Microsoft has released a new lightweight Windows 11 validation OS that probably isn’t for you


Microsoft, without any major announcement, recently released a new lightweight version of Windows 11. However, this new lightweight operating system is not intended for the general end user. Command-line based and called “Microsoft Validation OS”, it was designed for hardware or software vendors, developers and technicians to help diagnose and mitigate problems. This will basically help build hardware and software around Windows 11 without installing the whole thing.

Here’s how Microsoft defines its new validation operating system:

Microsoft Validation OS is a lightweight, fast, and customizable Windows 11 operating system that you can use at the factory to diagnose, mitigate, and repair hardware defects during manufacturing Windows devices. The validation operating system boots into a command-line environment to increase factory reliability and supports running Win32 applications, easing the transition from early hardware setup to system development. operation and retail applications.

As you can see from Microsoft’s description above, Validation OS supports Win32 applications which are intended to aid in the diagnosis of a Windows 11-based project under development. Indeed, the Win32 API provides direct access to system hardware and has various diagnostic tools.

You can find more details and resources about Validation OS at these links:

If you wanted to try it, Microsoft Validation OS is available for download as a Windows Image (.WIM) file at this link for both ARM64 and AMD64 architectures.

Thanks for the tip, Aryeh Goretsky!


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