Microsoft Shifting Windows 10X to Single Screen Devices (Update)

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Update, May 4 12:22 p.m. ET: Microsoft confirmed in a blog post that Windows 10X will debut on single-screen devices.

"With Windows 10X, we designed for flexibility, and that flexibility has enabled us to pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn and play in new ways," Windows head  and chief product officer Panos Panay wrote. "These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market."

The original story is below.

Microsoft is shifting its near-term focus for Windows 10X to put it on single screen devices, like standard clamshell laptops and 2-in-1s. ZDNet first reported the news that the company will not ship the dual-screen Surface Neo this year, and that Microsoft won't be "enabling" dual-screen devices from OEMs with Windows 10X in 2020.

I'm hearing that Microsoft still believes in the dual-screen vision but believes single-screen is what customers are looking for right now. That makes sense as its customers work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a single-screen Windows 10X laptop could make for a Chromebook competitor. But it's unclear if any single-screen devices will ship in 2020, either.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported that on April 8, Chief Product Officer Panos Panay informed some of his team of the news.

I also hear that this doesn't affect Microsoft's other dual-screen device, the Android-based Surface Duo. That's on track for later this year, which matches ZDNet's reporting.

At the moment, there's still one dual-screen Windows device scheduled to ship this year: the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold. But that was going to ship with Windows 10 Pro anyway, with a Windows 10X version coming later on. 

On the hardware side, this raises the question about Intel's Lakefield processors, which need Windows 10X for full performance optimization. That's in the Fold and the delayed Surface Neo, as well.

According to ZDNet, Microsoft still hopes to make some features, including running virtualized programs in containers, available soon, possibly in regular Windows 10.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon