Windows 10X has a streamlined Cortana-free setup

Windows 10X
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10X appears to be changing the initial setup experience for the better, making several moves to differentiate itself from the current Windows 10 process – including dumping Cortana, and providing a more modern-looking interface.

As highlighted by Zac Bowden (of Windows Central fame), Windows 10X doesn’t involve any use of Cortana during setup, in marked contrast to the digital assistant’s somewhat intrusive presence in the current Windows 10 experience.

That will doubtless please many folks, although we have to remember that Windows 10X is still a work in progress – so there’s no guarantee that Cortana won’t be reintroduced somewhere down the line.

Rather than having Cortana chattering away, as it stands, Windows 10X presents the user with some text to read, and simple, streamlined menus. The overall design of the setup interface is clean and neat, looking more contemporary than the normal Windows 10 setup process.

Windows 10X setup

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Core content

As for the core elements of the actual setup process on Windows 10X, currently these remain pretty much identical to what you see on Windows 10. So it doesn’t seem like anything much is being altered in terms of the actual content and choices you go through.

Again, that may change as the operating system comes closer to being finalized for release – the last we heard was a possible fall launch, meaning RTM (release to manufacturing) could happen in the summer, as Bowden observes.

While Windows 10X is designed for dual-screen devices, Microsoft does apparently plan to introduce the OS to traditional clamshell notebooks going forward – and indeed enterprising types are already running the operating system (to be precise, an emulator image for developers) on the likes of a Lenovo ThinkPad, or indeed an Apple MacBook, no less.

Windows 10X is designed to be versatile – in terms of complementing flexible dual-screen hardware – and also streamlined, as this new setup experience demonstrates, and furthermore, that’s certainly the plan for updates.

We recently learned that Windows 10X updates will be downloaded and installed in under a minute and a half, due to the way the fresh take on Windows is designed and implemented (around the use of containers, which will also have other benefits in terms of, for example, security).

If Cortana does end up being completely ditched from the setup process of Windows 10X, that doesn’t mean the assistant is in danger of being overlooked for this version of Windows. In fact, another rumor hints that Microsoft may be looking to bolster voice controls for Windows 10X.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).