locked down version of Windows 10 Pro for schools and businesses and by next year will become an optional mode for all versions of Windows. So it's not immediately clear where Windows 10 Lean, also referred to as Windows 10 CloudE, fits into the scheme of things.

The Register asked Microsoft for comment but the company declined.

Lucan via Twitter speculates that Lean's will become "a Win32-capable but UWP-focused OS with differences on the component level." Below are some screenshots scored by the Windows watcher...

Build 17650 also includes phone APIs, suggesting Windows Lean might take up some of the telephony slack left by Microsoft's diminishing interest in Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.

However, Lucan insists Lean has nothing to do with the rumored Windows Surface Phone, referred to as Andromeda.

Microsoft's Build developer conference is coming up in early May, so further illumination may arrive then. ®

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