Bottom line: The tech community was looking forward to Microsoft's interesting take on foldables with its Windows 10X-powered Surface Neo. However, the company has seemingly changed its plans from releasing the device this year, along with Windows 10X, and is now focused on bringing the OS to single-screen devices and porting some of its features to Windows 10.
The Surface Neo and its underpinning Windows 10X OS were poised for a late-2020 release, but both products are unlikely to make that schedule, reports ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. The delay is likely to do with the disturbance caused by the ongoing pandemic and Microsoft's renewed (and intriguing) focus on bringing Windows 10X to single-screen devices first, instead of making it the USP of foldables as originally planned.
Announcement of the delay was made internally by product chief Panos Panay, says Foley, adding that "Microsoft also won't be enabling third-party dual-screen Windows devices to ship with 10X in calendar 2020." The development is unlikely to affect one of the first OEM foldables - the ThinkPad X1 Fold - as it will be powered by Windows 10, with Lenovo bringing 10X support post-launch.
It's also possible for Windows 10 users to receive 10X features before the latter comes out. Foley notes that Microsoft is looking to bring containers on the desktop for improving compatibility with legacy apps as it has done on Windows 10X, although the feature needed considerable time to mature.
Microsoft's hold off with the Surface Neo and Windows 10X seemingly has to do with the software side of things as the company's supply chain was noted to be getting "back on rails" last month, indicating that upcoming products like the Xbox Series X and Surface devices would be arriving per schedule.
Interestingly, the release window of the Android-powered Surface Duo is said to remain unaffected, which will enable Microsoft to offer something new in the Surface lineup for buyers this holiday season.