Windows 10X seems ready to repeat history with win32 mistakes

If the Surface Duo turned out to be an expensive disappointment, it seems that Microsoft's next big products will be carrying on that trend. Although the larger dual-screen Surface Neo isn't expected until 2022 at the earliest, the operating system that is supposed to run on it may debut much earlier. In fact, Windows 10X could be ready to ship to manufacturers by the end of the year but it might give everyone a case of deja vu in the way it will handle "legacy" win32 software.

It won't handle win32 software at all, at least according to Windows Latest's latest report. There were already rumors as far back as July that the operating system would be missing this critical aspect and it seems to now be set in stone. At least as far as the initial release of Windows 10X is concerned.

The site says that Microsoft will be reaching the RTM (release to manufacturer) milestone by December, which means the OS will be ready to distribute to OEMs that will then install Windows 10X on upcoming new devices. That doesn't actually mean those new products will be coming out soon and it could take months before the first Windows 10X PCs launch to the public. Even then, it would be single-screen computers rather than the envisioned Surface Neo.

That launch could fall flat on its face yet again if this rumor is true. It will call to mind unfavorable experiences with Windows RT and Windows 10S, both of which were unable to run regular win32 applications, including the most popular ones people use Windows for in the first place. Windows 10X will reportedly only support UWP and PWA apps out of the box, with options for cloud-based win32 access for enterprise customers.

Windows 10X would, then, be even less capable than the ARM-based version of Windows running on the Surface Pro X, which uses emulation to support win32 and even 64-bit Windows software. At this point, it's even less clear what Windows 10X's benefit would be, especially since its headlining feature, dual-screen support, isn't even coming until 2022.