You’ll Be Able to Get Out of Windows 10 in S Mode Via the Store

Posted on April 23, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows 10 with 12 Comments

Microsoft Announces the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Earlier this year, we exclusively revealed Microsoft’s plans to replace Windows 10 S with a new S Mode that’s available across all major SKUs of the OS. Following our leak, Microsoft officially confirmed the new S Mode, stating that all customers buying new Windows 10 PCs will be able to get it with S Mode enabled out of the box.

Unlike with Windows 10 S, however, Microsoft made it clear that the company will not charge customers to get out of S Mode and run the full-fledged version of the OS. Redmond previously charged users $50 to upgrade from Windows 10 S to the full version of the OS. But with the S Mode, that will no longer be a thing — and as it turns out, all of this will be possible through the Microsoft Store.

As we are nearing the release of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (Redstone 4), Microsoft quietly pushed out a new “Switch out of S Mode” listing on the Store that will allow users to upgrade from S Mode to the full version of the OS at no charge. S Mode is expected to be available once Microsoft ships the April 2018 Update, so this certainly isn’t coincident.

Microsoft also confirmed that users will not be able to go back to S Mode once they upgrade to the full-version, stating that the “switch is one way” and users will not be able to “go back to S mode once you have made the switch.” This is particularly absurd on Microsoft’s side as more users running the S Mode is supposed to help its business, so it isn’t quite clear why the company isn’t providing a switch to go back to S Mode for those who may prefer the slimmed down version of the OS. Maybe there is a technical reason involved, but the lack of versatility here remains a mystery.

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “You’ll Be Able to Get Out of Windows 10 in S Mode Via the Store”

  1. skane2600

    So basically Microsoft will be forcing users to access the Store if they want to run real Windows. Unless S mode being available implies that non-S mode PCs will also be available.

  2. cybersaurusrex

    The one-way upgrade seems very limiting. Couldn't they create a dual-boot situation? Work in S Mode when you can, but reboot into regular Windows 10 when necessary...

  3. hrlngrv

    . . . all of this will be possible through the Microsoft Store . . .

    MSFT no longer charging for dropping S mode like a cold turd is only possible through the MSFT Store?

    If the only way to switch out of S mode is through the MSFT Store, what a pathetic way for MSFT artificially to boost Store visits. What'd come next? Visit the Store to activate Font Viewer?

    As for no switching back, does that include recovery partitions? That is, if a machine ships in S mode, would the recovery feature not be able to return the machine to its shipped state, that is, using S mode? If so, why bother with the Store to switch out of S mode? Run recovery on new systems.

  4. Angusmatheson

    Mac has a wonderful setting - you can allow programs from all developers, or from verified developers, or just from the store. An admistrator can switch between these states at any time. This allows me to turn it off to put needed programs on my doctors computers, then turn it back to store only so they can’t mess anything up. I don’t understand why windows S mode can’t do the same thing.

    • JudaZuk

      In reply to Angusmatheson:

      So just like Windows 10 then ...this new Windows 10 S thing is just pointless and it adds nothing. What you are describing has been possible for a long time , before Windows 10 S ever was mentioned.

  5. skane2600

    Given the "jitter" concerning S, (separate OS with paid upgrade to Pro, a default mode of Windows going forward, a free upgrade, upgrade requiring the Store) it makes me wonder if Microsoft's strategy is still in flux. It seems quite plausible that S mode will change again before appearing on new PCs.

  6. PeteB

    They should call it JailBreak

  7. RobertJasiek

    Making it a one-way, one-time switch means that what is called a "mode" is none.

    Is visiting the store required to switch? If yes, then I do not buy a device with Windows 10 S preinstalled because I do not want to use the Microsoft store at all. It would be another Microsoft stupidity to harm itself, the OEMs and endconsumers.

  8. jimchamplin

    While everyone in the standard comments have conniptions about having to use the Store app - would they scream and cry about the software center tools in Linux distros? The Mac App Store? - let’s talk about the brain dead and completely arbitrary decision to make the switch one-way.

    Is this a marketing department decision or is it a “hard computer science problem?” Seems like its pure chicken shit either way they try to frame it.


  9. IanYates82

    My guess is that it's technical.

    Keep in mind, Windows (and other OSes) don't validate signatures on every exe & dll when an app runs - that's just too expensive.

    So you are in S mode, switch out, install something (even malware). Switching back leaves that in place. It also means you could have replaced system files, changed key registry bits, etc. It's a *massive* game of whack-a-mole that they couldn't do and still provide the "guarantees" of S mode.

    Allowing for users to install an app into a container makes some sense - you could stay in S mode but install an app carefully. It's definitely not a grandma-style thing MS could support though. That's like putting your terminal server into "install mode" (before the days of MSI-based installers that were Terminal Services aware), or the transparent file redirection done by Vista upwards (writes to C:windows & c:program files silently redirected) for apps that weren't marked as being Vista-aware. It's just too brittle.

    But a power-user mode where you could do your own centennial-like packaging of an app would be nice. It'd work for something simple like a calculator, but things like Chrome have system services they also install with multiple processes. They also need to write back to things like your downloads folder. So they can't be 100% sandboxed and the installer is not some simple xcopy deployment plus maybe some registry things. The packaging of something like that is best done by the app developer. And unfortunately, that's not likely to happen (entirely separate from the MS rule saying something like Chrome needs to use the Edge engine)