Microsoft is preparing a massive update with redesign and Android app support

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Microsoft seems to have big plans for Windows 10 for the next year. Not only should Windows 10X finally appear, but the operating system could get a major redesign and possibly support for Android apps.

From a Windows perspective, 2020 is coming to an end with small updates and little spectacular innovations. If you believe the Windows Central portal, it was the calm before the storm, because Microsoft wants to make a big splash next year. You can read here what the Redmond company wants to have in the way of Windows innovations.

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Windows 10: Big update will probably come in autumn 2021

Windows Central describes 2020 as the year of preparation for what Microsoft could get started in 2021. The portal refers to the change in staff at the beginning of 2020: Microsoft’s Surface product manager Panos Panay took over the position of the previous Windows boss Joe Belfiore in February 2020 and brought both departments together to bring software and hardware even closer together. Under his leadership, Microsoft is to have a massive redesign for the operating system in the works for 2021, which runs internally under the code name “Sun Valley”.

Microsoft has already given the Windows 10 start menu a new design this year. (Screenshot: Microsoft)

Microsoft has not yet given any official information about the upcoming redesign, but according to the Windows Central sources, Windows 10 will receive a major update in autumn 2021 that will bring new functions and a revised, more modern and more consistent user interface.

Microsoft will continue the two updates per year introduced years ago in the next year; In contrast to previous years, the relevance of the two versions is to be reversed: The spring update 21H1 corresponds more to the Windows 10 versions 20H2 and 19H2 and is therefore more of a smaller maintenance release with bug fixes, which is based on the major 21H2 release in autumn should prepare.

Microsoft is experimenting with Android apps on Windows 10

In addition, Microsoft will publish an x86-64-bit app emulation for Windows-on-ARM, says Zac Bowden from Windows Central. This is a major milestone for the ARM PC platform as it will enable devices like the Surface Pro X to run most older Windows programs. The aim is to noticeably close the gap in the applications for the ARM platform. Bowden expects these new Windows on ARM features to be previewed soon and to ship next year.

Aside from the major updates to Windows 10, Bowden claims that Microsoft is testing Android applications for Windows 10 and could potentially bring them to the Microsoft Store. How far the group has progressed with the experiment remains uncertain. According to Windows Central sources, it could possibly be 2021 as well.

Not yet for foldables: Windows 10X should appear in spring 2021

Microsoft Surface Neo.  (Image: Microsoft)

Windows 10X: Optimizations for foldables like the Microsoft Surface Neo should not appear until 2022. (Image: Microsoft)

In addition to the major redesign and other upcoming upheavals for Windows 10, Microsoft is also planning the release of Windows 10X. It should be done in the first half of 2021. The Windows version was originally supposed to appear in the fall of this year, but among other things, the corona crisis should be to blame for the plans having to be postponed. Windows 10X is a modern and lighter version of the operating system for PCs in the lower and middle price range as well as for foldable PCs such as the dual display device Surface Neo and the Lenovo X Fold.

According to Windows Central, Windows 10X will be “RTM” (“Release to manufacture” – in German: Ready for delivery) in December. Microsoft hopes to be able to ship the first Windows 10X devices in the spring of 2021. However, these products are not yet foldables – a corresponding update is not expected to appear until 2022 – but rather mid-range laptops and tablets that are supposed to compete directly with Google’s Chromebooks. Windows 10X is shipped without local Win32 app support, but Microsoft plans to close this gap with a new cloud PC app streaming service.

Windows 10X should not get along without local support for Win 32 applications, but support should not be provided by update until 2022, it says.

Cloud PC service for Windows 10 in the making

According to Windows Central, the aforementioned cloud PC service will be launched in the course of the coming year and is, so to speak, a Windows instance in the cloud. This should enable users to install apps in order to stream them on any device. Among other things, it should be able to run demanding apps on PCs with little memory or power. Incidentally, Huawei announced a function with this name back in 2018. With the help of the cloud PC app, an Android smartphone should be transformed into a Windows 10 PC.

Under Windows 10 and Windows 10X, “Cloud PC” should be an integrated service that will be synchronized with the Microsoft 365 subscription. If an application is installed on the cloud PC, it should also be displayed in the start menu as if it were available locally on the computer – just like a virtual Windows desktop.

Microsoft does indeed seem to have a big year ahead of them, provided the software giant fully executes its internal plans. It would be time to redesign the user interface, even a more consistent structure sounds like a desirable innovation.

More on the topic: How Microsoft makes Android the ideal mobile OS for Windows users

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