Windows 10X may be dead as Microsoft falters on Chrome OS rival

Eric Abent - May 7, 2021, 12:55pm CDT
Windows 10X may be dead as Microsoft falters on Chrome OS rival

Windows 10X has been official for about a year and half now, but those who were looking forward to the more lightweight version of Windows 10 – meant to go toe-to-toe with Chrome OS – might want to temper their expectations a bit. A new report today is claiming that Windows 10X won’t be arriving in 2021 and may not be arriving in the future at all. While that is obviously disappointing news for anyone who was looking forward to Windows 10X, there might be a silver lining to this announcement at the end of it all.

According to Petri.com in a new report today, Windows 10X has been put on the shelf for the time being. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell Petri that the company is no longer planning to ship Windows 10X in 2021 and may opt to drop the new version of the OS entirely. Instead, it seems, Microsoft is planning to focus its efforts on Windows 10 proper and the operating system’s upcoming Sun Valley update.

That may not mean that Windows 10X is dead entirely. For starters, plans change all the time and Microsoft could decide to actually bring Windows 10X to market as it intended to back when the operating system was first revealed in 2019. Even if it doesn’t, though, Microsoft could choose to bring features that were destined for Windows 10X to Windows 10 in the future, meaning that the operating system’s feature set could live on in one way or another.

Windows 10X was first revealed alongside the Surface Duo and Surface Neo in 2019. So far, only the Surface Duo has made it to store shelves, and Microsoft has mostly gone quiet on the fate of the Surface Neo and Windows 10X in the time since that presentation. Indeed, we’ve had to rely mostly on reports and leaks for new information on Windows 10X, which have discussed delays and a transition from a dual screen OS to a single screen one.

As Petri points out, Microsoft faces some rather unique challenges to rolling out a new OS this year as well, thanks to a global semiconductor shortage that’s making new PCs rather thin on the ground. Petri’s sources say that Microsoft’s customers by and large want standard Windows 10 too, so introducing a lightweight version of the OS when the supply of PCs is restricted could be setting Windows 10X up for failure.

As always, you should approach rumors and reports with a healthy dose of skepticism. The future of Windows 10X is largely unknown, but if this report is accurate, it may be better to shift expectations away from seeing Windows 10X launch as a dedicated OS and instead seeing some of the features touted by the OS coming to Windows 10 proper instead.


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