Panos Panay, who most know as Microsoft’s Surface chief but is now heading Windows as Chief Product Officer, has confirmed Windows 10X is coming this year. In a Windows Blog post, Panay detailed the release of Windows 10 20H1 later this month. However, he had something more exciting to announce.
First announced with the Surface Neo last October, Windows 10X is going at alone at launch. Microsoft decided to postpone the launch of the dual-screen Surface Neo. Instead, Windows 10X will arrive on single-screen laptops built by OEMs.
Panay confirmed as much today.
“The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices,” wrote the Chief Design Officer. He said Microsoft is focused on delivering products that help customers “where they are now”.
This is the first confirmation the postponement of the Neo was driven by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Panay said Windows 10X is coming this fall, but it will be on single-screen laptops:
“With Windows 10X, we designed for flexibility, and that flexibility has enabled us to pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn and play in new ways. These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market,” Panay said.
Developers have been working with the Windows 10X emulator since earlier this year. Microsoft has said OEMs are not permitted to launch a dual-screen device running the platform this year. It seems Microsoft still wants the Surface Neo to drive the twin screen PC revolution. When that will happen is unclear.