Windows 10X may not support Win32 programs through virtualization

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 20, 2020
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft's upcoming new edition of Windows 10, called Windows 10X, may not support Win32 programs through virtualization; only web applications or UWP applications may be supported locally.

The company revealed plans to launch Windows 10X as a dual-screen operating system but changed these plans later on by focusing on single-screen devices.

Microsoft's initial plan was to support Win32 programs through virtualization, and focus on supporting web applications, e.g. PWAs, and the company's own Universal Windows Platform through the Microsoft Store.

Windows Central published a new article today suggesting that Microsoft removed support for Win32 virtualization from the Windows 10X operating system. According to the information, this was done because of fears that application performance and battery life would be impacted too much by running virtualization processes on low-end devices.

Microsoft wants to establish Windows 10X as a direct competitor to Google Chromebooks, and as such, needs to compete when it comes to price but also performance and battery life.

Launching Windows 10X devices without Win32 compatibility on the other hand would likely result in an outcome similar to that of WinRT, another attempt by Microsoft to drop Win32 support on Windows devices. To make sure that Windows 10X's fate is different, Microsoft may switch to streaming instead for Win32 support and the company could use the technology that Windows Virtual Desktop uses for that according to Windows Central.

One positive side-effect of dropping support for Win32 application virtualization is that Windows 10X on ARM powered devices is again a possibility. The virtualization technology blocked the operating system on ARM-powered devices.

Sources told Windows Central that dual-screen support is not dead yet, and that dual-screen devices would include a version of Windows 10X that would include virtualization support for Win32 applications. These dual-screen devices won't be low-end devices and capable of handling virtualization better.

Windows 10X could reach RTM status in December and first devices could be out as early as the first half of 2021. Windows Central speculates that the upcoming Surface Go 3 device could be used by Microsoft to demonstrate the Windows 10X operating system.

Mary-Jo Foley published a similar story today in which she claims that Microsoft plans to roll out in Spring 2021 and dual-screen devices a year later. She states that the initial Win32-application-free version of Windows 10X are designed primarily for businesses and education.

In her opinion, it is the performance of Win32 applications running in virtualization mode that caused Microsoft to drop Win32 container support, and not the power or resource overhead.

Whatever the reason, it is clear that it was dramatic enough to force Microsoft to drop container support for Win32 applications on these devices.

All of this needs to be filed under rumor at the time of writing but it is clear that Microsoft wants to establish a low-cost alternative to Google Chromebooks.

Closing Words

I was not really interested in Windows RT and the same may will be true for Windows 10X if support for Win32 is either not available or only available through streaming. Streaming may sound like a good compromise but the main issue here is that you need to be online to use it. It is also not clear if you can install any Win32 applications and use it, or if the selection is restricted.

As far as the Surface Go 3 is concerned, I would hate such a great design be switched over to running Windows 10X. The device is excellent for what it does, especially since you can upgrade the crippled Windows 10 S version to a full version of Windows 10.

Now You: would you buy a Windows 10X powered device?

Windows 10X may not support Win32 programs through virtualization
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Windows 10X may not support Win32 programs through virtualization
Microsoft's upcoming new edition of Windows 10, called Windows 10X, may not support Win32 programs through virtualization; only web applications or UWP applications may be supported locally.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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