What Is Windows 10X, and How Is It Different?

Microsoft Surface Neo device.

Windows 10X is a new edition of Windows 10 designed for dual screen devices like Microsoft's next Surface Neo, which will be available for the 2020 holiday season next year. It offers a personalized interface for these devices.

Windows 10X is Windows

At his Surface event, Microsoft has said that Windows 10X "supports all Windows applications", which means that all traditional Windows desktop applications will work as they would on Windows 10 Home or Professional. This is not an entirely new operating system, it seems that it is simply a custom version of Windows 10 with an interface designed for these devices.

Update: Microsoft said The edge that Windows 10X will run these traditional Windows desktop apps in a container to improve battery life. Windows 10X seems to be based on Windows Core OS.

Optimized for dual screen devices

Windows 10X has an interface "designed and optimized for dual screen devices like Surface Neo," according to Microsoft.

The Surface Neo is a dual screen device with a hinge, like a laptop, but if the keyboard section has been replaced with a screen. Alternatively, it is like two shelves connected to each other by a hinge. If you remember the canceled Microsoft Courier concept device, it is very similar to that.

No more live tiles

Part of the operating system optimization for dual screen devices seems to be the removal of Live Tiles. There is a new Start menu with a simplified icon-based application and a website launcher. this seems to be the Start menu leaked earlier this year.

Dual screen interface changes

Microsoft's Surface Neo device with its keyboard attached and the Wunderbar bar visible.

When you launch an app, it launches on one side of the device. It's a bit like Windows 10 Snap function: Apps will open on one screen (or on one side of the device) rather than on both screens. You can drag an application window to the center edge of the screen and release it to "cover" the application on both screens. Microsoft says it's not just about extending the app on both screens, but also about "optimizing" the app's interface so that the app can intelligently enjoy both screens .

Microsoft also showed Windows "recognizing the keyboard" placed on one side of the screen and revealing the "Wunderbar", a kind of supercharged version of Apple MacBook touch bar which features buttons, a trackpad and even a large part of the screen on which you can play videos. Microsoft has said that this is something that "Neo" does, but it is probably part of Windows 10X and one of the many new interface tricks added for these devices.

Take a look at Windows 10X. #MicrosoftEvent @the Windows @carmenzlateff pic.twitter.com/8FsIspI5ld

– Microsoft Surface (@surface) October 2, 2019

Windows 10X and dual-screen devices are still turned off. Microsoft announces Windows 10X a year before the release of Surface Neo so that developers have time to try it out and optimize their apps for the new software.

Microsoft released a blog post about Windows 10X, but didn't share a lot of technical details. Everything is probably still in the air. We will update this article when we learn more.


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