While Windows 10 is highly polished software multi-tasking is one area where it could improve. Having two programs open on the screen simultaneously has always felt a bit clunky, so Windows 10X could be just what is needed to take it to the next level, with a redesigned version of Windows for maximum flexibility. 

This second window can work more independently than on Windows 10, with Microsoft suggesting it could become an on-screen keyboard on the upcoming Surface Neo. However, it's unclear how that might translate to a laptop, which come with physical keyboards and often without touchscreens. 

A response to the demand

Microsoft revealed that there has been a 75 percent year-on-year increase in Windows 10 usage, with more than 4 trillion minutes being spent on the software.

This change of strategy has undoubtedly been influenced by the coronavirus pandemic, with the company believing its huge user base could benefit from some of the features in Windows 10X.

It also gives Microsoft the opportunity to road test the software, and iron out any kinks ahead of the release of the Surface Neo. It now looks inevitable that that device will now be delayed, so don't expect to see it arrive until 2021. 

Rivalling the iPad Pro?

While the influx of people relying on Windows 10 to work from home will be the driving force behind this decision, it may also be influenced by the recent upgrades to the iPad Pro.

Apple's latest high-end tablet added trackpad support for the first time, making it closer to a laptop than ever before. 

Its multitasking abilities were already among the most impressive on a single-screen device, so these upgrades will surely have turned heads at Microsoft. 

The two already have a long-standing rivalry as the companies behind the two most popular desktop operating systems, and that only looks set to intensify as we enter a new era for mobile computing. 

Want to know more? Read our guide to Windows 10X