Windows 10x will become a Chrome OS competitor

panos panay Windows 10x

Very interesting news this morning in a post by Panos Panay.

The Microsoft Windows and Devices chief announced that some substantial changes were being made regarding the development of Windows 10x.

For a refresher on Windows 10x, see our What is Windows 10x article on the site.

His announcement today:

The May 2020 Update is just the first step though. As a team, we are committed to delivering meaningful innovation in ways that matter most to the billion people around the world relying on Windows right now. That is why, in this holiday and the next, we are going to accelerate innovation in Windows 10 to ensure that Windows devices are the best way to work, learn and play. We are going to make important improvements in every one of those areas.

With that increased focus comes a shift in priorities for Windows too. The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices. As we continue to put customers’ needs at the forefront, we need to focus on meeting customers where they are now. 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.

With Windows 10X, we designed for flexibility, and that flexibility has enabled us to pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn and play in new ways. These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market.

What does that statement mean?

Simply put, in light of the Coronavirus and the changes that have happened to the way we work, Microsoft has changed the approach regarding Windows 10x.

Windows 10x split devices

Windows 10x split devices

Originally designed for dual screen devices, Windows 10x will now be available on regular laptops just like Windows 10 is.

Microsoft isn’t saying exactly when single-screen devices like laptops will support Windows 10X, nor when dual-screen devices will launch with the OS. However, Windows 10X will launch on single-screen devices first.

Microsoft is reprioritizing Windows 10X for laptops and single-screen devices because of the coronavirus pandemic. The software maker has seen a 75 percent year-over-year increase in the time spent in Windows 10.

More people are turning to using their laptops or PCs instead of a smartphone or tablet during the lockdowns we’ve seen worldwide to work or study.

Two versions of Windows 10 for laptops?

Microsoft is not yet explicitly defining what Windows 10x will have now that this change has been announced and we will probably learn more at the BUILD conference.

However if it’s a more simple and modular form of Windows 10, it makes sense that this could be a lower cost Chrome OS competitor.

Anyone who has kids in school can see the enormous success that Google have had with Chrome and their Chromebooks. This could be a very interesting development.

Stay tuned for more news about this.

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  1. José
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