Windows 10X, the lightweight version of Windows 10 slated to launch later this year on Chromebook-like devices, would no longer be available this year, or maybe never. Microsoft is no longer actively working on Windows 10X to focus on the standard Windows 10 operating system, which is expected to receive a big design update named “Sun Valley” later this year, according to a new report from Petri’s Brad Sams. .
Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 10X at an event in fall 2019 where Microsoft revealed its dual-screen Surface Neo and Surface Duo devices. But with the Surface Duo shipped with Android last year, the Surface Neo has been delayed indefinitely after Microsoft announced last year that Windows 10X will ship first on single-screen devices.
Since then, the way forward for Windows 10X was to become Microsoft’s Chrome OS alternative for low-cost PCs. Chromebooks have become very popular in the US education market in recent years, as they are often cheaper and more manageable than Windows 10 PCs. With Windows 10X, Microsoft aimed to create a lightweight operating system that would remove legacy Windows components, including Win32 apps, but educating customers about this new version of Windows 10 might have taken a while.
âWhen chatting with people familiar with Microsoft’s plans, customers weren’t looking for a solution that Windows 10X would solve, what they wanted were the features of Windows 10X brought to Windows 10. The Windows Advantage 10 is the flexibility it offers, which 10X was working this narrative against and the decision was made to put the operating system on the back burner, âSams explained today.
A separate report from Windows Central’s Zac Bowden apparently confirmed Brad Sams’ information that Microsoft is no longer actively working on Windows 10X.
Microsoft halted internal self-hosting testing of Windows 10X in February and hasn’t restarted it since. Microsoft previously offered 10X self-host versions for a number of Surface devices, but all of these images self-hosting have been removed from the internal portal and the movement on 10X as a whole has stopped, âBowden wrote.
Both reporters believe that some of the work Microsoft does on Windows 10X may eventually end up in the normal Windows 10 operating system, including the new design ideas we saw in the Windows 10X emulator. Regardless, the Windows team is apparently fully focused on the big ‘Sun Valley’ update for Windows 10, and that’s probably good news.
It took many years for Google to have some success with Chromebooks, which have become much more versatile in recent years thanks to Android, Linux, and even virtualized Windows apps. With Windows 10 now running on 1.3 billion devices, it’s hard to see how Microsoft could have avoided another Windows RT situation with a new Windows 10-based operating system that can run fewer apps than one. Regular Windows 10 PC or a Chromebook.
Microsoft probably can’t escape the fact that Windows 10’s huge app ecosystem remains its greatest strength, and consumers and business users generally hate change. It will likely take years for Microsoft to modernize Windows 10 and make its user interface and user experience more consistent, but that should probably be the top priority for the Windows team in addition to improving app compatibility on ARM devices.
For about a decade, Microsoft has tried to modernize Windows in a number of ways. We’ve seen Windows RT, Windows 10S, and now Windows 10X.
The question is, is there really a future for anything other than traditional Windows 10?
Microsoft said in its last earnings call that there were 1.3 billion active devices running the operating system every month. In this context, is it really necessary to have a “light” version of the operating system?
That’s a legitimate question at this point, because Microsoft’s story in its attempt to redesign Windows is a journey down a road with many gravestones en route to 2021. The reality is that if Microsoft invests massively in a modern version of Windows 10, it should be running Windows 10 on ARM. A watered-down version of the operating system to compete with Chromebooks doesn’t work today, just as it didn’t in the past and it may never work either, but the future is hard to predict.
[note: An ARM processor is one of a family of CPUs based on the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) architecture developed by Advanced RISC Machines (ARM). ARM makes 32-bit and 64-bit RISC multi-core processors.]
While Windows 10 has been thrown into the back for the past two years and many saw 10X as a possible renewed excitement for the operating system, all eyes should now be on Sun Valley – the next update. Windows 10 major update (v21H2). If anything is to bring the limelight back to Windows, it must be Sun Valley, because that’s the only thing left.
George Cox is the owner of Computer Diagnostics and Repair. He can be reached at 346-4217.