Surface NeoSource: 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 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 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 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 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.

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

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.