Windows 10X will download and install an update in under 90 seconds, promises Microsoft

Windows 10X
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10X, the operating system Microsoft is working on for dual-screen devices, will be able to download and install an update in less than 90 seconds – according to a lofty promise by the software maker.

Usually, updates in regular Windows 10 can take quite a while to update and install, so if Windows 10X really can download and install an update – and restart the device – in under a minute and a half, then that’s a very impressive improvement.

It seems like Microsoft has achieved this by keeping the Windows 10X operating system separate from other bits of software, such as apps, which will be run in “containers” – essentially running in small emulators that are separate from the OS.

This allows Windows 10X to download and install the update in the background, then switch to the new updated version of the operating system when the device is rebooted.

If Windows 10X manages this, then it will make it a much more convenient operating system than the full-fat Windows 10. Windows 10 has also had a well-publicised run of bad updates recently, so anything that Microsoft can do to make the update process better is welcome in our view.

Container magic

Having apps run in containers brings a number of other benefits, as Microsoft has explained at its Windows 10X developer day, which was held on February 10, 2020, to show off the new operating system to developers.

Because apps will be run in containers, it means they will be kept separate from important system files and operating system data. This will result in a much more secure operating system, as any apps or programs that held malicious code, like viruses, would not be able to infect the main operating system.

It will also allow for greater app compatibility, and should mean that existing apps and programs that run on standard laptop and PC hardware in Windows 10 should be able to be run on Windows 10X devices with the minimum of tweaking.

A presentation by Microsoft shows that there will be three types of containers for Windows 10X: Win32, MSIX and Native (UWP). With the Win32 container, standard applications that run in Windows 10 should be able to run within the container, offering almost the same level of performance as a native app.

Windows 10X is certainly shaping up to be an exciting future version of Windows, and Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Neo will be the first device to run it when it launches later in 2020.

If you can’t wait until then, then Microsoft has released an emulator of Windows 10X that lets you try out an early version of the operating system – though this is aimed primarily at app developers, so it’s not representative of what the final Windows 10X software will be like.

Via The Verge

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.