Microsoft Shelves Windows 10X, It is not Shipping in 2021

In late 2019, Microsoft announced Windows 10X, a new flavor of Windows 10 designed for dual-screen PCs. Windows 10X, Microsoft said at the time, will power dual-screen PCs from Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and of course Microsoft. But it appears Microsoft has changed its plans about what it wants to do with this version of Windows 10. Microsoft-focused news outlet Petri reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter, that Microsoft will not be shipping Windows 10X this year and the OS, as was described by the company in 2019, will likely never arrive. From the report:

The company has shifted resources to Windows 10 and 10X is on the back burner, for now. For about a decade, Microsoft has been trying to modernize Windows in various ways. We have seen Windows RT, Windows 10S, and now Windows 10X. The question becomes if there really is a future for anything other than traditional Windows 10? Microsoft said during their last earnings call that there were 1.3 billion active devices are running the OS each month and with that context in mind, does there really need to be a ‘lite’ version of the OS?

It’s a fair question at this point because Microsoft’s history of trying to overhaul Windows is a journey down a road with many headstones along the way to 2021. The reality is that if Microsoft is going to invest heavily in a modern version of Windows 10, it should be to run Windows 10 on ARM. A watered-down version of the OS to compete against Chromebooks is not working out today, much like it has not worked out in the past and it may never work out either but the future is hard to predict. While Windows 10 was put in the backseat for the past couple of years and many looked at 10X as a possible revival of excitement for the OS, all eyes should now be focused on Sun Valley – the next major update to Windows 10. If something is going to return the limelight to Windows, it has to be Sun Valley because that’s the only thing left. But just because 10X isn’t coming to market anytime soon, the technologies that were built for 10X are migrating to Windows 10. Not everything from 10X will show up in 10 but I would expect to see things like UI updates, app containers, and more arrive in Windows 10.