Microsoft Confirms Desktop Apps on Windows 10X

Posted on November 22, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Windows 10X with 22 Comments

As we previously reported, Windows 10X will come to normal PC form factors, and it will run desktop applications in containers. A Microsoft leak previously confirmed the former claim. And now the firm has confirmed the latter.

“The Azure Core OS Kernel team is seeking an experienced development lead to manage the Containers team,” a Microsoft job posting on LinkedIn reads. ”The Containers team collaborates with teammates throughout Windows to design, develop, and enable new scenarios that leverage containers for improved security, isolation and compatibility.  These technologies form the basis for Store-delivered Win32 applications, Windows Server Containers, Windows Defender Application Guard, Windows Sandbox, and Win32 application support for Windows 10X on dual-screen devices like Surface Neo.”

The job posting was first “uncovered” by Windows Latest.

As you may recall, Microsoft finally unveiled Windows 10X, previously codenamed Windows Lite and Lite OS, at its October hardware event. At the time, it stated that this new Windows 10 product edition was aimed solely at a coming generation of dual-screen devices. But we had previously reported that this was not the case, and that Windows 10X was really seen internally as yet another potential future direction for mainstream Windows, one that would run on normal PC form factors.

We also reported that Windows 10X would be a stripped-down version of Windows 10, with a new Chrome OS-like user experience, that would suppress many legacy technologies by default thanks to Microsoft’s ongoing componentization (really modularization) efforts. And that it would load the legacy Win32 technologies needed by traditional desktop applications on-demand, and would run those applications in containers to protect the OS from malicious or poorly-written code. This will cause a performance impact, of course, but it should offer full backward compatibility as well.

It’s still not clear what container technology Microsoft will use to attain this goal, but when the software giant announced Windows Sandbox, I wrote that it was “a big step towards doing exactly what I’ve been calling on the company to do for years: Figure out a way to isolate, or contain, legacy desktop applications from the system in a way that doesn’t require a complex and manual Desktop Bridge conversion process.”

But Sandbox is just a first step: It fires up an entire Windows 10 environment virtually, which seems like overkill just to run a single app. So my guess is that some combination of Windows Server Containers and a future Sandbox revision will enable this technology to work with individual applications instead.

It’s always nice to get confirmation. Now we just need to know the details.

Elevate the Conversation!

Join Thurrott Premium to enjoy our Premium comments.

Premium member comments on news posts will feature an elevated status that increases their visibility. This tab would allow you to participate in Premium comments with other premium members. Register to join the other Premium members in elevating the conversation!

Register or Subscribe

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate