In May 2020 Microsoft confirmed that they would be delaying their troubled Windows 10X / Surface Duo product, and instead shift to single-screen devices, saying:
“These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market,” wrote Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows and Devices.
Now Mary Jo Foley has added some more colour to that report, saying, according to her sources, we can expect single-screen Windows 10X devices to hit the market in Spring 2021. Dual-screen support will be even further out, and is expected in 2022.
The single-screened devices will not be targetted at the consumer market, but rather first-line workers in businesses and in education, making the Windows 10x laptops primarily competitors to Chromebooks.
In addition, Microsoft is curtailing its development ambitions further. The first release will not support running Win32 apps in containers (reportedly due to performance issues), but will instead only support UWP apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).
We had earlier reported that Microsoft was not satisfied with the performance of a number of Win32 apps when virtualized on 10X. When in the background, these apps are struggling to perform basic tasks such as screen sharing or sending notifications when they’re minimized and that some legacy apps were facing compatibility issues.
To ship even this limited product Microsoft will reportedly slow down the development of Windows 10, with only one feature update per year from 2021. Microsoft may combine develop meant of Windows 10 and Windows 10X and bring over some resources, such as containers, to Windows 10.
Mary Jo Foley predicts that Windows 10 21H1 may be replaced by the release of Windows 10X, and Windows 10 will get its big 2021 feature update in 21H2. The in 22H1 we will get dual-screen Windows 10X, and another big Windows 10 update in 22H2.
This means the Surface Neo will also be delayed all the way to 2022, even later than expected.
With all the limitations of Windows 10X, it is difficult to see how it is much different from Microsoft’s failed Windows 10S project. Further, it is clear that the Surface Neo, which was meant to be released in 2019, will not be a viable design in 2022 when flexible screens will surely be widespread and cheap. Microsoft has also once again disappointed OEMs who developed dual-screen Windows hardware on the promise that Microsoft will deliver an OS to run it, likely wasting millions in the process.
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