Despite still being secretly free, Windows 10 continues to frustrate (and anger) its users thanks to dodgy updates and concerning recent revelations about transparency. But today Microsoft revealed the future of Windows updates and it’s a massive upgrade.
Microsoft has revealed the future of Windows upgrades
At its Microsoft 365 Developer Day, the company detailed Windows 10X, it’s next-generation “expression” of Windows 10 which the company will release later this year. And the most remarkable aspect: Microsoft states that Windows 10X updates will take less than 90 seconds to complete.
02/13 Update: Microsoft has released a Windows 10X emulator and development tools so anyone can test out a beta of new platform. Users will require a PC running Windows 10, using an Intel chipset (AMD support is coming later), 8GB RAM, 15GB space and a WDDM 2.4 graphics driver or later. You will also need the following bios features to be supported and enabled:
- Hardware-assisted virtualization
- Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
- Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP)
Lastly, if your system meets these requirements, enable ‘Hyper-V’ (Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off) and ensure Hyper-V is selected for the Emulator or the installation will not be successful. Yes, it’s a lot of hoops to jump through but you will be among the first to get a taste of the future of Windows.
How does this work? Through a fundamental rebuild of the Windows upgrade process. Microsoft explains that Windows 10X will isolate the operating system, drivers and apps from user data. This means they can be seamlessly updated in the background with the platform switching to the latest version of the OS whenever it is rebooted. It’s exactly the sort of ground-up rethink that Windows users have been crying out for for years.
Downsides? While Windows 10X will run traditional win32 desktop apps, Microsoft currently has no plans to port it to Windows 10 computers. Instead, Microsoft will target it at an upcoming wave of dual-screen devices, like its futurist Surface Neo (below) that is “Coming Holiday 2020”.
The Microsoft Surface Neo laptop running Windows 10X
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That said, the big question is if and when Microsoft can take what it learns from Windows 10X updates and apply it to Windows 10. And we all know Windows 10 needs dramatic update improvements sooner rather than later.
No pressure, Microsoft.
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