It was already a known secret that Microsoft was working on a version of Windows 10X optimized for single-screen devices aka traditional laptops and desktops.
This came after it had internally scrapped plans of releasing Surface Neo – its dual-screen PC powered by Windows 10X.
Now, Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group chief Panos Panay has confirmed that we will definitely see a Windows 10X for single-screen PCs in the coming future.
Panay emphasized that more users now leverage Microsoft’s cloud capabilities, and the upcoming Windows 10 successor would only increase it further.
Apparently, because of the cloud power coming into the picture, Windows 10X is also being considered as Microsoft’s answer to Google Chrome OS, which powers Chromebooks.
Microsoft is working on some significant changes that will improve the work, play, and learning experience on Windows devices. According to Panay, the upcoming Windows 10 May 2020 Update is the first step in this direction.
However, Microsoft is going to “accelerate innovation in Windows 10” in the upcoming holiday season, and the next, Panay said. Possibly, he referred to changes that will land alongside Windows 10X.
Windows 10X for single-screen devices, why?
Our dreams of installing Windows 11 one day were lost when Microsoft released Windows 10 back in 2015 with a different approach called Windows-as-a-Service (WaaS).
The company now treats its OS a service rather than a product, and so it doesn’t release major version updates every 3 to 5 years as it previously did with Windows XP, Windows 7, and so on. Windows 10 gets new features in the form of smaller updates released twice per year.
Anyway, talking about the future of Windows, Microsoft was all ambitious last year when it proudly revealed the Windows 10X-powered Surface Neo in front of the audience.
While many believed the company would jump into a new era of personal computers, what we see now is somewhat different.
It can’t be denied that the recent turn of events might have slowed down the development of Surface Neo and Windows 10X for dual-screen devices. But it could also be the case that Microsoft realized it’s too early to put a dual-screen PC in the hands of the people.
Maybe, there are some technical hurdles that the company is yet to cross.
“As we continue to put customers’ needs at the forefront, we need to focus on meeting customers where they are now,” Panay said.
He added that Microsoft is waiting for the right moment to bring dual-screen Windows 10X devices in the market while working with OEMs accordingly.
When compared to Windows 10, there are some considerable differences that give Windows 10X a separate identity. To name a few, it features a redesigned UI with a new Action Center and a new Start Menu without Live Tiles.
Microsoft is making some under-the-hood changes that might allow Windows 10X to update with just 90 seconds downtime.
Furthermore, Windows 10X uses different containers to add support for legacy Win32 apps, as well as, modern UWP apps.
The OS is based on Microsoft’s new modular platform called Windows Core OS, which includes a universal base code that can run on different device form factors with a customized user interface on top of it.
When all of this is clubbed together, we get an operating system that works differently than what Windows is today.
Microsoft is expected to share more details on Windows 10X for single-screen devices at the BUILD developer conference later this month. As already known, the event will be held online in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, if you want to try out Windows 10X, you can do so by installing the Windows 10 emulator.