Windows 10X was unveiled back in October of 2019 as a dedicated operating system for dual-screen and foldable devices due to arrive in Fall 2020. But less than a month after the event, leaked documents revealed that Microsoft was rethinking those plans, and in May, the company confirmed that the operating system would launch first on traditional clamshell laptops.
Despite acknowledging the shift in plans, Microsoft has never given a revised timeline for the launch of Windows 10X. However, according to ZDNet's sources inside Microsoft, the company is targeting a limited spring 2021 launch with a wide release in the spring of 2022.
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While some rumors suggest that a future Windows 10 update may see some of the Windows 10X features, this represents a more significant delay for the project than many were anticipating.
The specifics of the rollout, according to the report, are a focus on business and education with the spring 2021 launch, frontline workers being a primary market for the former and the latter perhaps aligning with a previous rumor that Microsoft would be focusing on cheaper laptops to compete more directly with Chromebooks in the booming market for remote learning laptops.
This initial release will also lack support for Win32 apps in containers, according to the report, relying entirely on Universal Windows Platform and web apps with the earliest expected release for Win32 support coming in 2022.
What's shocking is the spring 2022 delay for the more rollout of Windows 10X to traditional clamshell laptops and the dual-screen devices it was originally intended for. To put it into perspective, Windows 10X will arrive a full 18 months after the intended release, by which time Apple will be nearing the end of its recently announced Apple Silicon transition.
Windows 10 users who were looking forward to Windows 10X will need to console themselves with the forthcoming Windows 10 Start Menu redesign and perhaps some bits and pieces from Windows 10X finding their way into Windows 10 while they wait.