Microsoft is confirming today that it’s planning to refocus Windows 10X on single-screen devices. “The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices,” explains Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Windows and devices chief. “With Windows 10X, we designed for flexibility, and that flexibility has enabled us to pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn and play in new ways.”
Microsoft isn’t saying exactly when single-screen devices like laptops will support Windows 10X, nor when dual-screen devices will launch with the OS. However, Windows 10X will launch on single-screen devices first. “We will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market,” says Panay.
Microsoft is reprioritizing Windows 10X for laptops and single-screen devices because of the coronavirus pandemic. The software maker has seen a 75 percent year-over-year increase in the time spent in Windows 10. More people are turning to using their laptops or PCs instead of a smartphone or tablet during the lockdowns we’ve seen worldwide to work or study.
It’s unclear what the benefit of Windows 10X could be for single-screen devices, given that the OS is mainly designed for two screens: 10X will ostensibly make it easier for dual-screen users to organize and interact with windows across two screens, while also making some under-the-hood changes that help mobile devices better manage their power consumption. That said, Windows 10X may come out in 2020 after all, just not in the form Microsoft had originally envisioned.