New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

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gus33000
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New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by gus33000 »

Today on the FTP got uploaded a beta version of Microsoft ever so short lived ''Polaris'' OS.

Polaris was a very short lived variant of Windows Core OS (which is now the foundation of Windows 10X) meant for Desktops and Laptops.
Polaris would have introduced a completely redone UI, made using the Universal Windows Platform, on top of a new core/OS base, and the shell would have been most geared towards desktop/laptop users.

Now that's the short introduction done. Now let's deep dive into what leaked.

What leaked is an ARM32 version of Polaris, Build 16299. This version of Polaris unfortunately is either crippled due to the branch it comes from, or too early to actually contain an actual shell.
What does this mean? Well in short, if you ever get this to boot (i did this for you so you do not have to), you will get thrown into a placeholder "UI" (which consists basically of a different shade Windows logo.
From there you can really only do two things:

- Press power once to shut down the device
- Wait a little while til a debug USB interface shows up on a connected computer over USB, from there you can potentially open a command prompt shell edit/view files and sideload applications.

Now, here are some actual pictures i took, of what could be taken:

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The name used on the boot entry is Windows OneCore 10

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ChkDsk running

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The fallback UI you get thrown into, when no shell/composer is present on the device

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The current version key, showing Polaris as the 'edition' name

With the release, is a readme attached if you ever feel like booting this. You will really need drivers, as despite this having no shell, it does require you to provide a valid GPU driver, and you may want USB to work for diagnostic.

I haven't figured out yet how to properly use the diagnostic interface. It is certainly a variant of TShell (which is terminal shell over telnet, like on good old Windows Phone) but unfortunately none of my older TShell tools work with this build.
If you try this on a phone, you will have to get rid of Platform Manifests (present on EFIESP\efi\microsoft\boot\platformmanifest) and be extra careful with the phone partitions, which shouldn't be altered in any way other than mainos and data and some of efiesp.

You might also be interested in some prepatched files to disable signature verification/umci: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 97/out.zip

Now, why should you care?

Well PolarisOS was an extremely short lived version of Windows, might have been the most short lived one, and is as a consequence is a very rare collectible. Safe to say you may never see something from Polaris in the future, other than this.
This release may not have much in terms of UX goodies, but it's going to be well preserved for the future, and perhaps some people will find out more things about it.

As a bonus, a picture of a build of Polaris OS with an actual shell leaked along with this release:

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And here is one of the wallpapers as well:

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Hope you found this piece of history as interesting as I did, but in my opinion, this is a very good start to hopefully a much better year..

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Joet BERNARD »

Very beautiful this background 🤩

Futur3Sn0w
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Futur3Sn0w »

This is so fascinating! I wonder if it has to do with the Windows Phone's Continuum feature? That's what it looks like, to me anyways.

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Stannieman »

Futur3Sn0w wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:00 am
This is so fascinating! I wonder if it has to do with the Windows Phone's Continuum feature? That's what it looks like, to me anyways.
No, not at all actually.
Continuum was 1 shell that looked differently depending on whether an external monitor is plugged in or not. Without external display you just have the regular phone UI, with display it changes shape into a desktop-like thing. This idea was later pushed further in CShell. That was 1 shell that could also change the looks depending on the device or context, only now not limited to phone + display. It would be the exact same code running on XBOX, PC, Windows Mobile, Surface Hub, POS, IOT, ... I think the advantage of this is that most stuff like (live) tiles, context menus, app drawer, start screen, notification area, etc. exist on multiple platforms anyway and they should have the same look and feel everywhere. 1 code base for all of them makes sense.
I think it was cancelled but I'm not sure (hard to keep track with all these fancy ideas being developed and then cancelled :( ). For sure gus33000 will know.

WCOS was more of an attempt to make Windows more modular and allowed to create new SKUs "on the fly" without programming work.
You see, PC Windows, Windows 10X, XBOX, IOT, Mobile all have different features. You probably don't need server features on an XBOX, or Hyper-V or Defender on an IOT device. Currently there's kind of a fixed list of SKUs.
WCOS would allow MS internally to create a SKU for a new device category very easily. Just select what features you want for a new device, click build, and a build rolls out.

I'm sure some stuff is incorrect, so now I'm waiting for gus33000 to correct me :D
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Voyambar »

Here's my question. Those pictures...was he running this on a phone or something like that? Seems like it

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Winins »

Voyambar wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:46 pm
Here's my question. Those pictures...was he running this on a phone or something like that? Seems like it
Yes, he is running it on an ARM32 Lumia (950?)
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Voyambar »

Winins wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:13 pm
Voyambar wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:46 pm
Here's my question. Those pictures...was he running this on a phone or something like that? Seems like it
Yes, he is running it on an ARM32 Lumia (950?)
Does that mean this requires ARM32 to run it or...

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Winins »

Voyambar wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:27 pm
Winins wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:13 pm
Voyambar wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:46 pm
Here's my question. Those pictures...was he running this on a phone or something like that? Seems like it
Yes, he is running it on an ARM32 Lumia (950?)
Does that mean this requires ARM32 to run it or...
He literally said that the build is ARM32.
You have never seen Windows like this!
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Voyambar
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Voyambar »

Winins wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:35 pm
Voyambar wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:27 pm
Winins wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:13 pm
Voyambar wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:46 pm
Here's my question. Those pictures...was he running this on a phone or something like that? Seems like it
Yes, he is running it on an ARM32 Lumia (950?)
Does that mean this requires ARM32 to run it or...
He literally said that the build is ARM32.
Sorry, he mentioned VM's so I kind of got confused there

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by 0130smart »

THIS IS AMAZING : ) is there any way to experience Polaris in x86 computer?

Winins
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Winins »

0130smart wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:35 pm
THIS IS AMAZING : ) is there any way to experience Polaris in x86 computer?
Probably not, there is currently no known way of running it on QEMU (Which is the only emulator that emulates an ARM32 PC) and you can’t run it on VMw/Vbox as they don’t support ARM32 emulation.
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by AlphaBeta »

It should be possible to bring this to text mode by using the IoT setbootoption.exe utility and changing the shell to cmd.exe yes really
AlphaBeta, stop brainwashing me immediately!

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by LuLu »

so in short it is just another fork of win 10 ...

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Stannieman »

LuLu wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:48 am
so in short it is just another fork of win 10 ...
What do you mean with "just another"?
It's not like every random kid can just fork Windows. So if it comes from within MS then obviously it's going to be based on NT + a lot of existing Windows stuff added to it because if you need something you already have then don't reinvent the wheel.
With this kind of things it's not so much about how similar it is to the regular Windows (it shares probably millions of lines of code) but what the differences are.
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by LuLu »

and after all that writing, its again just another fork of win 10...

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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Stannieman »

Aight, Andy or mrpijey please remove the upload + this thread then, apparently this is not interesting enough and not worth keeping 8-)
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by mrpijey »

LuLu, it's abundantly clear you think this is just a fork, we get it, one post is enough. Any more of the same is spam. See this as a warning in case you decide to post more pointless replies.
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Re: New release: Microsoft ''Polaris'' OS

Post by Werru »

This is really neat! Those screenshots look interesting. It looks like a mix between Windows 10 in tablet mode, and in desktop mode. I'm surprised Microsoft has such a hard time stopping leaks :P
I think with some modifications to either QEMU or the ISO image, it could become bootable. QEMU as well as it's BIOS/UEFI is open source, so that should be the easiest to mod to work. It will just take a while, and be quite some work, however the community has pushed through before.

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