The X is for expression

What’s Windows 10X? Here’s the best answer.

Are you still wondering what's Windows 10X? Here's the best answer, and the details you need to know about the OS for dual-screen devices.

Windows 10X interface (image source Microsoft)

Windows 10X is a new variant of Windows 10 designed specifically for dual screen as well as foldable devices. It’s not a new version to upgrade the OS on your desktop computer. Microsoft describes it as another eXpression of Windows 10, and that’s the reason for the “X” in the name. Also, Windows 10X is the official name for the project that was previously known as Windows Lite (Santorini).

Similar to the version of the OS for desktop or laptop, Xbox, Surface Hub, and HoloLens, Windows 10X runs on the common set of share technologies internally known as “OneCore.”

OneCore is the technology that makes Windows 10 a completely modular OS allowing an adaptive interface — known as Composable Shell (CShell) — and familiar experiences to run across different device form factors. In the case of Windows 10X, this also means support for legacy desktop programs (Win32), but using a container technology that preserves battery life.

Of course, with this new expression, you can also run Microsoft Store apps, including web apps and Universal Windows Platform apps.

Windows 10X interface

Although Windows 10X will preserve a familiar user interface that will partially require no learning curve, the new variant will introduce a number of new elements, including a new Start menu that ditches Live Tiles in favor of traditional icons with a search box at the top, and a taskbar that features a Start button at the center, rather than on the left side.

Windows 10X desktop interface (image source Microsoft)
Windows 10X desktop interface (image source Microsoft)

Windows 10X will also introduce the WonderBar, which is a better take of the Mac Touch Bar, that gives you a quick access to emojis, gif, and other shortcuts. And it’ll provide a new feature allowing an app to split on two displays.

Windows 10X devices

Initially, Windows 10X will be available on a select number of Intel-based devices, including Surface Neo, the new dual-screen tablet announced during the October 2019 event in New York City, and on devices from other partners, including Lenovo, ASUS, Dell, and HP.

Just to be clear, Surface Pro X will not run Windows 10X. Instead, it’ll run the full-blown desktop version of Windows 10 optimized for ARM-based devices. Also, Surface Duo, which is a smaller version of Surface Neo, will run a custom version of Android, not Windows 10X.

Windows 10X release date

While Windows 10X won’t be a version of the OS that you’ll be able to purchase, devices with this OS are expected to start shipping in holiday 2020. Microsoft is offering a glimpse now to get developers involve to build apps that will work with the new variant.