Microsoft has said little about its plans for Windows 10X, which was unveiled back in October 2019 for flagship dual-screen devices. In May 2020, Microsoft said it would bring 10X to single-screen devices first and reports suggested that the new operating system would leverage the power of the cloud to run legacy apps.
Windows 10X is a variation of Windows 10 that uses modern components rather than legacy and it features a simpler user interface without live tiles or a proper file explorer.
Windows 10X was finalized in December 2020 and it’s now being serviced with fixes or improvements before heading to the manufacturers. Microsoft is currently testing Build 20280 for Windows 10X, which is based on Windows 10 Iron “21H1” update.
If Build 20280 meets the quality standards, it will be released to the manufacturers in the next few weeks and companies will start testing their Intel-powered devices for the new OS.
Microsoft is currently planning to launch Windows 10X in Spring 2021 (between March and June). In late 2021 or early 2022, Microsoft will release the first big update for Windows 10X with improvements from the Sun Valley update.
Taskbar improvements in Windows 10X
According to internal documentation, Windows 10X could also change the way taskbar works.
In Windows 10X, taskbar icons are centered by default, unlike in Windows 10 where they’re aligned to the left. In addition to the pinned apps, taskbar can also display the app which was launched recently, similar to Android and iOS.
Microsoft also noted that taskbar can display “running websites”, which can either be in foreground or background.
Other features include:
- Multiple instances of an app are grouped together under the same icon.
- A new animation to highlight the focus of the taskbar.
- Extended Ul: Start menu will gently move to the left side of the taskbar as you open more apps.
- Three different taskbar sizes: Small, medium and large.
- Gesture: You can swipe up anywhere on the Taskbar to launch the Start Menu.