Rumors are that Microsoft is ready to release windows 10x, a new lightweight version of windows 10, in the first half of 2021. According to rumors first version of Windows 10x is finished and ready for computer manufacturers so they could install it on their devices and this could happen around June 2021.
Microsoft announced it in October 2019, and was originally developed for use on dual screen devices such as the Surface Duo and Samsung galaxy Z fold both of which currently run android but now Microsoft have changed their priorities and will also ship the new operating system on inexpensive single screen devices like those which currently run chrome OS.
Some of the main features of windows 10x
The first thing you’ll notice is the redesigned start menu which gets rid of the live tiles and goes with this sleek grid of icons this is emblematic of a broader theme because Microsoft is trying to clean up the interface throughout the entire OS they are achieving this by redesigning a lot of the pre-installed apps like file explorer and notepad using what’s called the WinUI framework file explorer in particular gains a more modern appearance but it comes at the expense of some functionality other apps like photos calendar and calculator already have WinUI interfaces in the standard version of windows 10 so they are pretty much unchanged now the new taskbar breaks the convention of having the start button at the left of the screen it’s now located in the center as is the task view button with the icons of currently open apps appearing between the two, and there is no system tray anymore instead you just get a more compact version of the action center.
So the interface looks different but what about the changes under the hood well here’s where we come to the biggest disadvantage of windows 10x it can only run universal windows platform or UWP apps if you need to run traditional win32 programs then you can but you’ll have to stream them from azure using Microsoft’s forthcoming cloud PC platform according to the rumor mill it will work in a similar way to windows virtual desktop this is currently used by enterprise customers to create virtual machines loaded with custom software and deploy them securely in the cloud PC will be a consumer-focused version of this technology that is easier to use still it does raise some red flags for me Virtualized apps are unlikely to offer the same kind of performance or user experience and they require a reliable internet connection also the idea of a windows OS that is incompatible with a lot of popular software has an uncomfortable resemblance to windows RT which as we all know was a market failure.
You can download the Microsoft emulator and installed an image of the windows 10x insider preview both are available free from the Microsoft store