Microsoft has low-key released a new lightweight variant of Windows 11, named “Microsoft Validation OS”. According to the introduction, this new lightweight operating system is command-line based and is not intended for the average end-user; rather, it is designed for hardware or software vendors, developers and technicians to help diagnose, mitigate and fix various problems. As such, it is more of a recovery environment of sorts.
Microsoft’s official description states.
Microsoft Validation OS is a lightweight, fast, and customizable Windows 11-based operating system that you can use on the factory floor to diagnose, mitigate and repair hardware defects during Windows device manufacturing. Validation OS boots into a Command Line environment to increase reliability on the factory floor and supports running Win32 apps, smoothing the transition from early hardware bring-up to retail OS and apps development.
Validation OS supports Win32 applications to help diagnose a Windows 11-based project under development. This is because the Win32 API provides direct access to the system hardware and has various tools for diagnostics.
For more details check out the official documentation, which contains several tutorial manuals on how to use the OS and more. For those who want to try it out, a free download of the Validation OS ISO for ARM64 and AMD64 architectures is available click here.