Surface Neo

Earlier this month at its Surface hardware event, Microsoft announced Windows 10X, a specialized version of its Windows 10 platform. Specifically, this new flavor of Windows is a modular variant that works with the upcoming dual-screened Surface Neo. However, some expected details about Windows 10X did not emerge.

It was widely expected the variant would be available on other devices. Developed as Windows Core OS (WCOS) and also known as Santorini or Windows Lite, the modular nature of Windows 10X allows it to function across different form factors. In other words, it could work on a dual-screened Surface Neo or a regular laptop.

Microsoft watcher WalkingCat has posted a link to a Microsoft website (password locked, Santorini.os.azurewebsites.net). Fellow Twitter user Boris later posted what that website shows. Perhaps the most interesting piece of information shows that Microsoft indeed developed Windows 10X for “both clamshells and foldables”.

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This seems to confirm Microsoft has eventual plans to bring the platform to normal laptop forms. You may remember this is part of the point behind the development of Santorini. Microsoft wants it to be the Windows alternative to Google’s Chrome OS and related Chromebooks.

Development

It is likely we will have to wait until OEMs start manufacturing devices with Windows 10X before seeing how the platform will be used. We guess companies building more affordable laptops may decide to bake in 10X over the normal Windows 10 SKU.

Boris also posted other information from behind the link (the website has since been removed by Microsoft):

  • The Start Menu experience on 10X will be called the “Launcher”. We are interested to see if this will look similar to the company’s Microsoft Launcher for Android devices.
  • Microsoft’s recent Windows Search overall will be the focus of the 10X UI.
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