Microsoft first introduced the more modular and adaptable Windows 10X operating system in October 2019 and initially said Surface Neo would be the first device to run a new operating system. Unfortunately, as the software giant adjusts its schedule and removes Surface Neo from the list, we won’t be able to see Windows 10X during the 2020 holiday shopping season.
Under Microsoft’s plan, the more modular and adaptable Windows 10X operating system will be released to traditional single-screen laptops in the first half of 2021.
It’s unclear whether Microsoft will push a beta beta version of Windows 10X to insider developers, but it has also raised concerns about the state of Windows 10X development.
But before we all speculate, let’s review what Windows 10X is. It is said to be internally codened Windows Lite and built on Windows Core OS, complemented by Windows Shell and other modular system components.
Designed to run on single-screen/dual-screen devices, it looks more modern thanks to the old components. In addition, Windows 10X has a new version of the user interface that streamlines support for dynamic icons on porcelain pastes and allows Windows Update to run seamlessly in the background.
As for the Windows 10X release date, sources say Microsoft currently plans to deliver Windows 10X in the first half of 2021 and will not have on-camera support for win32 applications. The first single-screen PCs pre-installed with Windows 10X are also expected to be available in the second quarter (or spring of 2021).
To free up time and effort for the release of Windows 10X, Microsoft also appears to be considering tweaking its Windows 10 upgrade cycle, with Windows 10 receiving feature updates once a year or only once in the future.
For example, after the introduction of Windows 10X in the first half of 2021, the company will begin rolling out windows 10’s first annual feature update.
By the first half of 2022, we’ll see the first major update to Windows 10X to support dual-screen devices such as Surface Neo and Lenovo ThinkPad Fold.
Unfortunately, there are reports that Windows 10X has cut virtualization support for Win32 applications from Windows 10X last release, a technology designed to keep classic desktop/Win32 applications running smoothly in containers.
That’s why, or as first reported bymedia earlier this year, Microsoft isn’t happy with the performance of win32 applications on Windows 10X.
For example, some Win32 applications struggle to access local features available outside the container, including screen sharing and warnings when minimized to the taskbar, but this is contrary to the Windows 10X spirit, which is committed to balancing performance and compatibility performance.
As a result, Windows 10X insiders have abandoned support for Win32 applications, meaning that users can only run universal Windows apps (UWP) and web applications on their own — even if that makes Windows 10X more like the lightweight operating system used by devices such as Google Chromebook.
Finally, Microsoft is said to have allowed early adopters to stream Win32 applications over Web services. But the need for an Internet connection will greatly constrain the use of this feature.
It remains to be seen what other adjustments will be made to the follow-up plan, such as Microsoft’s internal decision not to consider dual-screen mode for the next year.