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Surface Neo won’t be out until 2021, and neither will any Windows 10X dual-screen device, rumor claims

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Rumor has it that Microsoft has delayed its Surface Neo until 2021, when previously – before coronavirus hit – the expected launch date was late 2020.

Apparently Surface Duo will still launch as intended before the end of the year, though.

This is what Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet says she has heard from her sources, who claim that Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, told his team that Neo won’t be launching this year, and indeed that no other third-party dual-screen Windows hardware will be allowed to ship with Windows 10X either.

So Windows 10X won’t launch in 2020, at all, then? Well, that might not be the case, it would seem, as Foley says that Microsoft has a new goal for this year – to get Windows 10X out on single-screen notebooks first.

This is a reversal of what we have previously been told would happen, of course; namely that Windows 10X would be out as a dedicated offering for dual-screen hardware, and could then follow for traditional (single-screen) clamshell or convertible laptops.

Guessing game

It seems a fair guess that the cause for delay may be wrapped up in coronavirus-related issues – perhaps supply chain problems, or even general disruption to development teams in terms of getting Windows 10X fully nailed down. Maybe the OS was already falling behind schedule anyway – some big changes are planned, after all – but who knows: this is all speculation.

And indeed, remember that the report of this delay is just a rumor, so may not pan out (although Foley is one of the most reliable sources for Microsoft insider info, as you may know).

Another possibility is that we may still get to see bits of Windows 10X in 2020. Foley notes that other sources have indicated that some 10X features could be brought to vanilla Windows 10 users “sooner rather than later”, an interesting prospect. That might include the ability to run Windows apps virtually in containers.

As mentioned at the outset, while Surface Neo may have allegedly been pushed back to 2021, the plan for Surface Duo, Microsoft’s dual-screen phone (that runs Android, not Windows 10X) is that it’s still on target for a late 2020 launch.