Microsoft has been designing and building a new version of Windows 10, called Windows 10X. It is a new version of Windows 10 that been built from the ground up for fold-able PC experiences in both dual-screen and single-screen configurations.

It’s built on top of a new modern version of Windows 10 that guts legacy components and features in favor of contemporary user experiences and enhanced security. This means everything from the Windows Shell to the underlying OS has been rebuilt with modern technologies, while still maintaining legacy app support for those who need it.

Windows 10X is a new version of the Windows 10 operating system specifically designed and optimized for dual-screen devices like the new Microsoft Surface Neo.

The new OS tries to solve two basic problems with Windows 10: The ability to seamlessly use any Windows 10 app across two separate screens, while still being efficient enough to spare the battery life on thin, dual-screen mobile devices so that you can still get your work done. Microsoft therefore came up with a stripped-down, modular version of Windows that offers users a greater degree of control on fold-able devices.

How does Windows 10X work?

Windows 10 apps

Windows 10X should look very familiar to the Windows 10 edition on your PC, with easy access to search and your apps, websites, and files. It even supports the full breadth of Windows 10 apps available – including, crucially, Microsoft Office. There’s even some cool new features for these apps. For instance, if you’re in an Outlook email, clicking a link will automatically open it on the other screen.

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Multitasking

When you launch an app, it’ll open on the screen in which you invoked it. Meanwhile, on the other screen, you can launch another app. You can then run both apps individually on their screens – handy for when you want to cross-reference info or multitask. But if your workflow requires you to focus on one thing, you can do a new “spanning” gesture to expand an app across both displays.

WonderBar

Another interesting Windows 10X feature is the new Wonder Bar. It works like this: Simply place a Bluetooth connected keyboard over one of the screens, and Windows 10X will recognise it and show you a smart bar across a section of the screen that the keyboard isn’t covering. From here, you can watch a picture-in-picture version of a YouTube video, or access emoji and GIFs for when you’re replying to messages or chats.

Windows 10X will launch for consumers alongside the Microsoft Surface Neo and other dual-screen devices sometime in 2020.