The New Year has given us a great early look at Microsoft’s Windows 10X, which we’ve seen up and running ahead of its expected release in the spring. While the software is expected to launch on new hardware — and not as a download or upgrade — intrepid enthusiasts have booted Windows 10X on existing hardware, giving us a sneak peek at the new UI and UX.
User XDeltaXForce (via MSPowerUser) posted a video that shows Windows 10X running on a Surface Pro 7. Whereas the other hands-on videos we’ve seen have shown off the OS using a traditional keyboard and mouse setup, this latest demonstration displays how suited the upcoming OS is for touch.
The video quickly takes users through Windows 10X’s Start Menu, Settings, and stock apps. We also get a look at the OS’s multitasking features, including how easy it is to switch between apps. All of this is done with swipes and touches — and at one point the video shows the software responding to stylus.
Microsoft’s Windows struggled to adapt to a touch environment when the first Surface Pro was released, but it doesn’t appear that Windows 10X will have such problems as the UI is built to accommodate a more tactile approach. In other words, Windows 10X will fit right in on 2-in-1 devices.
We got another good look at Windows 10X in action last week thanks to Windows Central and The Verge. Those hands-ons showed everything from the reworked taskbar to apps running side-by-side to the installation of progressive web apps (PWA). As a reminder, the new OS drops a lot of cruft and legacy software support, and it’s designed to only run UWP apps and PWAs at launch.
Apparently, the pre-release builds of Windows 10X that are floating around are near-final, though they may still be missing a few things. These early looks give users a great idea of how Microsoft plans to take on Chrome OS and really cements Windows’ place among enterprise and education customers. As we mentioned before, the upcoming OS won’t be released as a standalone software update. Instead, expect it to be exclusive to new hardware that’s released later this year.