After all the hype it’s gotten, the early reports on Windows 10X are very underwhelming.
First, this OS is clearly being marketed as just for dual-screens. The messaging from Microsoft here is awful – “we finally made a modern version of Windows, but you can only get it on an expensive, niche, dual-screen device that no one wants.” What kind of logic is that? I doubt it will ever come to other form factors with the way MS is acting.
The other big problem (as always with Microsoft) is the UI. 10X is repeating the exact mistakes of Windows 8 – absolutely no one wants only full screen apps on a PC and this alone will make 10X a non-starter for most people. Resizable, windowed apps would certainly be easy to implement and are only missing because of Microsoft’s sheer stupidity and arrogance. The exact same thing is true for the for the Start menu – there is no logical reason for one of the most basic UI elements of Windows to be removed. Apparently shortcuts can’t be added to the desktop either, another example of this. None of these changes are necessary and only serve to alienate actual users of the platform.
This would be more justifiable if the UI design was attractive, but it’s just as hideous and inconsistent as Windows 10. The “modern” file explorer is just the old, ugly Windows Phone version. The Win32 File Explorer is there too, for some reason. The window title bars and in-box apps are unchanged. The entire system looks buggy, disjointed, unfinished, and hard to use. Remember, Microsoft has supposedly been working on this “Core OS” thing for years.
It’s also a big assumption that the Win32 containers will even work or have acceptable performance. After all, 10X couldn’t even run Notepad in the demo today, which is just embarrassing. Microsoft has never been successful with this before, why is this time going to be different? It really does look like Windows 10X has been set up to fail spectacularly. When this happens, expect Nadella to use it as the final justification to kill Windows entirely and publicly move to maintenance only.