Last month, we reported that Microsoft is replacing Windows 10 S with a new S Mode in Windows 10 that’s going to be available across almost all the different Windows 10 SKUs.
Today, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore confirmed the change on Twitter, originally reported by PC World. Belfiore says the new S Mode in Windows 10 will be available next year as a “mode” for existing Windows 10 SKUs instead of a completely separate SKU.
We use Win10S as an option for schools or businesses that want the ‘low-hassle’/ guaranteed performance version. Next year 10S will be a “mode” of existing versions, not a distinct version. SO … I think it’s totally fine/good that it’s not mentioned.
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) March 7, 2018
Once the new S Mode in Windows 10 is available, Microsoft and its OEM partners will be selling devices that come with the S Mode enabled out of the box. And to access all the features of the OS and get the full version, users would have to pay $49 to upgrade if they are running Windows 10 Pro.
Microsoft has been positioning Windows 10 S as a more secure version of the OS as it prevents users from downloading applications outside of the Microsoft Store. But once the new S Mode launches, it could create a lot of confusion amongst regular consumers who expect to get the full version of the OS when buying a new device. Unless the new mode is advertised appropriately on devices that come with it enabled out of the box, Microsoft could face a ton of backlash from users who are asked to pay to upgrade.