Did Microsoft just kill its answer to Chrome OS and Chromebooks?

Microsoft reportedly gives up on Windows 10X, its streamlined Chrome OS competitor.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is reportedly halting the development of Windows 10X and won’t release it this year.
  • The OS was meant to make Windows compete better with more affordable Chromebooks.
  • Microsoft will apparently focus its efforts on the full version of Windows 10.

According to a new report from Petri (via Windows Central), Microsoft is putting its Windows 10X platform on hold and will not release it this year. The news comes a year after Microsoft decided to scale down its Chrome OS competitor to work on single-screen devices instead of dual-screen ones.

The report claims that Microsoft has shifted its focus on modernizing Windows 10, which will likely include elements that were meant to arrive with Windows 10X. This may come in the form of the Sun Valley update that’s expected for Windows 10 devices later this year.

Windows 10X was announced in 2019 as Microsoft’s answer to Chromebooks. It was announced as a lightweight, web-first OS built around OneDrive, which made Windows 10X similar to Chrome OS in many ways. Initially, the focus was on dual-screen and foldable devices, which have started gaining ground over the past couple of years, although the plan was changed to focus on single-screen devices first. This would have allowed Microsoft to potentially target the more affordable laptop market, particularly around education where many of the best Chromebooks dominate.

Unfortunately, those plans aren’t panning out either. Windows 10X was reportedly close to launching, but according to Petri, „many inside the company didn’t believe that the OS was ready to start shipping and that customer feedback was not aligned to the product that they were producing.“

While the apparent loss of a true Chrome OS competitor from Microsoft may be disappointing for many, some form of it may live on if Microsoft’s plans for the full version of Windows 10 are realized. That said, based on customer feedback, the company may have saved itself from another Windows 8/RT debacle.


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