Windows 10X 'Pivots' to Single Screens; Foldable Surface Devices Delayed

Initially touted as a Windows 10 "expression" for dual-screen devices, Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 10X operating system will now launch just on single-screen devices, at least at the outset.

Panos Panay, chief product officer for Windows and Devices at Microsoft, explained the shift in direction in an announcement on Monday, describing the move as possibly temporary, depending on market conditions.

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. 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.

On hold will be Windows 10X dual-screen "foldable" devices, such as Microsoft's Surface Duo and Surface Neo devices, which were first introduced in October. Those machines were expected to be commercially available in the 2020 holiday season. The Duo was billed as a pocket-sized device capable of making phone calls, while the Neo was described as being more like a true PC, with a screen that could fold out to a 13-inch display.

Also on hold are dual-screen Windows 10X devices from hardware partners. ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo were all building dual-screen Windows 10X machines, Microsoft had indicted back in October.

In a recent article, journalist Paul Thurrott claimed that "Windows 10 was never really about dual-screen devices." It was just a "feint" by Microsoft to get a smaller testing audience for Windows 10X, he added.

Panay also confirmed that the Windows 10 May 2020 Update will be arriving sometime this month. He didn't give a date, but reporter Mary Jo Foley claimed to have insider knowledge that it'll arrive on May 28 to mainstream users. Developers will get the Windows 10 May 2020 Update on May 12, and original equipment manufacturers will get it on May 5, she added.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.