A new report claims Microsoft could launch the Surface Phone as soon as this year, and since Windows 10 Mobile is already an abandoned platform, the operating system that the company plans to use is Windows Polaris.

As I reported recently, Windows Polaris is a new version of Windows 10 that comes without the legacy Win32 code, which makes the operating system altogether more lightweight and faster. Limited to apps published in the Microsoft Store, Polaris could be aimed specifically at occasional computer users who spend most of the time in the browser.

Microsoft plans to offer Win32 support on Windows Polaris with virtualization, allowing users to run more demanding Win32 software with cloud power.

More like an evolved version of Windows 10 S, Polaris could also power Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Phone, which according to a report from Italian site Surface-Phone, might see daylight in late 2018.

Surface Phone launching without Win32 support

The device, however, won’t feature the full version of Windows Polaris, but only an early build that will lack virtualization support for Win32 programs. This means that the Surface Phone could at first be restricted to apps in the Microsoft Store, and get full functionality next year when the second version of Polaris is ready presumably with the necessary features to power Win32 software.

Microsoft is planning to enable Win32 APIs with RAIL (Remote Application Interface Layer) and VAIL (Virtualized Application Interface Layer), according to the same report, but making these two work flawlessly in Polaris takes more time than initially projected.

Of course, a certain amount of skepticism is required when reading this report since everything’s still in the rumor stage, but at first glance, such plans do seem to make sense.

Microsoft has already promised to launch what it called the ultimate mobile device, though no specifics were offered, and recent patent findings indicated that the company was working on a device with foldable screens and a new hinge powering several form factors.

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