Microsoft Finally Provides Windows 10 S to Insiders

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 16 Comments

Microsoft Finally Provides Windows 10 S to Insiders

Belatedly answering my call, Microsoft today has finally made Windows 10 S available for testing to Insiders.

“Windows 10 S brings the experiences Windows users know and love, streamlined for security and performance,” Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar explains. “By exclusively using apps in the Windows Store and ensuring that you browse safely with Microsoft Edge and keeps you running fast and secure. It is ideal for people who have everything they need in the Windows Store and prefer the peace of mind of secure and verified Windows Store applications.”

As you may know, I called on Microsoft to open up Windows 10 S to external testing, since the OS was developed internally and in secret like it is the 1990s all over again. Specifically, I suggested the Windows Insider program as the obvious choice for this external testing.

“Windows Insiders are one of the few groups of people that would actually be interested in trying this system today and making it work,” I wrote. “And their feedback about why it’s not working, or the ways in which it does not work, would be invaluable.”

Since then, Microsoft has slowly started opening up Windows 10 S to external testing. It started with developers and educational customers in late July. Now, almost a month later, Insiders can finally get in on the action.

To do so, you must first join the Windows Insider program, of course. More important, you must have a spare PC with Windows 10 Pro (or Enterprise) running on it. Windows 10 Home will not do.

Then, you can run the online Windows 10 S installer to clean install the OS on your PC: It will wipe out your current install of Windows 10 Pro. Once that’s done, you can optionally test Insider builds of Windows 10 S just as you do on Windows 10 Home or Pro today.

Godspeed. As I’ve been pointing out in my series Living with Windows 10 S, this new platform is not ready for prime time. So maybe we can all help Microsoft get it right for the next go-round.


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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Microsoft Finally Provides Windows 10 S to Insiders”

  1. DrWindows

    This is exactly the same installer that's already available for three weeks or so.

    They just promoted it in the build 16273 announcement

    • bbold

      In reply to DrWindows:

      Exactly. When Leo on Windows Weekly said he found the installer a few weeks back, I had actually read about it from Windows Central a few days before that and installed it on a Home machine, which would not activate, but I noticed "for just $199!" in the Store I could activate it. lol I did notice that anyone could download it, though, and it was open to everyone not just insiders.

  2. JerryH

    I wonder if Microsoft will ever publicly mention the numbers for Windows 10s. For example how many Surface Laptops still have Windows 10s after 1 month or the like. Or how many Windows Insiders have a machine setup for Windows 10s that has been online in the last month. Doubtful though given the state of Windows 10s and the number of people who will be happy running it today.

  3. Ravi Tx

    how about bringing free apps we use daily to windows store. Apps like Everything search and GIMP and all kind of "portable apps"

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Ravi Tx:

      Talk to the developers of those apps. They would listen to their users faster than they would listen to Microsoft.

    • longhorn

      In reply to Ravi Tx:

      Petition Microsoft to bring Win32 apps to the Store. Microsoft wants your feedback (or so they say). Sometimes apps are Windows only. Sometimes Windows + Mac. Sometimes Windows, Mac and Linux. You can't expect developers to create two versions for Windows. They still need to maintain the Win32 apps for Windows 7 and those run perfectly fine on Windows 10 too. At this point in time there isn't much incentive for developers. Why should they care about the Store? It's not iOS where the Store is the way and the only way.

  4. SvenJ

    I get the Win 10 Pro initial requirement. Probably hard to prevent Home users from installing S and then immediately doing the free upgrade to Pro. I'm sure one or two folks would, if they could.

    I did load S on a Dell Venue 8 from an MSDN iso. That's been out for a while. Had an initial issue during setup where it didn't understand the WiFi card. Once I got all installed with a local account though, it seemed to figure it out, accessed the right drivers and got on line. Thought I was hosed for a bit though.

    Everything seems to work OK. For what this 8" tablet is for, I really see no reason S wouldn't be fine on it.

    • mjw149

      In reply to SvenJ:

      But why is the free upgrade to Pro at all? Why not to Home? Because this is just going to be Home someday, I think, and now less 'Pro' Pro will be Home for all practical purposes.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to SvenJ:

      The free upgrade to Pro won’t be in effect here. It will be full price. That offer is for buyers of Windows 10 S *computers,* not all 10 S users.

  5. NazmusLabs

    This installer was there 2 weeks ago for pro users. I emailed you about it. People in Windows weekly told you about it, but you brushed it off in Windows weekly saying it'll will not activate, which it would for pro users. Now I'm a bit sad. ?

  6. bbold

    This has actually been the case for awhile, at least 2-3 weeks. Remember when Leo said he found the installer on WW? That was actually open to anyone to try who had Windows 10 Pro. (Not just insiders.) I can also confirm that if you install it on a Home machine, it will definitely install, but it won't activate. I also noticed a redirected link in the store says you can purchase Windows 10 S for $199! Not sure if that is still there or has been edited since, but that's a pretty insane fee. I'm guessing that's the "fee" for both Pro and 10 S?

  7. Rycott

    I do wonder why they are limiting it to Pro only devices to test. The actual unit I would test it on is a 10 inch 2-in-1 that uses only store apps.

    But it's on Windows 10 Home so I have no interest in spending $130 AU to upgrade it to Pro to downgrade it to S.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to Rycott:

      10 S is built around the Pro code. If you’re running Home, then you’ve got to first do an anytime upgrade to Pro, then install the S bits. Same as how you can’t do it with enterprise.

  8. Tony Barrett

    What Dona's comments actually translate as are "By forcing you to only use apps from our lame, barren app store that we pray get's used more and generate's the revenue we'd really like, and only being able to use our new, function limited, data slurping browser called Edge that you can't change, we hope you have a happy time using our new, crippled, lock-in O/S where we have a say and control almost everything you can do". Sounds about right. Welcome to the future of Windows.

  9. Marius Muntean

    :)) lol, so they expect one to stay with this locked down mediocre variant, and be a guinea pig for them? :)))

  10. snapch23

    So if you know want to get screen recorder windows 10 the here is the website.