Windows 10X, the New Operating System from Microsoft, Is on Its Way

The new operating system Windows 10X is a special version of Windows 10 optimized for use on devices with two displays or for devices with a folding screen. The letter X stands for “Expression”. Originally, Windows 10X was developed for Microsoft’s Surface Neo, a tablet with two screens, but other mobile dual-screen devices should also benefit from the new operating system. Using mobile devices with two screens is no longer a mandatory requirement for running Windows 10X – the new operating system and new apps will also be available for ordinary PCs.

Windows 10X: 7 Questions, 7 Answers

Even if not all the cards have been laid out yet, we will give you answers to 7 most frequently asked questions about Microsoft’s new operating system in this blog post.

When Will Windows 10X Be Available?

Microsoft has not yet made a final release date announcement, as the Coronavirus has somewhat upset the original schedule. Although Windows 10X was planned for 2020, it will probably come out later, at least for dual-screen devices. The release of Microsoft’s Surface Neo has also been postponed until 2021. However, we still might get a Windows 10X version for single-screen devices like laptops in 2020. By the way, if you’re looking for something to do during the long COVID-related waiting period, check out this blog post: Corona Boredom? Here Are 4 Actionable Tips for You and Your Family!

How to Get the New Operating System?

In order to enjoy Windows 10X, users will probably have to buy a new device, be it a laptop with a regular screen or a (mobile) dual-screen device. A download or update to the new OS is not planned.

What’s New in Windows 10X?

The main differences from Windows 10, which are immediately noticeable, are the revised Start menu, taskbar and Info Center.

  • The Start menu is cleaner than in Windows 10, consisting of the Search box (local and web), quick accesses to favorite programs and saved websites, as well as easy access to recently opened files. A new feature of the Start menu: it opens centrally and is practically a separate program.
  • The taskbar is much more flexible than in Windows 10, showing the icons in the middle of the desktop instead of on the left. As soon as an application is running, the taskbar is minimized. When you use a hardware keyboard with your dual-screen devices, the taskbar behaves just like in Windows 10.
  • The Info Center provides more control than in Windows 10, allowing users to configure settings in the Info Center that used to require deep access to the system settings.

In addition to the design of the desktop, the startup process has also been changed.

What’s New in the Startup Process?

The OS launch process appears more modern overall. Animated graphics and colorful images replace the tile look and minimalism of Windows 10. Microsoft will probably also do without Cortana in the first version, too.

Does Windows 10X Support External Keyboards?

Yes. When you use a hardware keyboard on the Surface Neo, Windows 10X switches the device into the corresponding mode. Since the keyboard covers most of the lower screen (and therefore part of the desktop) the focus will shift to the upper part of the screen. Nevertheless, the remaining free display area of the lower screen is used in a smart way and is occupied by elements like an emoji bar.

Is it Possible to Test Windows 10X Right Away?

Yes, but the preview works with the Microsoft emulator, which means it’s only for developers and enthusiasts.

In addition to that, you’ll need:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
  • 4-core CPU from Intel
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Knowledge of Visual Studio

If you are technically skilled and don’t want to wait until the official release, you can get help from this MakeUseOf article: What Is Windows 10X and How to Give It a Try.

Will My Applications Work on Microsoft’s New Operating System?

Yes. After all, Windows 10X is not a completely new operating system created by Microsoft from scratch. Most of the apps users have on Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Professional are also available on Windows 10X. Moreover, standard 32-bit programs and Win32 apps also work on Windows 10X thanks to their execution via special container technology. According to Microsoft, this should considerably extend battery life, as the container pauses when no programs are running.

This would also clarify the most important question of all: software and apps that you get from us in the Engelmann Shop or via our newsletter can of course be used on Windows 10X as soon as it becomes available.

Picture source: Microsoft – Windows Blog