Windows 10X supports legacy apps and it has a fascinating way to deal with Win32 apps on all devices. Microsoft says Windows 10X will support most legacy desktop apps and these apps would run within a container, which is intended to protect the OS from potential malware and performance slowdown.
Inside Win32 Container, you can run all the legacy Win32 desktop apps including system utilities, Photoshop and even Visual Studio. The container has its own traditional Windows directory and kernel to run legacy programs smoothy. There’s even a built-in driver and registry support.
In theory, Win32 Container is a virtual machine and the whole thing shuts down when there are no Win32 apps running, which improves system performance and increases battery backup. Unlike the traditional virtual machine and emulator, Windows 10X’s Containers offer lower latency and access to more resources of the device.
Microsoft has also said that there will be limitations of running legacy apps on Windows 10X via the Containers. On some devices, there won’t be per-app permissions support for Win32 apps, which means either all apps will have access to privacy-sensitive hardware such as the camera or none will.
You won’t be able to use extensions or add-ons in File Explorer designed by the third-party developers. For example, TeraCopy, which is a utility app for moving and copying files, may not work on Windows 10X.
Similarly, apps that sit in the system tray such as a battery percentage app, volume controller, or temperature detector may not work on 10X. Microsoft currently has no plans to allow system tray applets, File Explorer add-ins or namespace.
It appears that Microsoft has also blocked PC hardware—mouse and keyboards hooks.
It’s also worth noting that the operating system is read-only and it has been designed in a locked-down mode. The OS can run apps downloaded outside the Microsoft Store, but the apps must have a good reputation and a signed code. And you won’t be able to fiddle with Registry editor to optimize Windows.
Microsoft promises performance of legacy apps will be near-native, but some sort of benchmark will only tell the real story.