We’ve been talking about Windows 10X for a long time, Microsoft’s new, modern and lightweight operating system. Originally designed as a system focused on high-end dual-screen devices and revolutionary form factors, circumstances turned it into what it is today (as confirmed by Panos Panay himself). even). From what we know so far, Windows 10X is competing with Chrome OS and its Chromebooks in the entry-level sector. The pandemic and current needs have played a key role in this shift in focus. Its launch is slated for spring 2021, and the version manufacturers will receive should be completed this month.
Windows 10X, Chrome OS and the Apple revolution
Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system owned by Google, focused on entry-level laptops (Chromebooks). Its operation and structure are very simple, being user-friendly for less experienced users. Additionally, the simplicity of the software allows for modest hardware performance that Windows 10 cannot. This is where Windows 10X has something to say, which internal documents say is specifically designed to be fast and secure. It will be web-based, giving primary importance to the new Microsoft Edge, and UWP apps. You will not be able to run, at least initially, win32 applications (classic Windows programs) because they compromise performance.
Leaving Windows 10X aside for a moment, it should be noted that in recent days, the entire IT community has been congratulated (and this is not for the hands) for Apple’s M1 chips and its beautiful proposal with ARM. If this approach of Apple seemed too risky months ago, when it was presented, today no one doubts its success. The ARM architecture (that of the processors of our phones) allows for greater energy efficiency and better performance in certain tasks. It’s a new era, the next big revolution in the laptop and convertible market. Apple is not the first, but it is better placed than anyone.
Microsoft has been working for a long time to get Windows on ARM ready for this upcoming new phase. However, the road was bumpy. Chips supplied by Qualcomm are light years away from the Apple M1, and devices like the Surface Pro X seem to have a long way to go in delivering the new Macbook experience. For now, the Redmonds have promised that we will soon have 64-bit program emulation in Windows 10 on ARM. This is something that is urgently needed for the platform to continue to grow and maybe one day it can take advantage of Windows 10X.
An uncertain future: 2021 will dictate the sentence
If Microsoft and its partners manage to fix these issues and ARM becomes a viable option on Windows, Windows 10 won’t be the only beneficiary. By its own characteristics and target market, ARM would make Windows 10X sit like a glove. Small, lightweight and portable entry-level devices would benefit greatly from the advantages of ARM chips. The energy efficiency that would result in lower temperatures and longer battery life would make them really desirable devices compared to Google’s Chromebooks.
The point here, being reasonable, is that it seems unlikely that Google wouldn’t want to jump on the ARM bandwagon as well. Therefore, Windows 10X should find a way to differentiate itself and present itself as a more acceptable alternative than its rival. Here there is only room for speculation and, probably, Microsoft’s best asset is a certain consistency and similarity with Windows 10, an operating system already very familiar to users. Microsoft’s know-how built up over many years of development and extensive business relationships will contribute to this success. It is very likely that the main difference between Chrome OS and Windows 10X is in the integration they make of their own services.
If anything, it’s just ramblings and sooner or later we’ll know exactly what Microsoft’s plans are and what strategy Windows 10X will follow to compete with the Chromebook. What do you think? Do you think ARM will be a good companion for Windows 10X? What is the future of Microsoft operating systems?