In May 2020, Microsoft confirmed it would delay the launch of its troubled Windows 10X/Surface Duo product instead of a single-screen device. Microsoft says it will be the first Windows 10X product, and it will continue to look for the right time to bring dual-screen devices to market with OEM partners. Now, Mary Jo Foley has added some color to the report, saying that based on her sources, we can expect the single-screen Windows 10X device to be available in the spring of 2021. The dual-screen device release date will be further, expected in 2022. Single-screen devices will not be aimed at the consumer market, but to front-line employees in the corporate and education fields, so Windows 10x laptops are primarily Chromebook competitors.
In addition, Microsoft is further scaling back its development ambitions. The first version will not support running Win32 apps in containers (allegedly due to performance issues), but only UWP applications and progressive web applications (PWA). We reported earlier that Microsoft was not satisfied with the performance of some Win32 applications when virtualized on the 10X. When in the background, these apps struggle to perform basic tasks such as sending notifications when performing screen sharing or minimizing, and some traditional apps face compatibility issues.
Microsoft will reportedly slow windows 10 development to be shipped, with only one update a year starting in 2021. Microsoft may combine the development of Windows 10 with Windows 10X and introduce resources such as containers to Windows 10. Mary Jo Foley predicts that Windows 10 21H1 could be replaced by the release of Windows 10X, which will provide a major feature update for 2021. In the first half of 2022, Microsoft will release a dual-screen Windows 10X device, and will continue to offer major updates to Windows 10 in the second half of 2022. That means Surface Neo will also be delayed until 2022, even later than expected.
The limitations of Windows 10X make it hard to see how it differs from Microsoft’s failed Windows 10S project. In addition, surface Neo, which is due to be released in 2019, will clearly not be a viable design when the flexible screen is sure to be universal and inexpensive in 2022. Microsoft has also disappointed OEMs again, promising to provide an operating system to run the dual-screen Windows hardware, but now they are likely to waste millions of dollars in the process.