Windows 10X: the competitor of Chrome OS is revealed


A supposedly near-final version of Microsoft’s Windows 10X operating system was leaked on the web last week. And it looks a lot like what we’ve been expecting for some time. Or a more streamlined version of Windows that will debut on PCs this year, and aimed at professionals and the education sector.

As we saw back in 2019, Windows 10X (codenamed Windows Lite / Santorini) featured a new start menu that included a search bar at the top and a list of apps, websites, and user documents, featured in the form of a bunch of static icons. As of this week, it still looks like this. (See latest screenshot of the 10X desktop, courtesy of

Originally intended for dual-screen and foldable devices, 10X is expected to make its first appearance this spring as a preloaded operating system on new single-screen and 2-in-1 laptops (and not available for PCs). existing). From what I’ve heard, 10X will only work on Intel based devices at first. In the future, one or more Surface devices will be able to work with the 10X, and ARM support is also expected at some point.

Cloud PC as a selling point for Windows 10X

But Microsoft should not offer support for Win32 applications with the first version of Windows 10X. However, there could be an alternative: The Azure-based “Cloud PC desktop-as-a-service” service offering, which, according to the latest news, is also expected to be available in spring 2021.

More and more, I think Microsoft will use the Cloud PC as a selling point for Windows 10X. A job offer from December 2020 on the Microsoft career site confirms this idea. She mentions Windows 10X and the “Cloud-Powered Windows Devices”, or CWD, team.

“Windows 10X is the next-generation Windows operating system, designed to run on next-generation devices from Microsoft and a host of other OEM partners! Our team, Cloud-Powered Windows Devices (CWD), create innovative user experiences with the (needs) of professionals and education in mind. The software we design brings to life next-generation devices like the Surface brand, as well as competing devices built by our OEM partners “.

Windows is much harder for businesses to manage than Chrome OS

Or maybe “cloud-powered” is just a reference to Microsoft 365 and its associated services like OneDrive and Office web apps? A few years ago Microsoft and some of its OEMs briefly toyed with the idea of ​​marketing certain PCs as “Microsoft 365 powered devices.” Microsoft has stepped back from that name, but maybe soon it will be ready to take up the idea of ​​”cloud-powered” devices.

Microsoft’s biggest challenge in competing with Chrome OS isn’t so much the operating system itself as the management experience that surrounds it. Windows is a lot harder for businesses to manage today than Chrome OS. PCs in the cloud will help fill this gap, but I’m curious to see what Redmond has planned on the management services front to make “cloud-powered” 10X devices truly credible Chrome OS competitors.

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