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Microsoft is revealing more about its Windows 10X operating system today, which is designed for new dual-screen devices. The software giant has reengineered this special variant of Windows 10 to install and update the operating system a lot faster. This will allow Windows 10X to download an OS update and simply switch to it at reboot, all within less than 90 seconds.

That’s a big difference from what we’re used to with Windows 10 today, which involves the OS downloading an update and then applying it and rebooting. This takes minutes even on high-end systems currently, but Microsoft has developed a special state separation in Windows 10X to improve this radically.

Windows 10X on the Surface Neo.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Windows 10X operating system, drivers, and apps are all separate so Microsoft can simply switch to the latest OS update once a device is rebooted. Microsoft is using container technology for win32 traditional desktop apps that run on devices like the Surface Neo, meaning these apps cannot interfere with system files or data.

Many of the dual-screen and foldable devices that will appear with Windows 10X preinstalled will also run Intel’s new Lakefield processors. We’ve heard very little about the performance of these chips, but Microsoft revealed today that the chips will include big and small cores that run asymmetrically for power savings. That means devs can run a typical desktop app on the larger cores for performance or lightweight apps on the power-sipping cores to save battery life.

Microsoft’s developer day for Windows 10X is still ongoing, so stay tuned for more information on this new OS.


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