Originally, while dabbling with custom Windows builds, I started modding Windows PE quite a lot. I also experimented with customising Windows PE and had the idea that it would be great to create a static and therefore bulletproof OS with PE as the basis.
Before I ever got around to building anything substantial, I had learned that the Boot image for Windows install is also Windows PE and I had known this was loaded entirely into memory at startup. This led me to realise that any PE build would also sit compressed in RAM.
Gandalfs Windows PE disk showed a working video driver that in very basic terms supported various Nvidia, Intel, AMD or S3 chipsets. I used those as a template to create custom drivers by combining the PE drivers with files and registry sweeps of Nvidia drivers in standard windows.
After a lot of customisation and problem-solving there was a basic working platform that went beyond the limitations most people are accustomed to. As of the time of writing, most of the PE hobbyist community don’t understand the need for an x64 Windows PE build.
So from this initial “breakthrough”, layers were added into nano including default applications, files/registy extracted from a full windows installation using the same version (10586.162). Some visual design and a lot of bug-fixing later – a functional, all-in-ram windows/chrome OS.
Like Windows Embedded, this OS would run from RAM once loaded from the disk/usb/network. Unlike Windows Embedded, this OS was built from a community-developed Windows PE software that’s designed to create custom PE builds.
The optimisations can go a lot further when creating defaults for Nano. A vastly minimalist OS that uses less than a tenth of 1% of your CPU to run whilst maintaining Windows 10 compatability (except Windows store functionality, which explicitly excluded).
The main thing is it plays games as well as the most finely tuned Windows gaming PC – except you never need to tune it, since it just works like that already. Everything from Flex, Cuda and OpenCL to Steam streaming, Vulkan, DX11 (12 doesn’t work currently).
You could think of it as similar to Windows 7 in functionality except it runs like lightening even on old or low-powered PCs. Everything about it is designed to take a more efficient approach, using years of system optimisation experience into the default Nano system.
The entire Chrome system works perfectly on Nano Pro everything works as it should across the whole chrome-extensions, webgl, html5 and so on. Making this a chrome-os-like system with Windows 7 compatibility, that runs entirely in memory and can be run from a USB stick.