With Windows 10X, Microsoft introduced a new version of its flagship operating system last October that was specifically designed for dual-screen devices. The original plan was to launch the first set of Windows 10X dual-screen devices before the 2020 holidays, and in February of this year, it announced a slew of tools to help developers get ready for this new form factor. Today it announced that it is pivoting Windows 10X away from dual-screen devices for the time being. And that means we likely won't see any dual-screen Windows devices anytime soon.
In a blog post today, Microsoft's Windows and devices chief Panos Panay said the company has made this decision because at this time, it wants to focus on what its customers need right now and wants to "focus on meeting customers where they are now." While Panay doesn't quite spell it out in his blog post, the idea here is clearly that given the unprecedented environment during the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft doesn't want to emphasize new form factors, but rather put its efforts behind improving its existing tools and services.
"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," Panay writes. "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."
A single-screen Windows 10X device sounds a lot like a regular laptop, 2-in-1 or tablet. Microsoft declined to define what these first Windows 10X devices will look like and only told us that there's "more to come." We'll be here when that happens.
In his post today, Panay also stressed that the company wants to accelerate innovation in Windows 10 "to ensure that Windows devices are the best way to work, learn and play." He didn't share any further details of what exactly that means.
What Panay did say, though, is that Microsoft users now spend 4 trillion minutes a month on Windows 10. That's an increase of 75% year-over-year.