Last week, Microsoft mistakenly released several internal builds for PC and Mobile to both Insiders and non-Insiders, but fortunately, the Windows Insider team was pretty quick to stop the deployment once it realized what was happening. According to the head of the Windows Insider Program Dona Sarkar, only a small portion of Windows 10 users received these internal builds, including the Windows 10 build 16212.
As we previously reported, this build ships with the new Control Center that the Windows Insider team accidentally revealed a few weeks ago, but it also includes some interesting information about several new Windows 10 SKUs that Microsoft is apparently working on.
By digging into the Windows 10 build 16212 pkeyconfig, Twitter user @AndItsTito discovered mentions of "Windows 10 Pro for Advanced PCs," "Windows 10 Pro N for Advanced PCs" and "Windows Server 2016 ServerRdsh."
— Kingshuk 'Tito' De (@AndItsTito) June 4, 2017
According to leaked slides published by another Twitter user called @GrandMofongo, Microsoft has been using the "Windows 10 Pro for Workstations PCs" moniker for the Windows 10 Pro for Advanced PCs SKU (via The Verge).
Here is some more info: pic.twitter.com/hL46sQjKeg
— TheGrandMofongo (@GrandMofongo) June 5, 2017
The slides reveal that this new Windows 10 edition has been specifically created for advanced users of server grade hardware, with it including the following four key capabilities:
- Workstation mode: Microsoft plans to optimize the OS by identifying “typical compute and graphics intensive workloads” to provide peak performance and reliability when Workstation mode is enabled.
- Resilient file system: Microsoft’s file system successor to NTFS, dubbed ReFS, is enabled in this new version, with support for fault-tolerance, optimized for large data volumes, and auto-correcting.
- Faster file handling: As workstation machines are typically used for large data volumes across networks, Microsoft is including the SMBDirect protocol for file sharing and high throughput, low latency, and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares.
- Expanded hardware support: Microsoft is also planning to allow Windows 10 Pro for Workstation on machines with up to 4 CPUs and a memory limit of 6TB. Windows 10 Pro currently only supports 2 CPUs.
Microsoft also explained that "the above capabilities are just a starting point" and that it's committed to supporting its advanced users with more features. The company has yet to officially announce this new Windows SKU, but it's interesting to see that Microsoft is ready to make Windows 10 a better OS for workstation use cases.