Microsoft prepares single-screen Windows 10X release for spring 2021

Microsoft is gearing up to launch Windows 10X for single-screen devices in spring 2021, according to ZDNet, with the dual-screen variant set to follow in spring 2022.

Windows 10X, which had been codenamed "Lite" and "Santorini", is a new streamlined variant of the Redmond giant's Windows 10 operating system, originally intended to debut on dual-screen devices.

However, Microsoft has since seemingly had a change of heart, revealing back in May that the software will first be available for devices with single screens instead.

According to ZDNet's Mary Foley, sources say the latest plan is to debut Windows 10X on single-screen devices designed primarily for business in the spring of 2021.

The sources added that 12 months after that, that the OS variant will then become available for additional single-screen and dual-screen devices.

The switch to prioritise single-screen tech has come about as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the market, Microsoft said back in May, with buyer trends suggesting users are not taking the plunge on new form-factors.

"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," Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, explained at the time.

"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."

In general, the tech giant has remained quiet on its plans for Windows 10X, but Windows Central reports that the first release of the OS will not include support for running Win32 apps in containers. Instead, the platform looks set to be able to run Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and web apps powered by Microsoft Edge only.

According to the website, the change is a deliberate move away from initial plans so 10X can be repositioned as a platform "designed to compete at the low-end" – in direct competition with market alternatives such as Chromebooks.

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.