[Updated] Microsoft gives up on Windows 10X and will shift efforts to standard OS

Update 05/18: In a blog post, Microsoft officially confirms that it is not shipping Windows 10X in 2021. It says that it will move efforts to Windows 10, bringing 10X features like a new touch keyboard, to that OS.

Microsoft is changing its plans for Windows 10X and will not be shipping the new operating system in 2021, according to a report from Petri.

Windows 10X was announced in 2019, alongside the Surface Duo and Surface Neo, the latter of which would run the software. The company planned to deliver a more lightweight and simplified version of Windows, to run on single and dual-screen devices like the Neo.

The OS will no longer be shipping in the current form, and will likely never arrive. Microsoft has “shifted resources” to focus on Windows 10, where it’s expected to unveil a major redesign to the desktop OS, codenamed Sun Valley, in the second half of this year. The update is expected to improve the consistency of the UI, ditching the Windows 95-era design elements in favour of Fluent Design.

These design cues were first seen in Windows 10X, which included a redesigned Start menu, Action Center and simplified interface. Microsoft’s aim with 10X was to compete with Chrome OS: it wouldn’t support traditional Win-32 apps like the standard version of Windows 10. These efforts will now be moved to Windows 10.

In the past year, Microsoft has started rolling out signifcant changes to its operating system, including redesigned app icons, a refreshed Start menu, and more recently, changes to File Explorer and the Settings app. It looks to follow Apple’s move with macOS Big Sur, which sports an overhauled interface, control center and other major changes.

At this time, it is not clear if the Surface Neo has been cancelled or whether Microsoft plans to release the device in a different form factor. It has not officially commented on its plans for the future of Windows 10 and Windows 10X.

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Ben Ward
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