Windows 10X, Microsoft’s operating system designed for dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo, reportedly won’t arrive until 2021.
The news comes after several delays and changes in what Microsoft wants Windows 10X to be. While the company initially planned for the OS to power dual-screen devices, it later pivoted to making Windows 10X for single-screen devices.
In May, Microsoft cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the main reason for its shift from dual-screen to single-screen with 10X. At the time, Panos Panay, Microsoft’s head of Surface and Windows, wrote in a blog post that “the world is a very different place” and said the company would instead focus on meeting customers where they are now: single-screen devices.
Now, a ZDNet report suggests the single-screen devices running Windows 10X formerly set to arrive later this year will instead come in spring 2021. Further, it will reportedly be another entire year until Microsoft launches dual-screen hardware running Windows 10X.
If the report is accurate, that’s a significant delay to Microsoft’s original plans.
That said, Microsoft has also reworked many of its products for the current moment, so it shouldn’t come as a significant surprise that more adventurous ones like Windows 10X have taken a back seat. For example, Microsoft made adjustments to Windows 10 and Teams to add more features tailored to increased remote work.
It’s also worth noting that Microsoft has struggled with plans to get traditional win32 desktop applications running in Windows 10X. Source told The Verge that the company had performance issues and compatibility issues with win32 apps on Windows 10X. It’s possible these problems contributed to the Windows 10X delay.
Update 07/20/2020 at 3:33pm: Another report surfaced detailing Microsoft’s plan to stop supporting legacy win32 apps on Windows 10X. Coupled with the above delay, it means Windows 10X as originally imagined likely won’t arrive for some time.