Look out, world — there’s another Windows operating system on the way. Here’s what you need to know.
Before you get worked up over nothing, take a calm breath. Rather than an entirely new OS, Windows 10X is a streamlined version of Windows 10 designed to be compatible with upcoming dual screen and foldable devices.
While Windows 10X was announced back in October with a planned ‘holiday 2020’ release date, details so far have been scarce. Now, thanks to leaked documents on Twitter (which have since been withheld by Microsoft), we’ve gotten a brief look at the new operating system, and how different it is to Windows 10.
Dual-screen notebooks are only getting bigger. Last year Asus put a 5.5-inch screen in the touchpad of its ZenBook Pro, while HP dropped a six-inch second screen on its Omen X 2S gaming laptop. And this week Microsoft announced the 2020 Surface Neo, with two 9-inch screens joined by a hinge.Read more
Windows 10 vs Windows 10X: What’s the difference?
The major differences between Windows 10 and Windows 10X come down to interface. Because the streamlined operating system is designed for a dual screen or foldable device, the icon placement and overall design differs significantly.
In Windows 10, you can see your taskbar at the bottom of the screen, and a blank desktop above it (normally filled with your preferred programs). The taskbar will also expand onto the left side of the screen with a more comprehensive list of your available applications.
In Windows 10X, your taskbar will sit on the entire left side of your screen – with so-called “levers” allowing you to pull up the taskbar when needed. Currently, it appears that your favourite websites and applications will feature on this left-side taskbar, alongside recent or ‘recommended’ files. The right side of the screen is then freed up for other tasks.
Do I need Windows 10X?
According to the leaked document posted online, Windows 10X will eventually come to other laptop devices – but until Microsoft officially announces the new operating system, we won’t know much more than that.
What we do know is that unless you’re planning on purchasing a dual screen or foldable device, you don’t need Windows 10X. In fact, it’s likely that when these devices do launch, Windows 10X will be built in.
For now, all we can do is sit tight and wait for an official update. It might still be a while off.
This article has been updated since its original publication.