Microsoft is laying the groundwork for separating Shell UI components of Windows 10 from the rest of the OS. That work could be leading to a more modularized Windows, for greater flexibility in future product offerings.

A Twitter user who goes by the handle Albacore frequently unearths future Microsoft plans by delving into the code on Insider builds. When digging around in Insider Build 18917, Albacore noticed some intriguing changes. Microsoft started work on separating the Shell UI from the base OS.

In the short run, this doesn’t mean a lot for average Windows users; they’re unlikely to notice the difference. But pulling the Shell UI out of the base OS opens new possibilities for Microsoft. That change could be useful for Microsoft’s Windows Lite and Core plans, which could include just the parts necessary for a particular device like Hololens or rumored dual-screen devices.

Eventually, users may benefit as well, since these ordinarily static components could see updates without an entire OS update. And as Albacore pointed out, one more interesting possibility is to sync settings for components like File Explorer across devices. [ZDNet]

RELATED: The Future of Windows: What Are Polaris and Windows Core OS?

In Other News:

  • Target now offers same day shipping: Everyone is getting into the fast shipping game. Target is now offering same day shipping on much of its online catalog. The cost is $10, and while it won’t get you an Xbox or Playstation right this second, clothing, bedding, and groceries and more are on tap. [Business Insider]
  • Huawei added ads to its lock screens: Users of Huawei’s Android phones were in for a rude surprise yesterday. They discovered ads for on their lock screens. The ads seem to be part of Huawei’s default landscape wallpapers. Other companies, like Microsoft, have added ads to lock screens before, but usually, it comes with some prior warning. [Android Police]
  • Yubico recalls government grade security keys:  Yubico discovered that its FIPS Series devices are insufficiently random after powerup, which makes vulnerable to attack. These aren’t consumer grade devices, and they’re actively replacing the keys so if you’re affected you should already know. Don’t worry; all these recalls don’t mean security keys aren’t safe. [Engadget]
  • Google made a video game about making video games: Yesterday Google officially published a video game appropriately titled Game Builder. The game somewhat resembles Minecraft, and with it, you can create video games using drag and drop and “if then, then that” logic. Google even included co-op and the ability to share your creations. Excuse us while we go create a Scorched Earth clone called Morning versus Coffee. [The Verge]
  • Airbnb wants to send you on an adventure: Do you have $5000 to spare and want an “experience of a lifetime?” Airbnb has a new offering called Adventures just for you. You’ll travel for 80 days through several countries and go rock climbing, lion tracking and UFO hunting. Bring us back a souvenir. []
  • Tesla wants to be an entertaining car: Tesla is adding Fallout Shelter and Youtube streaming to its cars. While you might think cars are solely for driving, electric vehicles do require downtime for charging on long trips. Fallout Shelter at least seems like a less frustrating way to pass the time than Cuphead, the last game it added. And nothing makes a half hour by faster than clicking on “just one” cat video. [SlashGear]
  • Gmail’s dynamic email coming to everyone July 2nd: Google previously announced a future change to Gmail that would make the platform more interactive. Using AMP technology, users would be able to RSVP or fill out forms without leaving Gmail. Those changes are rolling out to all users July 2nd, although G Suite administrators can disable them by default. [VentureBeat]
  • Longtime Youtube TV subscribers get free Showtime: Youtube TV is handing out free Showtime access to some of its subscribers. It’s unclear exactly which subscribers, as Google hasn’t specified what counts as “longtime.” When we checked our account we didn’t find the option. Apparently, we need to learn to be better friends. [Review Geek]

NASA wants to go back to the moon, and eventually create an outpost there. Another moon trip is a step in the overarching plan to go to Mars, and it’s a sensible step. If we can’t reliably and safely go to a place relatively close to us, how can we hope to travel further?

But space travel (well any travel) costs money, and NASA just put out its proposal for the first moon trip in five years: 20 to 30 billion dollars, on top of the current NASA budget. That number may seem high, but it’s lower than what watchers were predicting.

It’s easy to forget that while NASA doesn’t technically make and sell products, the technology it invents or helps design along the way often does come back to consumers. If you enjoy velcro, memory foam beds, or better vision due to LASIK, you owe thanks (at least in part) to NASA.

Traveling to other moons and planets may seem unnecessary at the moment, but beyond the science to be discovered along the way, some say it’s necessary for the ultimate survival of humanity. Our world is only so large, our resources only so vast.  As Carl Sagan once put it: “All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct.” [Gizmodo]

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Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code.
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