Microsoft Opens Up Windows 10 S to Developers, Education Customers

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 26 Comments

Microsoft Opens Up Windows 10 S to Developers, Education Customers

Microsoft announced today that it will make Windows 10 S available to developers and education customers. But sorry, Windows Insiders and other enthusiasts: It will not make Windows 10 S available for testing to consumers.

Windows 10 S should be live on MSDN by the time you read this. You will need a (paid, expensive) MSDN subscription to access this software.

“We’re releasing [Windows 10 S] today to developers because we want to be sure they are testing Windows 10 S,” a Microsoft statement notes. “We especially want EDU-focused developers to continue to innovate and make apps that teachers and students would use from the Windows Store.”

Next week, Microsoft will make Windows 10 S available to its Education customers alongside an Update Assistant tool. This will help these customers “make informed buying decisions regarding Windows 10 Pro EDU or Windows 10 S for their schools,” Microsoft says.

But it’s not for you. So Microsoft has not answered my call to open up Windows 10 S to Windows Insiders for external testing.

“This is very much meant only for developers and IT pros, not consumers to broadly download/switch to Windows 10 S,” Microsoft notes.

Maybe someday.


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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Microsoft Opens Up Windows 10 S to Developers, Education Customers”

  1. Darmok N Jalad

    What does this mean exactly? Can't you already place an artificial limit on apps on regular 10 by not allowing non-store programs? Is that all it takes to get the 10S experience, or is there more to it than that?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Darmok N Jalad:

      You can only restrict INSTALLING new non-Store software with the non-S Settings switch. It doesn't prevent running anything already installed or any & all portable software. Re that last part, most malware EXEs don't need installation.

      • Marius Muntean

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        This reason to use 10S is simply pathetic for MS. If one can afford a pc/laptop with windows 10 but cannot afford a damn 30-40$/year antivirus license, it's one's fault any malware gets inside. If one's too dumb and idiot to click a link that says "You won $100000", no one else is to blame, but yourself.

  2. akshar

    Loved this Windows 10 Os from the Microsoft team out of the other os 8.1 pro,8.Best things about Windows 10 and windows 10s is its user interference totally different and impressive.Do you know? i loved the terrarium tv which helps to stream free movies it is working fine from terrarium tv for windows 10 free download.On previews versions its strucking like Hell

  3. Skolvikings

    This is good news. MSDN subscribers pay to have access to this stuff.

  4. SvenJ

    Hmm, I have an MSDN subscription. Wonder how this would run on an HP Stream 7.

  5. chrisrut

    Paul, you make it sound like the those with MSDN licenses are getting some kind of a "special" freebie here, regarding Windows 10S. But as a reminder, the entire reason we shell out big bucks every year for our MSDN license is precisely to have access to everything. If I need to build a datacenter full of Windows Servers to test something - I can just do it. The new stuff, the old stuff, it's all there... So of course 10S is available on MSDN. That is in every way normal - that's how it works.

    But there's one caveat readers should understand: MSDN licenses are for development only. Not for business use. Not for personal use. Development use, only. There is no such thing as a free lunch (except maybe for those Education guys...:-)

    On a related note: as unlikely as I am to accept the limitations of 10S for my personal use, it's dependence on the Store is of great interest from a security perspective. In healthcare insurance, we walk a tightrope strung between the laissez-faire of BYO on one side, and the need to unequivocally prevent malware execution on the other. The Store is already being given serious consideration as part of the solution. So, maybe 10S isn't as stupid as it seems.

  6. dicebot

    I never knew the economics of how valuable it is just to have customers in your store or on your service (and thus how they sell XBoxs at a loss), but does it not make just as much sense to make Windows 10S free for everyone? They remove the hassle of installing Windows on a new computer and get people on their platform, while restricting them to the Store and thus providing revenue. And then the upgrade process to full Windows 10 is greatly simplified.

    • Marius Muntean

      In reply to dicebot:

      You fail to realize MS is not in the position to force and restrict anything to anyone! Their app store is a complete garbage, their Edge browser is half baked. Who can torture himself that much to actually use 10S and not upgrade to Pro?? well, fanboys maybe.

    • Lars lalaa

      In reply to dicebot:

      But who wants to use it? I think Microsoft has to offer a better version of Windows with Windows S to make people using it. For the average consumer Windows S is crap. Let’s be honest here. No Chrome or any other browser and being stuck with Bing. It’s not appealing. They should offer S with better build-in apps, superior and a newer version of Fluent Design and the old 15GB or even more Onedrive storage for free.

      Other than that and regardless of all the goodies, I truly believe it’s not possible to create a vibrant app store with a desktop OS these days. It’s going nowhere. The time will come when Microsoft puts its market share at stake (which isn’t so much worth anymore) and offer a subscription based model and 10S for free. Honestly, this model should have been there right from the 10 start. They should have said; “You can stay on W7, no problem, but W10 offers you better security, vastly superior gaming and a more modern OS. Just pay a small annual fee. You only surf the web? Take S for free. However, the majority of people who actually care about a PC are sitting on their free Pro version now, the PC market doesn’t grow and the store doesn’t generate much revenue because nobody uses it.

  7. Narg

    You will need a (paid, expensive, worth it) MSDN subscription to access this software. Still ticked they got rid of the TechNet stuff though...

  8. bbold

    So why don't they just let anyone download this? That would mean more Windows installs. It would be especially helpful if 10 S was actually *faster* and lighter than 10 Home or Pro, that way it could be used on older netbooks and tablets that we all have sitting around. Seems like that would be a no-brainer, if MS is really trying to seek out new adopters of the OS.

    P.S. I'm an education customer, does this mean I can download 10 S on an older device to use? (For free, I mean.)

    • Narg

      In reply to bbold:

      I agree 100%. If Microsoft want's this concept to take off, they should offer it at no cost for download. Charge appropriately for upgrades to Home and Pro.

      • bbold

        In reply to Narg:

        It would be a good way to 'lure' new users into using full Windows 10 Pro, which is the point, right? Lure them in using 10 S, cripple them a little, make them pay to switch to Pro. You've got yourself a nice little business ;) Haha

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to bbold:

      If everyone who downloaded it for free could also upgrade to Pro for free, that'd be BAD NEWS for MSFT and its OEMs. I suspect MSFT doesn't care whether MSDN or Edu users did this, but it really wouldn't want everyone to do this. I have no idea whether MSFT could configure its activation servers to be able to distinguish Windows 10 S licenses preinstalled on new PCs from free license kits installed on existing machines or new VMs, but I figure it costs something, and MSFT wants to avoid that cost.

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        If they gave it away for free, they wouldn't give free upgrades to Pro. Probably wouldn't give a discount either. Maybe $100 instead of 50 to move to Pro.

      • bbold

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        After the first of the year, they could offer 10 S for free (with caveats, and proper marketing) and then charge $50-75 to upgrade to Pro from there. That would be a great way to create a halo-effect, similar to what happened with iPod/iPhone and Mac.

    • anchovylover

      In reply to bbold:

      Maybe MS are trying to manage the roll out. Given W10 S can only use Edge, Bing and Store apps there is bound to be criticism inbound from some people. The last thing MS need is another RT public relations disaster. MS are wise I believe to be cautious.

      • bbold

        In reply to anchovylover:

        Well, it all depends how they market this. If they market it as "a path to full Windows 10 Pro" and give 10 S for free to anyone, then after the first of the year, they could charge $50-100 to upgrade to Pro for anyone using 10 S. It would be a way to secure more adopters and users of Windows services and products. Halo effect, like with the iPod/iPhone and the Mac.

  9. skane2600

    It's "One Windows" but we want people to test their UWP apps on Windows 10S because it really isn't?

    • anchovylover

      In reply to skane2600:

      I believe even MS know the One Windows vision collapsed with WMobile. You don't hear the term " Unified Platform " coming out of Redmond much any more. They are more realistic now.

      • skane2600

        In reply to anchovylover:

        The reality is that at best, it was just some common code across platforms, not a single API that covered all the functionality of all the devices with identical results. From a users point of view and to significant degree, a developers point of view, it wasn't that important. You couldn't create a sophisticated app that worked well across all devices unless you followed certain guidelines and of course, if you had to rely on features that not all devices had, you couldn't make it cross-platform at all.

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