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Windows 10x .. The actual competitor of Chrome OS



Microsoft now seems to have the actual response to Chrome OS after years of waiting, as the new and semi-final version of Windows 10x has been leaked, providing an initial look at the company's changes to the next operating system for its laptop.

Windows 10x first began as a version of Windows 10 designed for dual-screen devices.

It was supposed to be launched with Microsoft Surface Neo, a tablet-like device with two separate 9-inch screens that can be opened into a full 13-inch screen.

Microsoft revealed last year that it is redesigning Windows 10x for single-screen devices, such as laptops.

Although the company has spent years distinguishing Windows 10x as a dual-screen, foldable device, it now seems more like chrome OS than ever before.

The latest leaked version represents the semi-final form of the system that is supposed to arrive via chrome-like devices later this year.

Not everyone can upgrade to Windows 10x, nor is it an update that appears on existing devices, but is shipped only via new devices, a lightweight version of Windows designed for those who tend to buy Chromebooks.

Windows 10x looked a little like Chrome OS within dual-screen devices, but it's now clear that it's designed for single-screen laptops instead. 

Microsoft has simplified almost every area of Windows within Windows 10x to the point where it appears to be a web portal rather than a gateway to Windows applications.

The Start button is now focused in the taskbar with a Start menu that acts as a player (Launcher), does not contain Live Tiles within Windows 10, and instead, there is a list of modern applications and documents.

You can also search for apps, documents, or even web content through Microsoft's Bing search engine.

Comparisons with Chrome OS are immediately evident here with the player and focus on web applications.

You can also install progressive PWA web applications from the built-in Chromium Edge browser and install them on the taskbar.

This taskbar within Windows 10x is also a significantly simplified area of the operating system.

You may be familiar with seeing a lot of app icons within the system notification area, but they're not in Windows 10x.

Instead, there's a simple action center that displays time and pops up to reveal quick settings, such as: turn off your device, enable VPN, connect screens, or manage volume.

This also includes access to notifications and an updated tool to control media playback.

You can drag and drop apps to run side by side, but there's no way to allow apps to resize freely, and as a result, the middle button you used to see on the upper right side of the apps — which switches between full-screen and window mode — has been removed. 

Windows 10X laptops have gesture pad support for multitasking applications.

Microsoft is also working on a modern version of File Explorer in Windows 10x designed as a way to access OneDrive cloud files, but you can also manage downloaded files or files within a USB storage unit.

There is no way to access local files in this new file explorer, as Windows 10X is primarily designed for cloud storage.

It seems that Microsoft may not be charging support for desktop applications in Windows 10x, at least initially.

Microsoft built a container technology to run traditional desktop applications in a virtual device, originally designed to ensure that older applications work properly with dual-screen devices and do not run out of battery life or interfere with how applications are displayed across multiple screens.

Microsoft is still developing this container technology, and appears as a developer mode only in this version of Windows 10x.

This may mean that end-users will not be able to install regular desktop applications via Windows 10x, and in both cases, Microsoft is clearly focusing on a range of applications from the Microsoft Store as well as web applications.

Microsoft has not yet officially confirmed when Windows 10X will be shipped, or laptop manufacturers that may launch devices with this version of the operating system.

This is clearly a direct attempt to challenge Chromebooks after Microsoft tried for years to put Windows 10S as a replacement for Chrome OS, but the project failed, turning to S Mode only.