Windows 10 Lean Redstone 5 To Ditch Superfluous Features For Better Performance

Microsoft is doing a lot of things with Windows these days, most of which is focused on the core Windows 10 experience—the first of two majors updates scheduled for this year will start rolling out any day now. In addition, Microsoft appears to be working on a stripped down version of Windows 10 called Windows 10 Lean that will focus on performance first and foremost, at the expense of certain features. This news comes at the same time we're also receiving word direct from Microsoft regarding the Windows 10 April Update that actually brings new features to the platform, though regardless, it appears Windows 10 is eventually going to get lean as well. 

A Twitter user named Lucan posted a handful of images showing the Windows 10 Lean SKU. As you can see in the screenshot above, it appears that Windows 10 Lean will be a clean installation option alongside other versions of Windows 10. Users who are subscribed to the Windows Insider program and have opted to receive 'Skip Ahead' releases can take a sneak peek at the new version through the latest build (17650).

"It seems to be heavily cut down, a x64 clean install is roughly 2GB smaller than [Windows 10] Pro," Lucas states. "Its edition ID is 0xB7, which was missing from SDK headers."

Shaving 2GB off the installation requires getting rid of a few unnecessary features. According to Lucan, the current build is devoid of wallpapers, though that alone would not save 2GB of space. What is also interesting is that the "regular Cloud/S restrictions don't seem to apply," meaning that Windows 10 Lean is different than Windows 10 S, the latter of which Microsoft introduced for the education market.

Our hunch is that Microsoft is building a more barebones version of Windows 10 for lower power laptops and 2-in-1 devices, and not necessarily ones aimed at teachers and students. Think of modern day netbooks, if you will, with less hardware resources available than what is found in pricier systems.

Given that Windows 10 Lean is circulating among Skip Ahead subscribers, it will likely make an official debut by the end of the year, when Redstone 5 is released. For reference, the April Update scheduled for this month (previously known as the Spring Creators Update) is Redstone 4.