Microsoft Confirms Windows 10X Won't Launch As A Standalone OS And Here's Why

10x microsoft puts windows 10x on hold for now
Late last week, we heard rumors that Microsoft would abandon the development of its Windows 10X operating system. Windows 10X was first billed as a lightweight and simplified operating system designed for dual-screen devices. Once Microsoft indefinitely delayed its own Surface Neo dual-screen device, the scope of Windows 10X was reduced to single-screen laptops.

Microsoft this week announced that the release of a standalone Windows 10X operating system is now canceled. According to the company, there have been "fundamental changes in customer needs" since the Windows 10 May 2020 Update was released. In May 2020, Microsoft noted:

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.

Now, however, Microsoft has come to the decision that customers would be better served by integrating key Windows 10X features into the mainline Windows 10 operating system. The company pulls a "Spock," basically admitting that the needs of the many (Windows 10) outweigh the needs of the few (Windows 10X) and "shouldn't just be confined to a subset of customers."

This means that some of the features initially meant to debut in Windows 10X will eventually find their way into Windows 10. According to Microsoft, some of those features have already made the leap, including enhanced Voice Typing and a reimagined touch keyboard. Windows Insiders will assess additional Windows 10X features before rolling out to the larger populous in future versions of Windows 10.

"Our teams continue to invest in areas where the 10X technology will help meet our customer needs as well as evaluate technology experiences both in software and hardware that will be useful to our customers in the future," writes Microsoft's John Cable. "This shift in thinking is an incredible example of the company's value of a growth mindset at work and exemplifies our customer-first focus."

In the meantime, Microsoft also this week released the Windows 10 May 2021 Update, which brings a few minor enhancements to the consumer operating system ahead of a more comprehensive update this fall. Some of the changes include multi-camera support for Windows Hello and performance improvements for Windows Defender Application Guard.