As per the report, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay this week informed his internal team that that the company wouldn’t be delivering its own Surface Neo dual-screen device, its first PC to run its all new Windows 10X operating system, this calendar year as originally planned.
In addition, Microsoft won’t allow third-party dual-screen devices, such as Lenovo’s planned ThinkPad X1 Fold, to ship with Windows 10X in 2020.
Microsoft is instead aiming to get the operating system, which was designed with dual-screen and foldable devices in mind, running on single-screen devices first, according to the report.
Though the software has been designed with dual-screen and foldable laptops in mind, leaked documents last year revealed that Microsoft also planned to get it running on traditional clamshell and 2-in-1 devices in a bid to better compete with Google Chromebook’ and Apple’s iPad and iPad Pro tablets as well.
However, Foley has also heard from “sources” that Microsoft still has hopes to deliver some of the promised features of Windows 10X — specifically the ability to make existing Windows applications available virtually using containers — sooner rather than later, hinting that they could be incorporated into Windows 10.
The reason for the delay of the Surface Neo and Windows 10X remains unclear, though the report suggests that it’s likely related to COVID-19. Back in February, Microsoft warned that coronavirus pandemic was affecting the company’s China-based supply chain.
In addition to this, the pandemic has forced the company to canceled all of its in-person events until June 2021, to put all optional no-security Windows updates on hold, and to pulled part of its financial guidance.
ZDNet’s report notes that the Surface Duo, the dual-screen Android-powered phone that Microsoft announced alongside the Surface Neo, is still on track to be released this year. This device, which was is pegged to arrive in time for the holidays, features two 5.6-inch screens that can rotate on a 360-degree hinge so that it works as an 8.3-inch tablet.