21 October 2020
Microsoft originally showcased Windows 10X as an operating system exclusively meant for dual-screen devices. It later made an announcement revealing that the OS will also support single-screen devices like traditional desktops and laptops. Now, a new report has surfaced detailing that Microsoft has planned a number of other significant changes for the tweaked OS as well.
Windows Central's Zac Bowden has cited his internal sources to offer interesting insights related to the development process. Microsoft is said to have removed the VAIL tech responsible for running Win32 apps in a virtualized environment. The decision has been taken after considering the performance capabilities of low-end devices like education/enterprise laptops and budget tablets. These devices are not powerful enough to run virtualized Win32 apps smoothly and will result in a weak performance.
Windows 10X will focus on web apps and UWP apps that will result in a smooth as well as fast performance. This approach is similar to what Google has been doing with Chrome OS on Chromebooks. It makes sense considering Windows 10X will be competing directly with Chrome OS on low-end devices.
Even though there will not be native support for Win32 apps, the dev team is likely to offer legacy apps streaming through the cloud. These apps will already be installed on the cloud and users will be able to use them similar to how Windows Virtual Desktop works.
These changes mean that Microsoft has also delayed its plans to release dual-screen devices by one year. It means we can expect such devices to arrive after 2021 and yes, these devices will support virtualized Win32 apps. As for Microsoft's own low-end devices running Windows 10X, they are expected to debut during the first half of 2021.