Microsoft Drops Dual-Screen Windows

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Microsoft is rethinking its plans for a completely new version of Windows 10. It's no longer going to target "Windows 10X" at dual-screen devices for the simple reason that not many people are interested about such devices right now.

Windows 10X was originally designed to be a separate system to the widely used Windows 10.

The idea was to get ahead of the game with fold-out laptops that have a touchscreen on both halves of the fold, rather than a screen and physical keyboard. Such devices are designed to give users a large screen space and a more practical way to have multiple windows open in a single portable device.

That brings three challenges for an operating system: the user not having a physical keyboard, the possibility of windows stretching "across the fold", and a substantial change in layout between portrait and landscape mode.

Microsoft concluded that a separate version of Windows was the easiest way to handle these challenges, with several tweaks and some ditched features such as the Start Menu and the Cortana virtual assistant.

The World is a "Different Place"

Now Microsoft says it is changing tack so it can "focus on meeting our customers where they are now, and helping them get to where they want to be in the future." It says "the world is a very different place than it was last October" when it unveiled Windows 10X. (Source:

While it doesn't mention the coronavirus pandemic, it's clear that in effect Microsoft has recognized that most people aren't in the market for new gadgets right now and would rather concentrate on making sure existing systems work as well as possible, particularly if they are at home without in-person tech support from their employer.

Single-Screen Approach

There is also likely to be hold-ups in development and manufacturing of new devices given factory shutdowns. (Source:

Microsoft instead says it will focus on "single-screen Windows 10X devices" which could cover both tablets and traditional laptops. It's going to give more detail later this month, but it appears that the new system will be more about reducing battery drain and supporting touch screens than the layout of windows.

It's notable that Microsoft announced the changes using the curious phrase "in this holiday and the next." That could well mean we don't see Windows 10X or devices running it until the end of 2021.

What's Your Opinion?

Had you heard about Windows 10X and were you looking forward to it? Was Microsoft right to ditch the dual-screen efforts? Should it ditch 10X altogether and concentrate on improving Windows 10?

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