Microsoft originally promoted Windows 10X as a tailor-made solution for 2-in-1s and a new class of foldable devices, but we now know with some confidence that the software giant will bring its upcoming operating system to regular clamshell laptops.
The news comes after Microsoft accidentally leaked internal documents online (spotted by Twitter user WalkingCat). The pages were quickly removed but not before several news outlets recorded the juicy details.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of information is that Windows 10X will have a different UI depending on what device you’re using.
“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 document said, according to The Verge.
This sounds similar to how Windows 10 transforms when you convert a traditional laptop into a tablet by either detaching it for a base or flipping back the display.
We also expect Windows 10X to bring improvements to Windows Hello, Microsoft’s multi-factor authentication software. Instead of pulling up a lock curtain to access your desktop, Windows 10X you will immediately log you into your system the moment it recognizes you. This, along with Microsoft’s new Modern Standby feature, should significantly reduce the time it takes you to get back into your PC after you’ve opened the lid.
Another interesting change is that the Start Menu, or the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner, will be renamed to Launcher. It will focus more on local search, so you’ll be able to see web results, available apps and specific files on your device, “Recommended content is dynamically updated based on your most frequently and recently used apps, files, and websites,” the document reads.
File Explorer is will receive a long-overdo update. The app where your files are stored and managed will apparently get a touch-friendly modern Universal Windows App (UWP) version that will launch when Windows 10X debuts.
Along with a simplified File Explorer, Windows 10X will also arrive with a new Action Center, the notification center where you can quickly adjust important settings. In the new operating system, Wi-Fi, cellular data, Bluetooth, airplane mode, rotation lock and projection will be default quick settings, although you’ll still be allowed some level of customization.
Microsoft has remained coy about Windows 10X since revealing the new operating system earlier this year. In fact, this accidental leak provides us more information than Microsoft shared at its Surface event. We expect to hear more about the operating system as devices like Microsoft’s foldable PC, Surface Neo, get closer to launch in late 2020.