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.
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?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.