Windows 10X – all we know so far

Windows 10 is running on more than 900 million devices worldwide. IT holds 51% of desktop/laptop OS market share, compared to 30% for Windows 7. It’s a statistic that took Microsoft almost five years to achieve (this also demonstrates just how popular Windows 7 is and was since its release over 10 years ago).

Windows 10X version of Windows is designed to be compatible with foldable and dual-screen devices. It was announced back in October and Microsoft is planning to release it in late 2020 with new Surface family.

Windows 10X features a new shell — the user interface — that was built with new technologies. It is an adaptive user experience that can adjust depending on your device. Due to adaptive use of the OS interface legacy shell elements, such as the Control Panel, File Explorer, and error dialogs and icons are gone in Windows 10X. As Microsoft has rebuilt the entire shell, it doesn’t include any of the legacy things that makes Windows 10 inconsistent when it comes to UI.

A new set up experience

SiSince every part of Windows 10X has been redesigned, the out of box experience was updated with a modern look.. It still walks you through the standard Windows setup process, selecting your language, region, signing-in with a Microsoft Account or local user, and agreeing to terms and conditions, but as I heard Cortana is no longer present throughout the set up process, which is very annoying in windows 10. It is more traditional setup experience.

All new and redesigned desktop and Start menu

The major differences between Windows 10 and Windows 10X is the user interface and the position of core elements. For instance, Windows 10X doesn’t come with a Start menu. Microsoft replaced the traditional Start menu with icon-based Launcher, which is similar to Android and iOS. New Start Menu features a system-wide search bar on the top that can also search the web, a grid of installed apps in center and “recommended” area which dynamically updates with things the user might want to jump to, such as recent documents and visited websites.

A new Taskbar

Like all versions of Windows, the 10X also comes with an adaptive taskbar, which can change depending on the device type or user preference. New touch-centric Taskbar experience minimizes when running an app, and can be swiped upon for accessing things like the Start menu or Action Center. Once the keyboard and mouse is connected to device, the Taskbar will adapt and behave more like a traditional taskbar.

Action Center

This new Action Center is mostly concentrated on quick actions, with the ability to take specific quick actions for device control without leaving the Action Center at all. It includes volume controls, power options, battery percentage, and other quick settings similar to windows 10 for toggling actions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. It is also designed to resemble a control center, with notifications housed above in a separate box.

Windows Update

As per announcement, Windows Updates are much faster on Windows 10X. featured updates don’t take hours to be installed as they do on Windows 10. Like in Chrome OS, Windows 10X updates are installed in the background and it is finishes with a single reboot. According to Microsoft, Windows Updates should install on Windows 10X in less than 90 seconds.

Dynamic wallpapers

Windows 10X also comes with dynamic wallpapers support, a feature that would change the wallpaper based on the time of the day.

The Windows 10X Wonder Bar

Microsoft introduced new feature in Windows 10X, called the ‘Wonder Bar’ that includes a virtual touchpad, an emoji and GIF selector, with draggable images, and much more. As Microsoft stated “On Windows 10X, the OS has been designed to respond to the keyboard and posture to reveal what we call the Wonder Bar. This feature enables the familiarity of a laptop while increasing productivity by hosting system-provided input accelerators, and a virtual trackpad for precision mouse input,”.

Image credit: TechRadar

Compose Mode

Microsoft is also working on Compose Mode, a new feature that enables a productivity based experience. Compose Mode lets you toggle between the touch and keyboard input on a device like Surface Neo where you can place the keyboard on one of the screens. The feature also uses a portion of the screen for Wonder Bar.

Win32 apps support

Microsoft is still planing to offer Win32 desktop apps support via cloud-based virtualization technology. which is intended to protect the Operating System from potential malware and performance slowdown. Inside Win32 Container, you can run all the Win32 desktop apps including system utilities, Photoshop and other apps. more information on How Windows 10X runs UWP and Win32 apps is available on YouTube.

Sadly, Windows 10X will only be available preinstalled on new devices. This means if you want to use Windows 10X, you will have to buy a new device running OS 10x. The OS will neither be available to purchase or download to install on existing hardware nor be pushed as an update for Windows 10 users.

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