Microsoft releases Windows 11 lightweight system Validation OS: can run Win32 applications

Without any major announcements, Microsoft released a lightweight Windows 11 system that wasn’t intended for end users . The command-line-based system, called “Microsoft Validation OS,” is aimed at hardware and software vendors, developers and technicians to help diagnose and fix problems.

For Microsoft Validation OS, Microsoft’s official definition is

Microsoft Validation OS is a lightweight, fast, customizable Windows 11-based operating system that you can use on the factory floor to diagnose, mitigate, and fix hardware defects during Windows device manufacturing. Validating that the operating system can boot into a command-line environment increases reliability on the factory floor and supports running Win32 applications, making the transition from early hardware introduction to retail operating system and application development smoother.

As you can see in Microsoft’s description above, Validation OS supports Win32 applications, this is to help diagnose a Windows 11-based development project. This is because the Win32 API provides direct access to the system hardware and has various tools for diagnostics.

If you want to try it out, Microsoft Validation OS can be downloaded at this link as a Windows Image (.WIM) file for ARM64 and AMD64 architectures.


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