Hot on the heels of a series of leaks giving us a first look at Microsoft’s upcoming Surface 7, Surface Laptop, and ARM-based Surface tablet, more details about Microsoft’s fall 2019 hardware (and software) lineup are making the rounds.

First up, Evan Blass reports that the ARM-based tablet will be called the Surface Campus, suggesting that Microsoft is positioning the thin, light, and probably fanless tablet as a student-friendly device.

Second, it seems like Microsoft will introduce a new Surface Pen with a rechargeable battery and wireless charging (as opposed to the long-lasting battery you had to replace in early models).

Third, it looks like there’s a brand new version of Windows on the way — it’s called Windows 10 X.

Microsoft Surface Campus with ARM processor (via @evleaks)

According to Blass, the new version of Windows is designed for devices with dual screens and/or foldable displays.

Among other thing, it will “run desktop applications in containers,” suggesting that this may be the operating system that was formerly known as Windows Lite, (for folks to whom it was known at all).

Previous leaks suggest that the operating system is basically Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS, with a simpler user interface than the full Windows 10 operating system and tighter security.

It’s unclear what, if any, benefits this will bring to dual-screen devices specifically. But I suppose it makes sense for Microsoft to introduce a brand new operating system and user interface along with new hardware, because it minimizes the risk of users complaining that Windows doesn’t work the way they expect it to on other device if they’re using devices with a brand new form factor that is unlike other devices.

Microsoft is holding an event on October 2nd where the company is expected to unveil the Surface Campus, Surface Laptop 3, and Surface Pro 7. It’s unclear how much the company will have to say about its upcoming dual-screen Surface or Windows 10X at the event.

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  1. So does the Surface Campus have a 10″ or smaller screen? That and how ARM performs are my main concerns.

  2. I would hope they don’t drop support for win32 and the “modularity” of the user interface lets you replace it with something not nearly as over simplified for a cursor the size of a nickel if you don’t need that, but I fear that’s unlikely.
    At least the name windows 10X implies that it’s not a replacement for windows 10, just a fork thereof.

  3. As a Go owner, I’m a little concerned. The Campus seems like the potential next generation of the small non-Pro Surface tablets.

    While I hope desktop Windows on ARM is successful since it has power efficiency benefits, it currently hasn’t proven itself. Maybe the Campus will be the one. Anyway, there isn’t any size info still. The Campus could very well be a “large” device which would make my ARM concerns moot.

  4. MS better not be abandoning the small Surface line. I had the non-Pro Surface 3 LTE and now the Go LTE.

    Seems like the only likely small Surface candidate is the Campus but those images aren’t encouraging so far unless that’a a really small pen next to it.

  5. The Surface Campus could be a win or a bust for me depending on how it compares to my Surface Go with LTE. If it’s bigger or slower then it’ll be a bust. Otherwise, it could be my next portable PC. I guess we’ll see soon.

    1. Yeah, my Surface Go LTE is doing great still but I’m concerned MS may abandon the smaller form factor. I’m not sure about ARM given the ARM devices currently available (all of which are huge devices too) are disappointing.

      That new tweaked Qualcomm SoC announced some months back doesn’t seem much better which I assume is what MS is using.

      Still hoping MS will come out with an x86 Surface Go 2 with LTE.

  6. Hoping the Surface Campus is as small or smaller than my Surface Go LTE. Otherwise, I’m passing on all the Surface devices leaked so far.

  7. An OS, such as Windows 10 Pro, with a configurable security does not have one degree of security but various degrees depending on how it is configured. Therefore, it is premature to speak of Windows 10 X possibly having tighter security.
    Running desktop applications in containers would be tighter security with respect to only this aspect. Letting one aspect of security be tighter, however, does not necessarily make overall security tighter.
    Windows 10 S was advertised as having better security than Windows 10 (or Pro) because only store apps are allowed and store apps are in app containers. Again, this affects only this one aspect of security. Simultaneously, Windows 10 (or Pro) were intentionally left less secure for this aspect because desktop apps were not put in containers and documentation of how to put them into containers manually has not been available. Now, we see a similar approach to Windows 10 X: containers serve more advertisement than security because there is no reason why Windows 10 (or Pro) could not also offer at least documentation on, and command line tools for, using containers for desktop applications.
    It is not security in general that will be tighter in Windows 10 X but maybe the out-of-the-box security if the user does not configure and improve security in Windows 10 X or Windows 10 (or Pro).
    Will Windows 10 X allow local user accounts and security configurations blocking almost all telemetry, like it is possible in Windows 10 (or Pro)? Otherwise, tighter security in Windows 10 X will be nothing but a lie, using containers as a pretence that the telemetry security gaps would not exist.
    All software in app containers (while still allowing shared, non-executable application data) is good in itself but we must not repeat Microsofts advertising scheme hiding the larger security picture.

    1. Your entire premise is extremely flawed because MS has already provided documentation and method to containerize win32 apps……

      MSIX = AppX (UWP distribution) + MSI (win32 distribution)
      And it retains the full benefits and compatibility of appX and extends it to the win32 apps…example containerization.

      MSIX package manager already puts the win32 apps into a container. It can distribute both, containerized win32 and already sandboxed UWP apps, it can distribute both inside and outside the MS Store. It can distribute bundles of both ARM64 and x86-x64 binaries for both win32 or UWP app models.

      MSIX support was added to MS store in 1809 and is going to become native in 20H1. So installing any uwp or containerized win32 app from outside of store will be a breeze.

      The win32 games on Xbox Game Pass PC all use MSIX. For example Gears 5. No difference in performance at all vs the steam version.

      All those security benefits from MSIX will reach every version of windows from X to enterprise. X simply is a clean start built using CoreOS and CShell. No legacy of the other editions. 10X will be able to run the same UWP and containerized win32 apps that home and pro can run. It simply can’t run non sandboxed/containerized apps, that’s what makes it more secure.

      1. Very interesting, thanks! I imagined a security container realised by SID and manifest but now I see that MSIX is a much broader approach including packet management.

        Currently, it is for Windows Insiders having a Microsoft Account. Ok, we can await 20H1. Here are some explanations:

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/msix/
        https://www.advancedinstaller.com/msix-introduction.html
        https://www.software-virtualisierung.de/msix/msix-packaging-tool.html
        https://entwickler.de/online/windowsdeveloper/microsoft-support-msix-general-availability-579863037.html