Windows 10X, the modular, lightweight version of the Windows 10 operating system, will launch early next year, according to published reports.
In addition, the new Window variant is on course to achieve RTM status in the coming weeks before devices running the OS will start appearing on production lines.
Among the biggest changes to Windows 10X, the Start Menu is set to be dropped, replaced by a static app launcher. It will be optimized for devices with limited memory – those with 4GB of RAM or less – but will ship on more powerful products too. The OS will also be bringing back rounded corners for top-level windows in a nice little design nod to earlier Windows iterations.
Windows 10X is based on the Windows core OS but delivers a more modular, simpler interface. Initially, it was expected to target dual-screen devices and foldable PCs, but now it appears as though it will launch on single-screen products first.
“Between work and family, our time is precious,” a Windows blog read last year. “With a dual-screen PC and Windows 10X, people can get things done on-the-go faster than ever: take notes on one screen while reviewing the full project proposal on the other while in transit; sit down at a table to write a thoughtful email on a hardware keyboard while waiting for lunch; and then watch a video, browse the web or read a book as you get back to your life.”
Only single-screen experiences will be offered initially and “mid-range” devices will begin shipping in Spring of 2021 without native support for Win32 desktop apps.
Microsoft will allow advanced users or businesses to access their favourite desktop apps using an internet-based technology called ‘Cloud PC‘, which will sync with Office 365.
Microsoft sources have clarified that the tech giant won’t allow users to install this operating system on their existing devices. Much like Windows 10 on ARM, Chrome OS or iOS, Windows 10X will ship with new devices only. Of course, you’ll be able to deploy it ‘unofficially’ by manually creating a bootable image.
Internally, Windows 10X is being positioned as a direct rival to Chrome OS and Microsoft will be targeting the education sector.