Microsoft Drops Windows 10X Before It Ever Launched

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Credit: ZDNet

Microsoft won't be bringing its Windows 10X operating system variant to market anytime soon, if ever. Microsoft has put Windows 10X on the back burner according to a post on Petri.com by Brad Sams on May 7. Windows 10X was supposed to be Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS -- a simpler Windows 10 variant that was slated to debut first on PCs for education and the first line-worker market.

Microsoft is still expected to field a "new" Windows variant later this year when it rolls out Windows 10 with a refreshed UX. (That UX is codenamed Sun Valley.) Given that some of the interface elements for Sun Valley seem to be similar to what was expected with Windows 10X, based on various leaks, perhaps Microsoft will simply look to the new Windows refresh as the best way it can take on Chrome OS.

Microsoft officials stopped talking publicly about Windows 10X last year. Even though officials declined to say this officially, Microsoft planned to bring Windows 10X to market in 2021 without the promised Win32 app support, which would have made it a lot less appealing to many customers.

Microsoft had been struggling to figure out how to position and deliver Windows 10X for the past couple of years. Initially, Windows 10X was going to be Microsoft's Windows variant for dual-screen PCs, including the currently tabled Surface Neo. Then, officials switched plans, deciding instead to debut Windows 10X on single-screen PCs, both clamshell laptops and 2-in-1s.

Windows 10X was not designed to run on existing PCs; it was being built to run on new PCs only. It was going to debut on Intel-based devices first and possibly also be available on Arm-based PCs at some point in the future. In February 2020, Microsoft showed off how containerized apps would work on Windows 10X, including Win32 ones.

Windows 10X was slated to be one of the first versions of Windows built on Windows Core OS (WCOS). Word is that Microsoft has had problems getting its concept of a common Windows OS core with different UX flavors to work well enough to bring it to market. I'm curious what the end of Windows 10X means for WCOS.