Microsoft’s lightweight Windows 10X, originally developed for dual-screen and Chromebook-like devices, may not be as ambitious as we expected. Microsoft announced as early as May that the new operating system and its launch device, the dual-screen Surface Neo, had been delayed as microsoft refocused on Windows 10 users.
Today, Zac Bowden of Windows Central gets more information about the state of Microsoft’s Windows 10X, which is clearly being introduced as a replacement for Chrome OS. As you may recall, Microsoft’s chief design officer, Panos Panay, announced in May that the company is now focusing on “single-screen Windows 10X devices that harness the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn, and play in new ways.” The Power of the Cloud ” has taken on a new meaning today, as Zac Bowden reports that Windows 10X will not have the ability to run traditional Win32 applications in containers when it is launched. However, Windows 10X will support UWP apps from the Microsoft Store and, if necessary, stream Win32 apps. Zac Bowden says the shift to a single-screen PC is driving the change, with Windows 10X originally planned to be the operating system for collapsible devices and flagship high-end PCs, but is now moving to low-cost tablets and laptops designed for the education and enterprise markets.
In a separate report, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet said: “Microsoft has not given up on running the Win32 app in the container on the 10X, but it could be as early as 2022.” Foley also suspects that Windows 10X will have a significant impact on Microsoft’s Windows 10 roadmap, with windows 10X released in the first half of 2021 and a release period for a major feature update for regular Windows 10. Microsoft may eventually release only one Windows 10 feature update per year starting in 2021 to free up more engineers who can focus on Both Windows 10X and Windows 10, and if this is accurate, it will mean that Microsoft will offer a windows 10X version in the first half/spring and a new Windows 10 feature update in the second half/fall. Microsoft is expected to bring some of the features it is building for Windows 10X, such as UX elements and possible containerization and security technologies, to the regular Windows 10.
According to Foley, the first windows 10X dual-screen devices will natively support Win32 apps and could ship in the first half of 2022. Overall, the development of Windows 10X looks rather confusing: Microsoft initially designed an operating system for devices like Chromebooks, and then explored high-end dual-screen devices such as Surface Neo. Eventually, the company returned to its original plan for single-screen Chromebook devices.