Microsoft won’t launch Windows 10X: The Chromebook OS rival has been shelved

The long-awaited Windows 10X has been dropped as Microsoft focus on improving what they have

Windows 10X demo
(Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows 10X was due to be a leaner operating system that could run on Chromebook-like machines, but this week Microsoft has confirmed that the project has been shelved. Chromebooks numbers have seen massive growth over the last year and Windows 10X was Microsoft’s way of stemming the loss.

But the last year has also seen an increase in sales of full Windows machines and so Microsoft has chosen to put its energies into making Windows 10 better, rather than diversifying.

Just last month, Microsoft announced a partnership with Samsung and Intel for Samsung’s new Galaxy books. While these could have been prime real estate for the new Windows 10X, thanks to the Intel EVO platform and processors they are able to better manage power and have been given the full version of Windows 10 instead.

As we reported last month, there is a new look coming for Windows 10 later this year under the codename Sun Valley. Even old file icons, that have been in place since Windows 95, are finally getting a refresh. While I’m sad that we won’t see Windows 10X, I do think Microsoft’s time is better spent on developing Windows 10. Plus, I’m sure it’s not the last side project we will see from them

Microsoft has had many attempts at lighter platforms over the years, from Windows CE in the 90s, to Windows Mobile which ran until 2019. Shelving Windows 10X will give Microsoft more bandwidth to focus on reducing the bulk from Windows to allow it to run leaner on less powerful machines.

According to The Verge , part of the original development of Windows 10X was to provide support for dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold. Hopefully this ability to handle adaptive screen sizes will now be included in the Windows 10 development.


Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.