Windows 10 S: The Fine Print

Posted on May 2, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 91 Comments

Windows 10 S: The Fine Print

It’s not every day that Microsoft releases a new Windows product edition. But today, they did just that: Windows 10 S will join Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro on new PCs and at retail. We already know a lot about this new Windows SKU. But here are some late-breaking tidbits you may not have heard.

As with my Surface Laptop: The Fine Print post, I’ll divide these finding into good and bad categories.

Good: While there are many (mostly incorrect) theories about what the “S” means, I think this line from Microsoft says it best: “Windows 10 S is a specific configuration of Windows 10 Pro that offers a familiar, productive Windows experience that’s streamlined for security and performance.” Put simply, Windows 10 S is the future of Windows.

Good: Windows 10 S is based on Windows 10 Pro, not the base version of Windows 10. This means it includes Windows 10 Pro features like Azure Active Directory (AD) join, Windows Update for Business, Windows Store for Business, full Mobile Device Mangement (MDM) capabilities, BitLocker, enterprise roaming, and more.

Bad: Windows 10 S also does not include some Windows 10 Pro features. And while a complete list is currently unavailable, things like Hyper-V and Windows Subsystem for Linux are not available.

Good: If Windows 10 S does not work out you can upgrade t Windows 10 Pro at any time for $50.

Good: If you choose to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro before the end of 2017, Microsoft will waive the fee. Right, it’s free.

Bad: Right now, Microsoft Edge is the only mainstream web browser that works in Windows 10 S.

Good: Windows Store apps are more reliable, safer, and perform better than desktop applications.

Bad: Most people still need or want certain desktop applications, like Apple iTunes and Google Chrome, neither of which are available in the Store. And probably never will be.

Good: Microsoft is bringing its full-featured Office 2016 desktop applications to Windows Store via the Desktop Bridge (“Project Centennial”) technologies.

Bad: Windows 10 S is configured with Microsoft Edge as the default browser, and you cannot change it to a different browser.

Bad: Windows 10 is configured with Bing as the default search engine, and you cannot change it to a different search engine. (In some regions, the default search engine will instead be configured to a regional solution.)

Good: Windows 10 S is not just for students, and it is not aimed only at low-end, educational PCs. Instead, Windows 10 S was “inspired” by students and teachers, and it is, in Microsoft’s words, “a great choice for any Windows customer looking for consistent performance and advanced security … Windows 10 S is ideal for people who have everything they need in the Windows Store [and on the web] and prefer the peace of mind that comes with removing the risk of downloading apps from other places.”

Good: If a hardware device works with Windows 10, it works with Windows 10 S.

Bad: However, some devices that require desktop application utilities will provide limited functionality on Windows 10 S because those utilities will not install or run.

I’m sure this is just the tip of the Windows 10 S iceberg and that more information will become available over time. But hopefully this is a good start.

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Comments (91)

91 responses to “Windows 10 S: The Fine Print”

  1. Waethorn

    "Windows 10 S is configured with Microsoft Edge as the default browser, and you cannot change it to a different browser."


    Wait until the EU finds out about this.

  2. red.radar

    Do not like. I don't need safe mode to protect me from myself.


    I hope this dies quickly. I don't believe the windows eco system becoming a walled garden is good for consumers in the long run.


    I am not ready to give up control.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to red.radar:

      Just think, here in a few releases, S will become the standard version, replacing Home entirely! A whole pile of old cruft will be gone, and Windows will be faster and more reliable than it ever has been!

      Good riddance to all that old junk!

  3. navarac

    10 S is a non Starter for me. There are not many apps in the store than anything but "consumption" apps that really I have no need for.

    The Surface Laptop OTOH looks very good (upgraded to Pro), but still very expensive for the average person.

  4. BigM72

    Add iTunes and Chrome (but mainly Chrome) and I could live with W10S.


    Paul, the poor quality of the store really needs to be called out I feel for an OS that relies on it. I'm talking discoverability, performance and most importantly: the plethora of misleading apps designed to trick users into purchasing them (e.g. all the Firefox user guides).

  5. James Wilson

    Apple removes the headphone jack. Bold move say the sheeple. Apple removes all all ports from mac pro except USB-c. Forward looking say the sheeple.


    Microsoft releases a safer version of Windows aimed at home student users. World is going to end!


    fact is, most home users don't need pro features. If you do, just click a button and pay $50. No reinstall needed. How much easier could they have made it?

    • Minok

      In reply to James Wilson:

      Removing the headphone jack was stupid as now I'm not going to buy a new phone, since I'm not upgrading my car just so that my phone can play music from it, and my car has many more years of life left on it. Same for creating dongle hell aka working with a MacBook.


      What isn't clear in the talk about 'safer version of Windows' (in talking about the S configuration of version 6.3) is whether its really safer? It gets updates just like the base version. It limits what you can install, so it can prevent folks from shooting themselves in the foot, which is good for some use cases like education. But the Windows bugs will be in it just as the base version, or versions 6.2, 6.1, etc. Looking at the disaster that was the 'string comparsion' bug (really a substring test) in the security core module accross windows versions, there will be just as many poorly coded vulnerabilities in this version as any large software effort by Microsoft.

    • Angusmatheson

      In reply to James Wilson:

      Most people I read say Apple made a mistake removing the headphone jack and having only USB C. History will tell. Apple has had lots of success taking things out that people said they wanted and quickly realized they didn't, but not such good success getting adoption of new "better" ports - FireWire, thunderbolt.


      Windows S isn't missing pro features, it has hyper V, and is infact pro not home. I think the problem is that as the Windows store exists now, there isn't enough stuff to make a Windows S computer serve the needs to most users. And not courageous at all, because users can upgrade it. (Speaking or lack of courage Apple does the same thing. MacOS comes now only allowing you to buy from the Mac App Store. And you have to change a setting (for free) to allow it to get programs from the web. And the Mac App Store is said to be doing poorly, perhaps a warning to Microsoft Windows store). So for Microsoft a courageous decision would have been to make Windows S be like Windows RT. Like putting only USB C. No going back. Now both of those might very well be mistakes. Microsoft is hedging its bets here. That is not courage....but may be smart.

    • skane2600

      In reply to James Wilson:

      Some of us believe both that removing a headphone jack was dumb and dumbing-down Windows was jack shit.

  6. Mark from CO

    Paul:

    Let's see.  Windows 10 S only supports apps sold through the Store, i.e. UWP apps.  I think this means that Windows 10 S has no apps to run.  Windows 10 S only supports one browser - Edge.  I think this means Windows 10 S connects to the wider world using a 0.5 version of a severely handicapped browser, which means it really can't connect to the whole wide world.  Windows 10 S is "a great choice for any Windows customer looking for consistent performance and advanced security..."  I think this means people using Paint 3D on Windows 10 S can rest assured no one will hack them.

    Indeed the OS for the future.

    Mark from CO 

  7. kenosando

    Very curious why WSL isn't available. It's not a Windows 10 Pro feature, it's also in the Home version.

  8. bbold

    I'm super excited about Windows 10 S, I agree, it is the future of Windows. Question: What would it take to get Apple and Google to release apps for the Windows Store? Why haven't they? Microsoft and Google put their software in the Apple App store. Can't some "deal" be made? That needs to happen like yesterday. The important story there would be why this hasn't happened yet, or who is to blame.

    Also: Is Windows 10 S going to be available for purchase for us to install on older or already existing devices? Where to download?

  9. dcdevito

    This is a good way to get my family to use Windows PCs again, the only problem is they're all enjoying and happily using their Chromebooks. But I can definitely see the use case in the Enterprise. Companies would love to deploy these to their sales force teams, project managers, etc. I wouldn't mind using one, but does Windows offer a corporate app store option for internal use only? I'm sure they do.


  10. RobertJasiek

    I do not buy the better security claim. Where is the evidence? Available security features compete with unavailable ones. This needs careful evaluation. We must not simply believe MS just because it pretends better security as a specification. We would also be believing that MS would make Pro less secure intentionally. Oh, with one aspect, this is exactly what MS does by not applying AppContainer to desktop software and not providing easy command line tools for that purpose. Instead of intentionally making Pro less secure as to this aspect, security ought to always be the best. There is no excuse whatsoever that MS does not offer all security features in all Windows versions. Which are unavailable in Windows 10 S?

    Bing: we need to await EU and US anti-trust actions and trials. MS should have learnt from its past that it risks very high penalties. Bing and Edge alone are sufficient reason for me never to use Windows 10 S except for immediate upgrade to Pro. MS recurs the same mistakes forever. Users want freedom of contents. Europeans do not want Bing because its results are often bad. Schools must not ever educate pupils by restricting search of information. Microsoft, think about it what you are doing to freedom by denying freedom...!

  11. jgoraya

    I hope Microsoft does a Windows 10 for Developers update and moves at least their development tools like Microsoft Visual Studio and the Chatbot Emulator into the store. Working with other software developers to get common development tools installed like Fiddler into the store would be icing on the cake.


    This seems like it should be easier then the whole get apps into the store for Windows Phone argument since there should be less mainstream desktop apps that need to be in the store besides Chrome and iTunes.

  12. nbplopes

    Hi,


    I think someone should actually write a review of this MS presentation from an Education perspective. I mean, If we take out all the fanfare and the over selling pitch of Panos Paney what are educators and students left with?

    Teaching is one of those activities that everyone wants to give an advice to. People with no academic background on the subject of teaching, that don't have the time or inclination to teach sometimes even their own children, love to tell teachers what to do. I wonder why.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm not an a teacher, I'm an IT specialist and a parent.

    1. The entire presentation looked a sales pitch of how generic MS Products applies to education. Within this, the highlight looked like to be Microsoft Teams. A collaboration tool based on the ideas of Slack and others. Looks like it might work well, not only in the education environment. It seams to be well rounded. Other Office tools, are the usual tools that we know and appreciate. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, ... no mention of Sharepoint. All Web enabled.
    2. VR and 3D looked like to be new interesting materials that educators might use. Especially to build models. Having said this, the presentation around the solar system was not very convincing. I wrote before how important is the content and how I think my kids waste too much time with the cosmetics around what they need to convey in an assignment. This takes this to entire new level of impracticality, only enforced by the fact that the presenter could not do it on stage while imitating a student, even with all scripted and presets available. Will teachers have the time to dedicate three classes or more to build a model of the solar eclipse delivering what is shown on stage? No. So something like this could probably be done on extra curricular activities so on and so forth.
    3. The medical example is one that comes quite often across all platforms. I think this is dedicated more to content producers rather than educators or students. Unfortunately the Windows Store is quite dry when it comes to content that can be used in education.
    4. Surface Laptop. Well this was the oddest thing. Students are known to have no money, so pitching a $1000 basic computing device to this crowd ... As a parent don't know if I can trust a company that wants my children to have educational aspirations so mundane as this.
    5. Windows S. This is just a confirmation of what I thought Windows Cloud would be. It makes sense. What I did not understood was the licensing model for Windows S. It is definitely not free. If it was probably anyone could download and install it right now. I wonder if in the future MS will license Windows S within the scope of Office 365 :).
    6. Minecraft Code. It looks like a new material that educator can use. Will see how solid it is. But again as I mentioned before, looks like the perfect ADHD paradise to learn code but who know.
    7. There is no mention of deployment tools for Educators or the IT Staff. There seams to be some from Business but ...

    All in all if we look at it past the cover I wonder if MS understands the education problems as much as says Kahan Academy, iTunes University, Google Scholar ... MS did not even mention the new MS Academic Search, I wonder why ...

    Cheers.

    PS: From an educator point of view the presentation looks a bit odd. A lot of things reminded me of when the Hololens was presented. Looked very cool, very cool, but does it bend?

    • nbplopes

      In reply to nbplopes:

      One more note. Panos Panay about Surface is in hight contrast with my experience with the Surface Pro 3. Perfect combination between hardware and software, fluid an flawless???? No even close mate. Not even close! Not in my yard. Attention to detail in this combination? No, just check the driver history around SP3 and all the problems people had on the road. Sometimes what drove me nuts, really. So that says much about tech disappearing while working. Look, my SP3 did not even updated it self to Windows Creators Update, I'm not going to do it, I'll let it do it itself this time.

      Now my recent MacBook Pro ... yes from experience its a very good, extremely stable combination. For that is it worth the extra $300 or so? For me still yes. Don't know about SP4 of Surface Book from a personal perspective, but from what I heard ... well by now its all fine and dandy ... but will not shell out lots of $$$ to find out anymore. Maybe OEMs can do it better in terms of stability, don't have recent personal experience on that.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to nbplopes:


      I is also interesting that after an event dedicated to Education ... no one is talking about education. Sounds like it was just a pretext for something else. That kind of sums up the all thing in this context. I wonder if that was intended, if it was ....

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to nbplopes:

      The event *was* actually an MS sales pitch showcase by a bunch of suits (who actually didn't wear suits as they wanted to look cool and trendy) trying to make out they understand education and are doing this for the benefit of the schools. Far, far from it. Once again, MS are trying to make schools fit their products rather than designing products schools actually want and need. If MS were so good at it, why are they getting their butts kicked by Chromebooks? MS should have perfected this years ago and have ideal solutions at every level.

      You can see they all had extensive tutoring on how to look, how to stand, what to say (and when to say it). Lamenting on their family lives and the 'values' of education. Per-lease. Why do they do this? Do they think people are dumb and believe all this? It's almost too bad to watch. Do Americans really lap this stuff up?

      I'll just add that Win10S is just another way of driving (pushing?) people to the MS app store. Nothing else. Otherwise, it's no different to normal Win10. Wasn't MS meant to have paired Win10 right back and removed all the gumf? Funny how they can strip it back even more with little apparent effort.

  13. Minok

    So The S is for "secure"? As in locked down and restricted, so if the appliance built in features are what you need you are good to go bit if you want a general purpose computer, this isn't the system for you.

  14. siko

    10S runs win32 apps. The developer just needs 'centenialize' (package) the app for the store. A days work at most.

    It's MS that pushes forward to a more secure and fast computing experience, it's lazy developers that delay that.

    If you 'get' iOS or Android, you would 'get' 10S.

  15. Jeff Goldman

    Actually, the worse part of this is something no one seems to point out - in my opinion the elephant in the room. The big advantage of Chrome OS is the barebones hardware that it runs on - It will run quite well on a Celeron (or 2nd tier ARM), 2 GB or RAM, and 16 GB eMMC storage with micro SD expansion. And, each person that longs on to the machine can keep all of their configuration and data on a small USB stick. Because it is so lightweight it boots almost instantaneously. Windows 10S is still a full version of Windows that is protected a little better than Windows 10 because all UWP apps are sandboxed. It still does not keep up very well with Chrome OS devices in terms of speed and hardware. That is shown by the fact that the lowest end hardware it runs on is a Celeron with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC storage. This is another $100 worth of hardware to move up to from the base configuration of Chrome OS. They are playing from behind, needed to hit a Grand Slam, and instead got a slow roller to 1st for the last out of the game.

  16. Angusmatheson

    This is another terrible name. Windows RT was a terrible product because people did not indertand what the were getting. This has the same problem. Especially in a world where iPhone uses "S" to show their iterative model. And sumsung just puts and "S" on all their galaxy phones and pens for good measure. In the rest of the tech world "S" does not mean limited in a new way. In the same way that "RT" actually did a better job because at least was a letter that no one else used. I agree that a store based OS is an OS of the future and that Microsoft needs to do anything they can to make developers use the store. However, tricking customers is the wrong approach. Free for microsft's laptop, but other people will be told it will cost $50 to run chrome, Firefox, iTunes, VRL, a game they bought at GameStop. For the sake of Window's futures I hope that this encourages developers to make store apps for everything...but I'm. It sure. Especially with this out of upgrade for everyone. I think it just will piss everyone off at in addition to crapwear they have to pay an extra $50 to Microsoft when they get their windows computer home. I don't know what I would call it, but the name should be clear what it is. Windows S isn't.

  17. lordbaal1

    What happens if you reset the PC? Will it go back to how it was when you first bought it, or will it go back to the upgraded Windows 10 Pro image?

  18. Jorge Garcia

    Too little, too late. I can't think of ONE person that I know who this PC, with Windows 10 S, would be suitable for. NOT ONE.

  19. victorchinn

    Goodbye to Windows 10 Home which comes at no addtional charge on a new PC then ? Windows 10 S replaces Windows 10 Home because Windows 10 Home doesn't have security and performance ? I don't see how Windows 10 S is the future of Windows.

  20. Argenis Arturo Zapata Rodríguez

    I see from the FAQs that you can't change the default search provider on Internet Explorer?


    Will Internet Explorer run as native win32 app or repackaged through Desktop Bridge?

  21. RobertJasiek

    @MattHewitt, speculating about any advantage of 10 S over Pro: Suppose a loyal Bing and Edge user without any need for Win 32 software or drivers ever, happy with only ever using preinstalled or store apps and using the computer out-of-the-box with a naive just-works attitude. My theory is that such a user might be happy about most malware not doing any harm when browsing or innocently auto-opening all email attachments. A user that clicks on each harmful link and opens each attachment and does not know what "executed" means. A user that acts without prior thinking about risk and would install each download helper because the popup promised doubled speed. I cannot know if my theory is correct but maybe 10 S is designed like iOS with respect of malware in that the most naive use of the computer does not nessecarily infect it. If this is how 10 S works, such a naive, basic, Bing-loving user might be happy.

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to scotttech1:

        Much more important than my personal preference is the user's free access to contents in the internet. No single search engine gives access to all contents. Each search engine orders search results differently. For better search, the user must have the equal possibility to choose, set or default the search engine(s). The user knows what his search is and so the user himself (not a company, such as Microsoft, instead of the user) must be able to choose, set or default. It is his right. If he is denied this right, his human right of freedom is restricted. E.g., the company operating a search engine can influence news and political decision-making unintentionally or intentionally. We must not cede our freedom to companies.

        In the case of Windows 10 S, these principle criteria apply to the specific company Microsoft and the specific search engine Bing.

        Furthermore, as a German gaining access to the internet in Germany, I have very bad experience with the low quality of Bing search results. (Maybe they are better for users in the USA, but, if so, that does not help me because I do not access the internet from the USA.)

  22. MixedFarmer75

    I find this interesting. My business machine will probably never run on 10s. I have a piece of third party software that is Win32 and doubt they will ever move it to UWP. I pay a fairly large fee to keep it updated. All my other machines I could probably use 10s. I would consider myself a very average user. The hate on edge I just don't understand, but I guess I only care about an ad blocker and a password manager. Edge already has that covered. Only on a rare occasion do I run into a website that will not run on edge. Biggest beef would be when I go to phone (HTC 10) nothing can sync over, but with the password manager that is, for me at least, not a big deal.

  23. MattHewitt

    Can someone explain to me the benefits of a Windows 10 S machine over a Windows 10 Pro machine with the "Allow Apps from Store Only" selected in the Settings Menu? Are there any?

  24. crfonseca

    Not supporting Hyper-V and the WSL isn't really an issue, to the intended audience.

    You'll notice that Chromebooks also do not support any form of virtualization nor native Linux apps.

    Also, those are things that 99% of Windows users don't need. Or even know what they are.

    And Edge is a pretty good browser, it's fast, light on resources, at least compared with the competition, and pretty stable, so again, it's enough for quite enough for a lot of people. Sure, there's the sync across devices that only works between Windows devices, but then again, most people don't have 10 devices they regularly use. And with the incredibly annoying trend of apps using internal browsers (I'm looking at you Twitter and Facebook!) using a browser on mobile devices is becoming more and more annoying - there's always that extra step of openning stuff in the browser.

    • Waethorn

      In reply to crfonseca:

      Hyper-V *IS* included. It's listed in the comparison on the Windows Store - just do a search for "Windows 10 Pro" and see it under "S".


      What I'm thinking here is that they allow for full VM's, but aren't willing to allow Bash because it needs a Win32 commandline executable to set up the environment in the first place.



    • mjw149

      In reply to crfonseca:That's a poor way to approach it. You want to compete with Chromebook, but you also have to be smart about offering unique features. Windows 10 S in many ways is just a MacOS where the unlock feature is $50. So why not include all built-in Windows features like Mac does? Put your best foot forward?
      As a practical matter, yes, Edge as the only browser and Bing as the only search is much more limiting, but also kind of the point.


  25. PeteB

    "Good: Windows Store apps are more reliable, safer, and perform better than desktop applications."

    PERFORM BETTER? I know MS pays promotional fees to this site but have you lost your mind?

  26. jrickel96

    I believe most PCs moving forward will come with Windows 10 S. OEMs will probably pay reduced prices on licenses (if anything at all) and most of the licensing cost burden will be shifted to consumers who decide to upgrade to be able to run EXEs.


    Fact is, most people HATE that they have to clean up or pay someone to clean up TMP files, clean the registry, etc. This solves the problem. The lack of apps and issues in the Store continue to be problems that MS needs to work on - and I suspect some of the app story will be addressed at BUILD.


    But there are also a lot of large customers that will want this. How many business customers that issue devices will love this? How much time and money will the IT department save by not having to worry about users mucking up their devices? How much will that USB key setup process that allowed 600 devices to be setup in a single day appeal to them? I can see large healthcare providers wanting this (and this is an area where Chromebook will never do well due to HIPAA). Would the Feds, State, and local govs like this too? School systems - obviously. MS also showed a large portfolio for schools that offers much more than Chromebooks.


    The college student play is obvious. And this is also where the problem of Chromebooks should be addressed. As I grew up, my schools were filled to the brim with Macs. We were told for years that all the kids were using Apples and that when we hit the workforce, the PC would face serious problems because of it. It never happened. Why? We had PCs at home and the workforce required we use them. While SOME business has gone Chromebook, I seriously doubt any of the most productive jobs have. Hospitals and medical never will. The Feds won't. Both of them have major security concerns that Google can't deal with. Most engineers, etc won't. I also work with a lot of very early 20 somethings and their schools began to have Chromebooks, but they found that no universities used them. Every single university here in Florida uses PCs. All the labs are PCs. The get a copy of Office 365 when they start school that has to be installed on PC or Mac. And several of their friends have run into problems because their schools got them Chromebooks and they weren't ready for using the PC - and they didn't use a full on Desktop much at home either. They used their phones and tablets - and many were amazed at how powerful the machines are and how easy it is to do complex things.


    On the EDU side, the selling point is above. A more robust ecosystem with a lot of tools MS provides and the need to prepare kids for the realities of workforce. If Chromebook has sustained quarters of business growth then maybe there's cause for concern, but if the end of last year was a mere blip then the reality is school systems do kids a disservice when they don't train them to use Powerpoint or get them familiar with a system they will likely have to work on for many fields. Want to be an architect? You're not going to use a Chromebook.


    If the play works, we'll see increasing numbers of newly bought machines that only will install from the Store. We'll see large medical systems like the Cleveland Clinic ONLY use Windows 10 S. We'll see government at all levels only use this version as they deploy Windows 10 S. And if you're Google, all those people won't be using Chrome unless you move it into the Store. I think it will happen eventually. Firefox is much more likely sooner.


    I think BUILD will reveal a lot.


    As bad as a program as it is, iTunes would be a huge get. Unlikely? Sure. But Microsoft has done Apple some solids in showing up at their pressers and rolling out Office to the iPad Pro or supporting the Touch Bar. I don't expect Apple to do Microsoft a solid, but maybe it's time to put iTunes in the Store via Centennial.


    I also expect tools at BUILD to make converted Win32 apps to be able to be made more touch friend and possibly a way to make a subset of Win32 features available when a machine goes into tablet mode.


    But based on current numbers, it's possible that there will be over 200 million Windows 10 S machines a year after launch JUST due to new purchases (I'm assuming 50-60M will upgrade). If large customers like your Cleveland Clinics etc are offered a way to convert current or future installs, those numbers could be higher.


    And this is also setting the stage for whatever they may due with Qualcomm at the end of the year. I don't expect a Surface Phone per se, but I expect a Surface Ultra Mobile PC that will redefine what you can put in your pocket that can be used as a phone, but can do much more. I'm very interested to see what Panos and team are doing there because I suspect something is coming, but it'll be designed to launch a new device category based on Qualcomm with Win32 compat via emulation - at least when it's in Desktop mode.

    • mjw149

      In reply to jrickel96: Itunes will be sunsetted before it's ported to another platform.


    • hrlngrv

      In reply to jrickel96:

      UWP packaged desktop software will run fundamentally differently than unpackaged desktop software? Or would desktop software installed from the store write some settings to a pseudoregistry and use pseudo-temp files?

    • Quixote2

      In reply to jrickel96: I agree. Windows 10 S is the operating system of the future and paves the way to the computerized phone as your only computing device. The 10S phone of the near future will wireless connect to your keyboard/mouse/monitor/printer at your home/office/or laptop during commuting. The pocket device will also connect to rental I/O terminals and hotel furnished terminals. All software and data files are in the cloud. You have no need of virus protection software or backup hardware. Updated pocket hardware/phone is painless, just input your encrypted password on the new device.
      Microsoft will have to improve the store software capability within a year to attain acceptance of the "new proposed computing/communication standard", the Windows 10S pocket device.
      I will believe Microsoft when Quicken is available as a Windows 10S store application.


    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to jrickel96: Too little, too late. I can't think of ONE person that I know who this PC, with Windows 10 S, would be suitable for. NOT ONE.


  27. skane2600

    "Windows Store apps are more reliable, safer, and perform better than desktop applications."


    It's hard for non-existent UWP versions of desktop applications to perform better. Why don't we wait until such applications are available (if ever) and we'll see. As always, the quality of programs, no matter what platform they are running on, will be specific to that application. It's meaningless to generalize.

  28. AlexKven

    Microsoft finally cracked it, huh? The key to making Windows and the store successful is to block people from using the apps they want to use, starting with the web browser. Great idea. It's not like Microsoft tried this before or anything?


    "The future of Windows." The only major reason this is better than RT at all is because you can pay $50 to leave it.

  29. Waethorn

    "If a hardware device works with Windows 10, it works with Windows 10 S."


    Not if it needs a Win32 driver installer.

  30. wolters

    Since Windows Mobile is pretty much a non factor, using Edge is tough if you want to sync with a mobile browser. Wonder if there ever would be a multi-platform version or Edge or perhaps a way to sync with Chrome.

  31. hrlngrv

    | Windows 10 S is ideal for people who have everything they need in the Windows Store . . .

    And over-the-air free TV is ideal for people who have everything they need on the 2 channels they can tune in. What % of Windows PC users does that describe?

  32. eeisner

    I'm really intrigued by Windows 10S. My work day is built around a browser (Sadly, Firefox as Amazon Vendor/Seller services are built to work best with Firefox), Office, (sadly) Skype, and Zoom for videoconferencing. If Firefox ever makes its way to the store, and Zoom finds a way to work in-browser, this would be a very doable solution for me, especially on a light-weight computer for travel. I'm very happy with my Surface Book, but when I upgrade I may seriously consider Windows 10 S.

  33. Kritza

    I was wondering if you see Microsoft allowing full versions of Windows 10 to go into an 'S' mode. Even if it required a reboot to enter/leave that mode, I think it would be a nice feature.


    As an example, I have a Galaxy TabPro S that I try to run exclusively on store apps for battery/performance reasons. I have some exceptions, but they are largely work related items that I have installed as a "just in case" scenario. I almost never use them, and if I could toggle the device into a mode that disabled those applications (temporarily), I'd be happy to do so. Assuming there are benefits to security/battery life/performance.

  34. FreeJAC

    Boo about App-V! I guess that would be seen as a workaround for desktop apps. Perhaps the O/S hackers can figure out how to get it loaded.


    Paul, I think you can remove iTunes as one of those must have desktop apps. We have 3 iPhones, 2iPods, 1 Android, 7 PCs, and 0 installations of iTunes.

  35. Otto Gunter

    Windows 10 S is to Windows 10 what iOS is to macOS. And about time, I never could figure out why Windows RT even existed, why didn't non-pro Surfaces have a phone OS, like iPhone and iPad? Not everyone wants/needs Chrome or iTunes, certainly not me. I can hardly wait to get a Windows 10 S tablet and dump my Android tablet; the transition between it and my Pro 4 will be seamless and sweet!

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to Otto Gunter: I think you're totally wrong. If Apple could set aside its exclusivity and "luxury" aura (unrealistic, I know), iOS would be a damn brilliant thing. Apple is letting MacOS die because their future is the iPad Pro. Over time, iOS will become a "beefier" interface, and younger folks, especially, will be able to be quite productive on it, negating the need for a traditional PC/OS. I predict that Apple will soon be releasing laptops (and someday even "puck" PC's) that run iOS, not MacOS. The advantage for iOS is clear....the iOS App store is massive, and has literally everything the casual consumer could want. If you can get a few "PRO" apps to run on iOS as well, then you've covered 98%? of individuals on the planet, good enough, right?. You can't say that about Microsoft and what they have to offer anymore. It's too little too late for them, just like mobile. Windows 10 S will not run some key things normal people want, and that means it is DOA DOA DOA. Also, to young people, the way you interact wit Windows (double-click, right-click) feels very clunky and unnatural. Because of young people and their computing preferences, iOS-desktop will someday become a powerful thing, but not nearly as dominant as Android Desktop will be, due to it's price, open-ness, and ability to launch any .APK in a desktop environment.
      • skane2600

        In reply to Jorge Garcia:

        Yes, Apple could conceivably modify iOS to become a viable productivity OS and could make laptops using it. But at the end of the day all that would be achieved is the creation of an OS that doesn't run the Mac apps that their current customers need. It would be Apple's version of Windows RT. BTW, in case you haven't noticed, there's a App store for Mac OS too.

        • Jorge Garcia

          In reply to skane2600: Their "current" customers. Their future customers, now kids, will not want to deal with MacOS, muuuuuch less Windows, trust me. When I was 9, I was EAGER to learn what every single mouse click an adult performed was for. Today, kids and teens simply want interfaces that are more "modern", they'll never voluntarily warm up to a full PC OS unless an employer forces them to, or they enjoy highest-level PC gaming.


  36. Waethorn

    "things like Hyper-V ...are not available."


    Wrong again, Thurrott.


    Check the Windows Store. Hyper-V is clearly listed.

  37. obarthelemy

    "Good: Windows Store apps are more reliable, safer, and perform better than desktop applications."

    Frankly, I wouldn't even grant them that. A huge majority of Store apps are scams that do nothing except steal your credentials and data, so even though they're "safe" from a system standpoint, they're far from safe from a user standpoint, especially the dumb ones... thank god there are few of those /s

    As for "performing".... well, must of the stuff I need to get done gets done a lot better, easier, faster, with legacy apps, not Metro apps. So no, not that either.

    • PeteB

      In reply to obarthelemy:

      Yeah I nearly spit out my coffee reading that metro apps "perform better" than desktop programs. Hell, the Edge browser alone still freezes half the time I try opening a new tab.

      The only rational explanation is Paul copy/pasted that list from MS PR copy and put his own "good/bad" in front of each marketing line. Because otherwise, good lord.

  38. lhavenst

    Oddly the Opera browser exists in the Windows App Store but Chrome and Firefox doesn't. I suspect it is more Google than Microsoft in the case of the missing browser apps. Sure they wouldn't be default but that is not a deal breaker. Defaulting to Edge is a good security safety net.

  39. Jhambi

    I recall an article you wrote some time ago proclaiming that Windows RT is the future of Windows. I guess this is the logical continuation of RT ? I'm not a big gamer but does this mean that Steam games will not run on Windows 10 S ?

  40. arknu

    "Windows 10 is configured with Bing as the default search engine, and you cannot change it to a different search engine"

    Really? They try yet again to push their crappy search engine on people. It may be OK in the US, but in much of Europe it is a complete joke.

  41. stephen888

    All the bad points are really the same thing: no Win32 apps.

    Also the whole point of 10S... how to get free steam wallet codes


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