On October 2 2019, Microsoft announced ‘Windows 10X’, a new
version of Windows 10 designed specifically for foldable
devices, like the Intel-powered
Surface Neo and Lenovo ThinkFold X1.
Windows 10X is expected to launch for dual-screen and foldable
devices in Fall 2020, but rumours have suggested that the OS
will eventually arrive on traditional form factors as well.
According to a leaked Microsoft’s support document, Windows 10X
is being prepared for both clamshell and foldable devices.
Microsoft appears to be working on significant improvements for
the taskbar on Windows 10X. The firm wants to main same base
model with a series of ‘levers’, and taskbar will be
adaptable. In other words, the taskbar will adapt its UI and
experience depending on the type of device and form-factor
For example, you will have a left-aligned taskbar if you’re
using a laptop, but taskbar will have centered icons on
foldable devices. The levers will streamline Windows 10X
experience across clamshell and foldable devices:
- Centered vs. Left-aligned Taskbar content
- Number of pins
- Number of recents
- Order of recents (recency vs. reverse recency)
- Divider vs. no divider
- Task View icon at far right vs. next to Start
The leaked screenshots included in the document also reveals
that Microsoft plans to call the Start menu as ‘Launcher’ on
Windows 10X. Launcher is deeply integrated with Windows Search,
web search, apps, and as well as files on local storage. It
will also come with shortcuts to help users start and resume
My apps and websites section will have all the apps and
websites listed, and you will be able to customize the apps
list to meet your needs and preferences. Lastly, Launcher
features a Recommended content section which will render the
frequently used apps, files, and websites.
With Windows 10X’s redesigned Start menu experience, Microsoft
aims to improve productivity and maintain a UI flow that is
quick and effortless.
This leak may have provided basic details on Windows 10X, but
we don’t know whether existing devices will ever receive
Windows 10X as a software upgrade, and what kinds of clamshells
will support the OS.
While Windows 10X may not arrive on existing devices, we might
still see significant UI improvements for the traditional
Windows 10 OS in the coming months and years.