Google Chrome has gone on to be a huge hit, particularly among the student community who seem to have a fascination for the simple yet fast platform. In fact, such has been the popularity of the Chrome OS that the biggest player in the segment, Microsoft, has been forced to sit up and take notice. It had finally announced the Windows 10X which would be pitched against Chrome and is all set to launch sometime later this year.

Interestingly, the Windows 10X was first supposed to adorn dual-screen devices but has been modified to render service in a single screen device to start with. It was first announced in 2019 and is all set to launch in Spring 2021 itself.

With that being mere months away, here is all that we know of the Windows 10X platform thanks to a build that leaked online.

Look and feel

The Windows 10X might seem to be a watered-down version of the traditional Windows OS and that it sure is. Simplicity is the central theme here and the first thing that catches the attention with the Widows 10 X is the lack of live tiles seen on Windows 8 or Windows 10. Instead, what you get are static icons for the apps from Microsoft Store or Progressive Web Apps powered by Microsoft Edge.

There is the Start Menu though, which will include shortcuts to apps as well as services such as Microsoft Teams and so on. Besides the app, the Start Menu will also show websites as well though there is no option to create a folder for grouping apps. At least, not in the build currently being discussed. That said, there is the right-click option, and doing so on any icon will lead to a menu that will reveal the app’s settings option. Besides, the right-click operation will also help you to pin it to the taskbar.

Another highlight of the 10X OS is the new taskbar that is aligned along the center. The taskbar provides three size settings – small, medium, and large. The small size option is clearly for a desktop setting with a mouse while the medium and large size option is aimed at touch-based operations.

Windows Search

Right at the top of the Start Menu is going to be an expansive search bar powered by Windows Search. You will be able to search for files both on the cloud as well as the local storage.

Action Center

The Action Center comes with a fresh new look which now includes the taskbar’s system tray as well. Also, the Action Center has a floating feel to it and won’t be covering your entire screen. It won’t be visible all the time as well and contains volume controls, battery percentage, and power options, besides providing for quick actions.

Settings, Updates, Control Panel

The Control Panel is entirely missing on Windows 10X though the Setting app is still there, providing the sort of functionality that you’d expect out of the Setting app.

Windows Updates has gone for a cool makeover in the 10X in that it has been segregated from apps and drivers. Also, the update is saved in a separate partition. It is then moved to a different partition, which then replaces the previous build during the reboot process. This way, each update won’t be taking more than 90 seconds.