Developers react to Windows 10X and Microsoft Developer day

Surface Neo
Surface Neo (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Windows 10X is an optimized version of Windows built for dual-screen devices.
  • Microsoft showed off Windows 10X at Microsoft Developer day and released an emulator of the OS.
  • Developers have responded positively to Windows 10X so far, though they state UWP still faces challenges.

Microsoft showed off Windows 10X at Microsoft Developer day yesterday. In addition to showing off the snazzy operating system, Microsoft discussed optimizing apps for dual-screen devices like the upcoming Surface Neo. Windows 10X will be able to run UWP apps, MSIX apps, and Win32 apps, and every app that runs on the operating system will run within a container. Microsoft released the Windows 10X emulator so developers can share feedback with Microsoft and optimize their apps for dual-screen devices. After about a day since Microsoft's demos and the release of the emulator, here's how UWP developers feel.

Arlo, the developer behind Spotimo (opens in new tab) and a well-known UWP Community leader states,

I think 10X is the definitely the future of Windows. You can tell that they have a plan to really modernize Windows this time, and are making it happen. I'm absolutely going to optimize my app for 10X! Besides the dual screens, the app will already support most of the Wonder Bar with zero changes. I'm looking forward to making new and unique stuff with it, too 🙂Regarding the app platform, Microsoft may have highlighted Win32 yesterday, but in a subtle way, they showed some real commitment to UWP at the same time. They know the UWP model is the right approach, and are trying to apply that to as many things as possible to give users that benefit no matter what apps they run.I feel like if/when this device starts taking off, especially with OEM devices, UWP will end up front and center for app development on Windows 10X, and I am pumped.

Niels Laute, the developer behind Huetro (opens in new tab) states,

I'll optimize my app to support this form factor since it should be pretty easy to do so. If you look at this device, or OS, this could be a killer productivity OS. It's optimized for that. I see so many people with iPad Pro in the workplace (F500 company). It's however not optimized for enterprise, some apps missing, cumbersome with files and all that Some have Surface Pro's, but that's not really a companion device. It's literally a PC. If this is is something in between, it could be a hit. With that, people could rely on it as their only device (besides their phone). What do people want to have there as well? Apps. This might be a way back in to get more apps. It feels more like a tablet, so having the Store is more important.

Yair, the developer behind QuickPad (opens in new tab) states,

You can tell Microsoft is working hard to make it as easy as possible to support and optimize for dual-screen devices. They are also covering the web, and its very possible the web will be very good for them since it means developers can create a PWA that will work great on any dual-screen without worrying about the OS.

Felix-dev, a member of the UWP Community Discord and UWP/WinUI developer says,

The future of the UWP platform in the near- and mid-term future will not depend on 10X and its success or not. The major point MS needs to address is the continuing improvement of the UWP app model and dev platform on Windows 10, the desktop OS. 10X itself is not closing these gaps. While UWP apps run better on 10X than Win32, ultimately, devs will ask if they can realize their app experiences on UWP or not. And currently, UWP is still too limited in that regard. It doesn't matter if UWP runs system friendly if the products envisioned cannot be created with it.10X is a new platform where UWP is natively at home. Windows 10 Desktop will still be the dominator in the huge majority of developer/software company decisions though for a long time to come.

Sergio Pedri, the developer behind Legere (opens in new tab) states,

I've been saying this for a while already, I do think that having a platform like W10X will let new, modern apps shine like never before. Especially UWP apps, which will also benefit from the fastest containers on W10X, besides all the various UI perks and fastest runtime in general (compared to eg. React Native or PWAs).

Rudy Huyn, a principal software engineer at Microsoft, shared his thoughts on the Windows 10X as a platform for UWP apps on Twitter. Huyn developed a wide range of UWP apps before joining Microsoft, including Dropbox's official app and 6tag.

See more

A shiny new Windows

Windows 10X is still in relatively early stages of development, at least in terms of what developers have had a chance to play with, so opinions might shift over time. The initial reaction from the UWP developer community seems to be positive while acknowledging that UWP still faces challenges.

Read more about Windows 10X

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

17 Comments
  • I for one am excited. I love tech, I love progress, but unless my wife gives me her blessing I will not be purchasing a Neo. Main reason is because I already have a Surface Pro X. That's my portable machine, so I'm not sure how the Neo would fit into my flow.
  • After literally couple of years UWP is not even near complete experience as Win32 is, lacks functionality, has been buggy (Not to mentions most of the apps still keeps crashing on certain devices after all these years, even the apps coming from microsoft!), what is the point for developer to put their hours if they don't want so spend their developer hours on broken platform?
    Not to mention the store is also a mess, so yeah everyone lets start wasting your time on building the app which no one can find or use in satisfactory manner!
  • Lol, and Win32 apps from the 1990s aren't buggy? Riiiigghhhttt... Windows 10X is only coming to new devices, not existing ones.
  • UWP isn't as feature rich as a 25+ year old API only after a couple years? I'm shocked! Some people underestimate how long these things can take. For example, Windows NT released in 1993, yet wasn't used in a consumer operating system until the release of XP - 8 years later. Yet, it's been the backbone of Windows ever since.
  • Not even Microsoft is developing any uwp apps anymore.
  • 10X is effectively a UWP operating system that de-prioritizes Win32, you do get that, right? Even core apps (save for Office and Edge) are based off UWP. Microsoft is doing what it is telling developers: use UWP where it makes sense. If your dev goal is cross-plat you do Electron, JS, PWA, etc. If you're goal is unique, native experience, you do UWP. That's dogfooding too. This isn't rocket science.
  • Wait for OS stable Release 5 or hardware release 3, at least. Imagine a household or business coping with Windows 10 AND Windows 10X BSOD and disappearing search boxes, at the least, while dealing with Windows 10 and Windows 10X hardware "We Broke The Drivers for Your Old Stuff" and "We Were Too Cheap To Develop Drivers for New Stuff" problems. As I recall, every incarnation of Windows CE through Windows Mobile Death Knell Edition was hyped the same way.
  • "Wait for OS stable Release 5 or hardware release 3, at least."
    This is not what early adopters do. If you're on this site reading about what devs are saying about a forthcoming build of Windows...you're likely also an early adopter, or at the least, prosumer.
  • Or a troll. ;)
  • When did Rudy Huyn leave Dropbox and join Microsoft?
  • He started three months ago.
  • Real name: Windows 10aXe. And UWpee because they alway miss the the spot even with a giant x mark that says UWpee here....
  • Serious question; do your parents know you're using the computer?
  • You're either 12 years old or a 65 yo boomer. Either way, you're not witty.
  • Hey, watch the stereotyping - an (over) 65 yo boomer.
  • Interesting to hear from devs already doing UWP, but what about others? Isn't the goal to get more people developing for the platform?
  • There is a reason they could only get reactions from developers of third party applications and not actual first party developers.