Windows 10
Microsoft is said to be working on a "Lean" version of Windows 10 for low-end laptops and tablets. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Microsoft seems to be planning to release another lightweight version of Windows 10 for low-end devices. The upcoming operating system has been dubbed as Windows 10 Lean, and it is reportedly intended for devices with 16GB of storage.

The existence of this “Lean edition” of Windows 10 was first spotted on Twitter by Windows Central. A reference to Windows 10 Lean was discovered in the latest Redstone 5 preview builds of the operating system. It is said to be 2GB smaller than the Home and Pro editions of Windows 10.

Microsoft is believed to be having trouble keeping low-end devices up to date with the latest Windows 10 features. Some laptops and tablets are actually stuck with the same version of Windows 10 that they shipped with because of their lack of storage space. Sources say that Microsoft plans to fix this issue with a “Lean” version of the operating system.

This may sound great for users who have laptops and tablets that only have 16GB of storage, but it will strip away some of Windows 10’s components, like the Registry Editor, Paint, 3D Viewer, Skype, People and Internet Explorer, according to The Next Web.

This may be a dealbreaker for some users, but at least Windows 10 Lean won’t be as crippled as Windows 10 S. Windows 10 Lean will still be able to support legacy apps that can be downloaded and installed outside of the Microsoft Store. This means that users of Windows 10 Lean will still be able to run traditional Win32 apps, as pointed out by Ars Technica.

Microsoft is planning to offer Windows 10 Lean to manufacturers to have it loaded into low-end laptops and tablets, according to The Verge’s sources. It’s certainly possible that Microsoft might share more information on this new version of Windows 10 during its Build developer conference in Seattle, Washington from May 7 to May 9.

It’s important to point out that Windows 10 Lean is still in development and the version that was found inside the Redstone 5 build is still pretty buggy. Microsoft could also change its plans and postpone the announcement, or cancel its development altogether. It seems best to keep expectations low, for now.