Microsoft nixes Windows 10X | Computerworld


Microsoft will likely abandon Windows 10X, the concept operating system that was to serve as a streamlined, simplified rival to the likes of Chrome OS, according to a recent report.

“Microsoft will not be shipping Windows 10X this year and the OS as you know it today, will likely never arrive,” wrote Brad Sams in a piece on Petri.com last week. Citing “people familiar with the company’s plans,” Sams then added, “The company has shifted resources to Windows 10 and 10X is on the back burner, for now.”

Sams’ account was not a huge surprise. Previously, reports about Windows 10X had claimed that the operating system would launch in the spring of 2021; in fact, its debut was to take the spot usually devoted to the year’s first-half Windows 10 feature upgrade. That went by the wayside when earlier this year Microsoft announced plans to issue Windows 10 21H1 on the usual timetable.

Windows 10 21H1 is expected to begin reaching customers’ PCs this month.

10X’s changing message

At Microsoft’s 2019 announcement of Windows 10X, the OS was positioned as “the best of Windows 10 built to enable unique experiences on multi-posture dual-screen PCs.” In plain English, that meant 10X was to power a new hardware category of two-screen, tablet-notebook hybrids that both Microsoft and its partners — the Lenovos, the Dells, the HPs — would manufacture. But Microsoft’s entry, dubbed the Surface Neo, was later scratched.

Then, a year ago, Windows 10X morphed into an operating system for single-screen devices which, at least by Microsoft’s terse description, sounded very much like Chromebook competitors. “We need to focus on meeting customers where they are now,” said Panos Panay, who had been made the head of Windows and Microsoft’s device group three months earlier. “Our customers are leveraging the power of the cloud more than ever, and we believe the time is right to lean into this acceleration in a different way.”

Another year on, and Microsoft has, by Sams’ telling, bagged Windows 10X, if not permanently, then certainly for an extended period. What. The. Hell?

Why?

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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