Early in 2021, some leaks surfaced that showed off Microsoft’s plans to launch yet another version of Windows that would go toe-to-toe with Chrome OS. Make no mistake, Microsoft sees and understands the threat that Chromebooks pose and over the years, they’ve made various attempts to either discredit Chromebooks or directly compete with them. All of those attempts have obviously failed. However, with this latest version of the tried-and-true Windows OS, I really thought Microsoft might have been onto something.
The leaks looked very Chrome OS-inspired and though many took a bit of offense to Microsoft’s blatant copying of Chrome OS’ interface, I took the whole thing as a bit of a compliment as a Chrome OS fan and user. After all, we Chromies have been fighting for legitimacy for years, so a juggernaut like Microsoft actually building something that looked, acted, and behaved like Chrome OS felt like a bit of a win in my book.
The battle ended before it began
Citing a few different factors, Petri reports that Windows 10x is being shelved and won’t be launching any time soon – if at all. We originally saw the news over at The Verge, but the reports are all the same: Windows 10x isn’t on the way after Microsoft has chosen to focus in on making Windows 10 a better product for its existing (and admittedly massive) market segment. With the pandemic pushing sales of Chromebooks through the roof, standard Windows laptops have seen big increases in sales, too. With this sudden shift in the market, perhaps Microsoft has simply decided to focus on what is most important to them as a company, and that is clearly Windows 10.
While I’d love to sit here and gloat that Microsoft and Windows just couldn’t compete, I don’t know that that is the case at all. Instead, it looks like they’ve chosen not to embark on a whole new journey when their core business is seeing nice growth. Frankly, the fact that they were thinking about basically cloning Chrome OS and slapping Windows on it made me happy. I never really wanted to see what sort of affect a streamlined Windows would have on Chromebooks, and for now it seems we won’t have to even worry about it.
The streamlined, fast, lightweight OS war is clearly being won and dominated by Google at this point, and that’s fine by us. That doens’t mean that Chromebooks can do everything a Windows PC can, but it does mean that more modern approaches to computing are simply better suited to a Chromebook instead of a Windows-based laptop, and that is encouraging on many fronts. There’s room for all of it right now in the laptop space, and I think differing approaches are not just welcome, but necessary. Windows makes MacOS makes Linux makes Chrome OS better, and each one staying in its own lane will help fuel the creative competition that created them. I think that’s a very good thing.