Windows 10X might not arrive until 2021

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Microsoft’s Windows 10X operating system, originally planned for dual-screen devices, might not appear until 2021. The software giant revealed earlier this year that Windows 10X is being reworked for single-screen devices, rather than hardware like the Surface Neo. These changes mean Microsoft won’t be releasing Windows 10X like it had planned to do so later this year.

ZDNet reports that single-screen devices running Windows 10X, designed for education and business use, are expected to arrive in spring 2021. A year later, Microsoft is rumored to be launching dual-screen hardware running Windows 10X. If accurate, this is a significant delay to Microsoft’s original launch plans.

Microsoft’s Surface Neo might not arrive until 2022.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Microsoft cited the coronavirus pandemic as part of the reason for its change to Windows 10X. “The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices,” said Surface and Windows chief Panos Panay back in May.

Microsoft has been reworking a lot of its products to better cater for remote working and more essential devices like PCs and laptops after the company saw a spike in Microsoft Teams and Windows 10 usage.

Microsoft’s plans for traditional win32 desktop application support in Windows 10X have also caused issues for the OS development. Sources tell The Verge that Microsoft has been experiencing performance issues with win32 apps on Windows 10X, alongside compatibility issues with more complicated apps that integrate into the OS. These issues have also contributed to a Windows 10X launch delay.

Microsoft is also now working on bringing some of its Windows 10X UI and UX improvements to Windows 10 itself. Early hints at that have started happening, with an updated Start menu design and a new Settings icon in Windows 10 that originally appeared in Windows 10X. We expect to see more design tweaks to Windows 10 in the coming months. Microsoft now has a whole team dedicated to the consistency of design and iconography in Windows 10.

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