Windows 10x: Here’s Everything to Know About New Windows OSDonna Marie Padua
Microsoft is currently in hot water following the issues that Windows 10 OS has been facing since September. However, this didn’t stop the tech giant from holding its Surface Event 2019. While Microsoft shocked the world by unveiling an actual Surface Duo and the new Surface Neo, tech geeks were also quick to catch the announcement on the new Windows 10X.
The new Surface Neo is a dual-screen, foldable device under the Surface product line and what captured the attention of the audience was the fact that it will run on Windows 10X. This isn’t a new or upgrade version of the Windows 10 OS which has been on the headlines for the errors that came with its latest update. So if you’re hoping that 10X can replace the faulty Windows 10 1903, then you’ll just end up being disappointed.
What is Windows 10X?
Although it isn’t a direct successor of Windows 10 OS, you will feel some familiarity when using a device powered by Windows 10X as it applies some of the former’s features and follows some of its characteristics.
In January, it was revealed that Windows 10 has become the most popular OS, beating Windows 7 by almost 2%. It is now in place on over 900 million devices. Further, it has become the best OS developed by Microsoft (disregarding the errors it’s yet to resolve). It will probably be the dominating force in the computer world for the years to come. This is because Microsoft has no plans to release another OS edition as it announced previously, but then here comes Windows 10X and people are confused.
In summary, Windows 10 is for your PC and Windows 10X is for dual-screen devices.
Windows 10X is slated to launch for dual-screen and foldable devices sometime in Fall 2020. It won’t land on Surface Neo only, though, as announced during its October 2 event. Microsoft is partnering with companies such as Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo in order to get its operating system in their upcoming dual-screen devices. So if you can’t afford the hefty price tag that comes with the new Microsoft Surface devices, don’t worry, you can still experience Windows 10X on more affordable tablets.
Don’t be confused about the structure of the new Windows 10X, though. Sadly, it’s not the mobile version of Windows 10 that everyone has been waiting for. While most people see Surface Duo as an upgraded mobile phone because it can take calls, it is not. It’s like a foldable version of most tablets today that has sim slots, combining PC and cellular into one device.
Codenamed Santoni, Windows 10X is another variant of Windows 10 OS just like Windows 10S. It is unlike 10S, though, which was on low-cost computers as well as Surface laptops. Windows 10X will be more focused on mobility and convenience, hence installable only on tablets.
Windows 10X – New Features
While Microsoft unveiled Windows 10X at a public event, they didn’t spill the beans altogether. While the details regarding core architecture and software are still under the wraps, there are some clues on what Windows 10X will be offering.
Windows 10X ditches the Start Menu. Instead, it will have a launcher on the desktop without the live tiles or animation. The taskbar apps are placed in the center which might just look good on a mobile-first device. Furthermore, in terms of OS update handling, Windows 10X comes with a seamless update mechanism that works way better than Windows 10’s current update system.
Windows 10x make the new Surface Neo more powerful by making the foldable experience convenient and more accessible. As demoed during the Surface Event 2019, you can choose to launch apps on one side of the dual-screen. However, if you want to leverage the second screen as well, you can simply move the app to the center. The program will span both screens. You have the choice to maximize the view to full screens or leave a space where you can open other apps.
The Wunderbar Mode turns the second screen of Microsoft’s foldable device into a touchpad. It’s very much like the touch bar on Mac. The difference is Windows 10X leaves a space to watch videos. There’s space to open another app while using the second screen as your touchpad.
Check Surface Neo on the video below:
Apps Supported by Windows 10X
Windows 10X was designed to support most of the basic Windows 10 applications. This includes Microsoft Office, Web apps, and Project Web Apps. Make of it what you will, but Windows 10X can only run UWP (Universal Windows Apps) apps natively and Win32 applications in a container.
If you don’t know what a container is, let me briefly explain the difference. Native apps are tightly integrated with the operating system so they perform much better without hogging crucial resources. Whereas, containers use a subsystem, in this case, a framework of Windows 10 with essential components for running a Win32 app. These Win32 apps will run in a subsystem that is not optimized or deeply integrated with Windows 10X.
Microsoft Office, Chromium Edge, and other apps that use the older Windows API will run in a container. Microsoft has claimed that the performance will be on par with UWP apps.
Windows 10X Release Date
As I mentioned, the new Microsoft Windows 10X will be available during the holiday season of 2020. However, we might see insider builds mid-next year for public testing like what happened to other Windows OS versions. Before that, Microsoft is engaging with Windows developers around the world to create applications, especially for the Windows 10X platform.
The Future of Windows 10X on Desktop Computers
Microsoft isn’t planning to launch Windows 10X on desktop PCs. However, Asus foldable laptop might be the first PC to use it as its dual-screen offering is actually a laptop.
Microsoft is surely making a change in the hardware and software spaces with Surface Neo and Windows 10X. Now, we have to wait for another year to see what improvements Microsoft brings to the foldable space. Are you excited about Windows 10X?