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TL;DR
  • In 2019, Microsoft announced Windows 10X, a leaner version of its PC operating system.
  • Microsoft delayed the launch of that product in 2020, and now, allegedly, has delayed it indefinitely.
  • According to a report, Microsoft will instead focus on updating and further developing Windows 10 proper.

Update, May 18, 2021 (02:05 PM ET): Today, Microsoft is rolling out the Windows 10 May 2021 update (via XDA-Developers). In the announcement, however, it clarified something unrelated to the vanilla version of Windows: the end of Windows 10X.

This information is not unexpected as it was rumored earlier this month (see article below). For the sake of clarity, Microsoft doesn’t say that Windows 10X isn’t ever happening, but it makes it pretty clear that it intends to merge ideas from 10X with the regular version of Windows. This, obviously, heavily suggests that 10X isn’t going to land.


Original article, May 7, 2021 (11:00 AM): Windows 10 is currently the world’s most popular operating system. While it certainly is powerful, it also is heavy due to the need for it to continue to support legacy software and features. Meanwhile, the fact that Chrome OS is so much lighter and simpler is a big aspect of its runaway success.

That’s one of the main reasons Microsoft announced Windows 10X in 2019. This lighter/leaner variant of Windows 10 would be perfect for tablets, cheaper laptops, and even mobile devices.

However, it looks like Microsoft is giving up on it altogether. Previously, the company delayed the launch of the Surface Neo, which was supposed to be the launch product for Windows 10X. It then promised that we’d see 10X in 2021. Unfortunately, according to anonymous sources speaking with Petri, Microsoft will not ship the new operating system in 2021. Apparently, it has put the whole project on ice to instead focus more on Windows 10 proper.

See also: Here are the best Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets

Petri posits that Microsoft could integrate some of the features it intended to bring to 10X within Windows 10, possibly with the upcoming new release of the OS, known as Sun Valley. However, Sun Valley will still be regular ol’ Windows 10, so it won’t be a revolutionary new product.

Hopefully, Microsoft moving away from Windows 10X would allow it to focus on bringing Windows 10 to ARM devices natively. That’s something its user base actually wants, while a Windows alternative to Chrome OS isn’t something people are clamoring for.