On Tuesday Microsoft announced a new flavor of Windows dubbed ‘Windows 10 S’. This is a new version of Windows geared towards education facilities but will be available to anyone who wants it. OEM’s like Dell, Asus, and Toshiba will be shipping sub $200 PCs sometime this summer.
So what is it and how is it different than Windows 10?
The big difference with this new version of Windows is that all software you intend to install on it must be obtained thru the online Windows Store. Right now you can’t even obtain Office 365 from the Microsoft Store, although that is supposed to be changing soon. The only browser currently available in the store is Edge, so if you’re a fan of Chrome or Firefox, you're out of luck - at least for now. And most certainly it will be a cold day in hell when you can get iTunes in the MS Store.
What’s the point?
Microsoft has created a smaller, snappier, less expensive version of the OS that OEMs can load onto lower cost hardware to compete with Chromebooks which are owning a huge share of the education market right now. Also, because all software must be obtained thru the store, there is almost zero risk of downloading bloatware, malware, adware or viruses making it a much safer environment.
Should I get it?
In theory I believe Microsoft is on the right track wanting to make a more locked down version of their flagship OS but I don’t see this going anywhere until many more of the most popular software is available in the Microsoft Store. At this time I wouldn’t go out of your way to obtain this version of Windows 10, especially if you’re on Windows 10 already. If you find a computer you want that only comes with Windows 10 S you’re still in luck because for $50 you can easily upgrade your S to the full grown up version of Windows 10.
What does the S stand for?
As with most naming conventions Microsoft comes up with, they aren’t saying specifically but ‘Safety’, ‘Security’, and ‘Silly’ are a just a few guesses floating around.
5/3/17 - Tom Fisher - The Tech Frood