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Microsoft Ditches Windows 10X, Saves Its ‘One Shot’ Against Chrome OS

New app container technology integrated with Microsoft Defender Application Guard and other products, an upgraded Voice Typing experience and key sizing, sounds, colors and animations on touch keyboards are examples of 10X integrations already added to Windows preview builds.

Microsoft has scrapped Windows 10X, its version of the Windows operating system designed for dual-screen devices that would have rivaled Google’s Chrome OS.

“They only get one shot at this and they are making sure they get it right,” said Michael Goldstein, president of Microsoft partner, CRN Security 100 managed service provider (MSP) and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based LAN Infotech.

New app container technology integrated with Microsoft Defender Application Guard and other products, an upgraded Voice Typing experience and key sizing, sounds, colors and animations on touch keyboards are examples of 10X integrations already added to Windows preview builds.

“Following a year-long exploration and engaging in conversations with customers, we realized that the technology of Windows 10X could be useful in more ways and serve more customers than we originally imagined,” John Cable, vice president of program management for Windows servicing and delivery, said in a blog post Tuesday. “We concluded that the 10X technology shouldn’t just be confined to a subset of customers.”

He said Surface Go units with Windows 10 have proven “very popular” with his customers for the prices, quality and ability to run full applications.

Phil Walker, customer advocate CEO of Network Solutions Provider ⁠— a Microsoft partner based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and member of CRN’s 2021 Tech Elite 250 ⁠— told CRN that the move shows Microsoft’s attention is more focused on cloud investments. “This is the warning sign of more cloud apps to come,” he said.

He said updates allowing for more multitasking, improved speech recognition and better experience of quickly moving between virtual desktops are what he’s hoping to see from the tech giant in the future.

Mike Wilson, vice president and chief technology officer at Interlink Cloud Advisors, a Mason, Ohio-based Microsoft partner, said he thinks the tech giant canceling Windows 10X reflects a lack of demand. “We never expected an impact, positive or negative,” he told CRN.

As for future Windows updates, Wilson wants to see easier native integration between Windows File Explorer and Azure files, plus automatic archiving capabilities with OneDrive and SharePoint.

Microsoft originally touted 10X capabilities such as taking notes on one screen and reviewing a project proposal on the other screen while in transit. 10X was planned for the Surface Neo and devices from HP, Dell, Lenovo and Asus.

Microsoft’s announcement came alongside news of Windows 10 version 21H1 availability. The May update to Windows 10 has started a phased roll out, with increased availability expected in the coming weeks. The May update is available to select devices running Windows 10, version 2004 or later.

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