Windows 10X Details Leak, Confirm Laptop Support

Posted on October 26, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Windows 10X with 40 Comments

A new leak confirms that Windows 10X will be coming to laptops and other traditional PC form factors. The leak also shows a more refined version of the system’s Chrome OS-like user interface that Brad and I, and others, had seen in the past.

The leak comes courtesy of The Walking Cat on Twitter, who discovered a public-facing Azure website for the coming system. It was quickly taken down by Microsoft, but not before a few enthusiast websites took a peek.

Among the tidbits are:

Support for laptops. “For both clamshells and foldables, the taskbar will be the same base model with a series of ‘levers’ which can be pulled to create some alternatives in the model,” the leaked document read. As promised.

Launcher replaces Start menu. We’ve been saying for a while that live tiles are on the way out, but Microsoft is also apparently renaming and replacing the Start menu with something called the Launcher. That sounds a lot like Chrome OS terminology to me. “Launcher helps users start and resume tasks quickly,” the documentation notes. “Search is seamlessly integrated with web results, available apps, and specific files on your device. Next up in the hierarchy of content is your default grid app, which can be customized and changed to meet individual needs and preferences. Launcher is opened and further assists in accelerating users with the use of muscle memory over time. And lastly, Recommended content is dynamically updated based on your most frequently and recently used apps, files, and websites. Jump back into your personal workflow without having to start from scratch.”

Start screen persists. Oddly, the document did mention “Start” at least once as well. This refers to a Start screen.

Improved Windows Hello. “When the screen turns on, you are immediately brought to a state of authentication,” the document noted, “unlike Windows 10 where you first need to dismiss the lock curtain before authenticating. Upon waking the device, Windows Hello Face instantly recognizes the user and will immediately transition to their desktop.” Just like the Pixel 4, as it turns out.

Modern File Explorer. It’s not clear why Microsoft hasn’t yet replaced the legacy File Explorer in Windows 10, but it’s finally happening in Windows 10X, which will feature the “Modern File Explorer.”

Optimized for local apps and PWAs. The documentation specifically called out “local apps and PWAs,” but I’m sure all Windows 10 app models (including UWP) will be supported in some way. We’ve heard that desktop applications will run in containers, for example, but I don’t believe this documentation confirmed that.

Simplified taskbar. Windows 10X provides a simplified version of the taskbar, and this where the document confirmed the laptop support.

Quick settings. Quick settings, currently found in the Action Center pane in Windows 10, will “provide an almost and intuitive way for users to access their commonly used settings,” the documentation says. “Today, settings exist in multiple surfaces and there is no clear and consistent path for users to access the settings that are most important to them.”

Lots of nonsense marketing mumbo-jumbo. Reminiscent of early Windows Phone 7 marketing materials, the documentation notes that Windows 10X is “guided by principles,” “inspired by people,” “effortless and magical,” and other nonsense. “We studied our past in order to inform our future,” it reads. “Designed around consumer needs, Santorini [the latest Windows 10X codename] adjusts to the way people interact with it.”

Thanks to MSPowerUser for snagging as much of the document as possible before it disappeared.

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