Surface Neo and Windows 10X devices reportedly delayed to next year

The COVID-19 pandemic has already affected many schedules, events, and supplies, some extending as far as the second half of 2020. In that context, it might not be surprising to hear that Microsoft may have decided to push back its planned launch of the Windows 10X dual-screen Surface Neo to 2021. It isn't, however, doing it solely because developers now have a harder working on the special version of Windows 10. It turns out, another factor may be because things like single screen computers and virtualization have turned out to be even more lucrative these days.

While the Surface Neo is really a novel device but the Windows 10X that will run on it isn't completely new. Depending on how far back development actually goes, Windows 10X, also sometimes known as Windows 10 Lite, may already two years overdue. And still it might not be ready for the one feature that could make or break Windows 10X's practical usefulness.

While the version of Windows 10 has mostly been promoted as being designed and fine-tuned for dual-screen devices, one of its most critical features is virtualizing regular Windows applications. According to insiders, this feature is far from ready to make Windows 10X a viable upgrade option for users. That virtualization happens to also be at the heart of remote access which has become more important to users forced to work at home.

Chief Product Officer Panos Panay has reportedly informed his team that they won't be shipping the Surface Neo this calendar year. In fact, Microsoft will be blocking anyone from shipping any Windows 10X device this year at all. The company will instead focus on not just improving that virtualized environment but in shipping it to Windows 10 users this year, probably in time to meet the rising demand for remote access to Windows applications.

The slightly good news is that the Android-based Surface Duo seems to still be on schedule for a 2020 launch. It was earlier rumored to launch earlier than the late 2020 target but it's also possible it may be delayed as a more direct consequence of the coronavirus situation.