What Is Windows 10X? All About Microsoft's Dual Screen OS

Microsoft's Windows 10X OS is designed for dual-screen devices only

Windows 10X is an operating system designed by Microsoft for dual-screen Windows devices such as the Surface Neo. It's powered by the same 'one core' technology that’s the basis for Windows 10, but it isn’t intended as a replacement. Windows 10X is simply a different version of Windows 10 created for devices with an alternate form factor not supported by the traditional operating system.

What Devices Does Windows 10X Support?

Windows 10X works on Windows-based devices with a two-screen form factor like Microsoft’s Surface Neo, which is due for release in Fall 2020. PC manufacturers, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo are confirmed to be releasing similar devices around late-2020 and early-2021 that will also take advantage of the Microsoft OS.

An X in a device’s name does not indicate that it will run the Windows 10X operating system. For example, Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2X and Surface Pro X only run the regular version of Windows 10. Windows 10X also has no connection to Microsoft’s Xbox consoles.

Computers, laptops, and tablets running Windows 10 cannot upgrade or switch to Windows 10X. Doing so would be like trying to put iOS on a Windows PC. One operating system isn’t necessarily better than the other. They’re simply made for different types of devices.

Windows 10X operating system running on a Surface Neo.
Microsoft

Windows 10X is not supported on the Surface Duo. Despite its use of the Surface brand, this dual-screen smartphone is powered by the Android operating system.

What Apps Can Windows 10X Run?

Windows 10X has been confirmed to support all of the app types that work on the regular Windows 10 operating system. These include Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, Progressive Web apps (PWA), and traditional Win32 apps.

Apps downloaded and installed from the web or a disc are supported. As are those downloaded from the Microsoft Store app store.

Main Windows 10X OS Features

Windows 10X features most of the functionality of the main Windows 10 operating system but is optimized for use on Windows dual screen devices.

This added functionality allows a single app to be spread across both screens or for different apps to appear fully loaded on each screen for advanced multitasking. The multi-screen multitasking kind of works in a similar way to snapping apps and multitasking in Windows 10 on a regular computer or tablet.

Here are some examples of how it can be used in Windows 10X:

  • Surfing the web on one screen while watching a video on the other.
  • Reading emails on one screen and opening attachments or links from messages on the other.
  • Comparing two different web pages side-by-side.
  • Making a Skype call on one side while playing a video game with the other screen.
  • Viewing a single app spread across both screens.

While this different form factor and operating system does add improved multitasking when compared to Windows 10, there are three features from the original operating system that have been removed from Windows 10X.

Windows 10X operating system running on a Surface Neo.
Microsoft

The removed features are:

Whether the removal of these features is a negative or not will be entirely up to the user’s personal taste.

Does Windows 10X Work on Android?

Windows 10X does not work on Android devices. This confusion comes from a 2019 Microsoft presentation where the tech giant unveiled two dual-screen devices called the Surface Neo and the Surface Duo.

The former is a smartphone powered by Android while the latter is a new device that’s a blend of a tablet and laptop that’s powered by Windows 10X.

When Is the Windows 10X Release Date?

Windows 10X is set for release sometime in late-2020. No set date has been announced yet.

Where Can I Download Windows 10X?

After launch, Windows 10X will be available to purchase via the same online and physical stores as Windows 10 and the other Microsoft operating systems. Windows-powered dual-screen devices are expected to launch with Windows 10X already pre-installed.

The Windows 10X ISO file will likely be available to download from the official Microsoft website after the operating system launches in late-2020. Other websites that traditionally offer operating system ISOs should also have the Windows 10X ISO for download or sale as well.

How Can I Upgrade to Windows 10X?

Windows 10 users will be unable to upgrade their device to Windows 10X as this newer operating system is not designed for single-screen Windows computers, laptops, or tablets. There is no reason to do so, though, as it would not offer any new functionality anyway.

What Is the Windows 10X Price?

The price of the Windows 10X operating system has yet to be announced, however, it’s incredibly likely that it will come pre-installed on all devices that support it.

If you currently use Windows 10, you do not need to upgrade to Windows 10X and will likely be unable to do so.

What Does Windows 10X Mean?

The X in Windows 10X is used to denote an alternate version of the Windows 10 operating system, similar to Windows 10S. It’s unclear what Windows 10X actually means, or if it even has a meaning, but some assume it could be interpreted as “experience,” “extra,” or “10 times 10.”

It’s likely the X was chosen simply because it’s cool. Kind of like the X in Xbox.

How Do You Pronounce Windows 10X?

Windows 10X is intended to be read as “10 ex.” It should not be read as “10 10” or “10 times.”

Do I Need Windows 10X?

If you have a dual-screen device powered by Windows, you will need the Windows 10X operating system. The good news is that your device likely already has it installed so there’s no need to buy it and install it separately.

Those running a device with Windows 7, 8, or 10 will be unable to install Windows 10X and don’t need to.