Microsoft reportedly shelves Windows 10X, its Chrome OS competitor

Microsoft has been trying to build lighter versions of Windows for over a decade without success. Windows 10X, a recent effort, has been reported to have been put on hold to improve Windows 10 instead.

Petri It reported that Windows 10X will no longer be released this year and the OS will not be available in its current form. Microsoft originally planned to offer a lighter and more simplified version of Windows, Windows 10X, along with new dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo. It was before the pandemic, and Microsoft decided to prioritize Windows 10X for single-screen laptops instead.

The Surface Neo was going to ship with Windows 10X.
Photo from Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

This switch is designed to position Windows 10X as more of a Chrome OS competitor. Windows 10X includes a streamlined interface, an updated Start menu without live tiles, improved multitasking, and a special app container for performance and security. Microsoft’s overall goal for 10X was to create a modern, reduced and streamlined, cloud-based version of Windows.

Although Microsoft has always recognized Chromebooks as a big threat in businesses and schools, the demand for regular Windows laptops has grown significantly over the past year. Despite the global chip shortage, the PC market did not slow down during the pandemic. Microsoft has directly benefited from increased Windows sales. Windows OEM sales increased 10% in the recent quarter, reflecting strong consumer PC demand. Windows BePro OEM sales also increased by 44%.

There are currently 1.3 billion active Windows 10 devices, according to Microsoft. This is a huge amount of legacy devices and it seems that Microsoft is now focusing on improving the core of Windows instead of offering new variations. Microsoft is working incrementally to improve the user interface of Windows 10 through new system icons, file explorer improvements, and the end of Windows 95-era icons.

Windows 10X Start menu.

All of these visual changes are part of the extensive effort codenamed Sun Valley. Microsoft hasn’t yet officially disclosed the work in detail, but it “regained the visual vitality of Windows” on its job listing earlier this year. Expect to see a lot of visual changes coming in the Windows 10 21H2 update coming in October.

Elsewhere, Microsoft is focused on improving Windows every day for those who depend on it. Software manufacturers are finally fixing app rearrangement issues on multiple monitors, adding Xbox Auto HDR functionality, and improving Bluetooth audio support.

After more than 10 years of trying to simplify Windows, it’s clear that Microsoft has come back to basics. Windows RT first debuted in 2012, followed by the release of Windows 10 S in 2017. Neither did it simplify Windows, but Windows 10X has had some interesting changes that will undoubtedly move to Windows 10.

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