Microsoft’s holding aim during Chromebooks and MacBooks comparison with Windows 10 S, a new chronicle of Windows 10 designed inaugural for educational use. But schools alone aren’t Microsoft’s aim audience, and while a new handling complement shares a same underlying skeleton as a customary chronicle of Windows 10, there are some sheer differences too.
Here’s all we need to know about Windows 10 S, mostly from a mainstream consumer perspective—and starting with a doubt everybody’s asking.
Okay, so what’s a S for?
Windows arch Terry Myerson claims it stands for 4 opposite aspects of a handling system:
- Superior performance
- Streamlined for simplicity
- “The essence of Windows 10”
And sure, those all apply. Even a final one! But really, a S could mount for “Store.”
What is Windows 10 S?
Windows 10 S is a chronicle of Windows 10 that can only run apps from Microsoft’s Windows Store. Traditional desktop program will work on Windows 10 S, yet usually if a developer packages it adult as a Windows app in a Windows Store first. (For example, Microsoft is bringing a full desktop Office apps to a Windows Store to support a Windows 10 S release.)
Microsoft screens Windows Store apps, and Windows 10 protects things even some-more by regulating those apps in secure containers that can’t entrance other tools of a handling system. That keeps program from mucking with your registry or spawning tons of processes, that helps a complement run discerning and foot as quick on day one-hundred as day one. The startup routine should take reduction than 15 seconds, and a login routine reduction than 5 seconds.
Those perks are a bonus to beleaguered propagandize admins and teachers, and Microsoft’s answer to a quick arise of Google Chromebooks in a classroom. (We’ll get some-more into that later.) Windows 10 S laptops will also be sole to consumers, however.
What if we wish to run desktop software?
You can’t, unless it’s been finished as a Windows Store app. Trying to run other program will prompt a pop-up revelation we it’s banned, and a thought for a identical app in a Windows Store.
If we really need to run desktop software, Microsoft creates it easy to ascent from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro. (There’s no apparent approach to modify to Windows 10 Home.) A couple during a bottom of a aforementioned pop-up will move we to a Windows 10 Pro ascent page in a Windows Store, where an director can start a implement process. No, propagandize kids won’t be means to do it themselves, and that’s a good thing—this is a one-way process. Once you’ve switched to Windows 10 Pro, we can’t go behind to Windows 10 S.
Depending how where your Windows 10 S device came from, however, that Windows 10 Pro ascent might or might not cost we money.
How many is an ascent to Windows 10 Pro?
Like we said, it depends. Educators will be means to ascent propagandize systems for free. If we buy Microsoft’s swanky new Surface Laptop or another Windows 10 S laptop that costs some-more than $799, we can ascent to Windows 10 Pro for giveaway by a finish of 2017, or for $49 after. If we collect adult any other Windows 10 S device it’ll be $49 to ascent to Windows 10 Pro from day one. PCWorld’s Mark Hachman digs into a details here.
How many does Windows 10 S cost?
Trick question! You won’t be means to buy Windows 10 S by itself, usually on inclination that come with it preloaded.
What Windows 10 S laptops are there?
Microsoft immediately muddied a messaging waters with a Window 10 S flagship device, a $1,000 and adult Surface Laptop, that has many some-more in common with Apple’s MacBook Air than a multitude of Chromebooks many Windows 10 S computers will contest with.
Most Windows 10 S PCs will be many some-more modest. The HP ProBook x360 Education Edition and Acer TravelMate Spin B1 Convertible are dual of a first, with any costing $299. We’ve also left hands-on with Dell’s Latitude 11 EDU. Microsoft says Toshiba, Samsung, Fujitsu, and Asus will also offer Windows 10 S laptops, with prices starting during $189.
Look for Windows 10 S laptops to arrive over a summer, maybe starting with a Surface Laptop, that will strike a streets on Jun 15. It’s misleading if PC makers devise to sell many Windows 10 S laptops to consumers, or will instead concentration on approach sales to schools.
Any other gotchas?
Not many—Windows 10 S is mostly only Windows 10. It offers Cortana, Windows Hello biometric authentication, and all a other common Windows perks. But there are a few things to watch out for.
Most notably, Windows 10 S restricts your browser to Microsoft Edge, and your hunt formula to Bing. You can of march navigate to, say, Google’s hunt page in a browser if we want, yet we can’t change a default browser, and all complement interactions that indicate to a browser will always indicate to Edge. The point’s a bit moot, however, as vital browsers like Chrome and Firefox aren’t in a Windows Store anyway.
You might also run into issues joining hardware to your device—probably some-more so with comparison hardware. “Many hardware peripherals (such as printers) that work with Windows 10 currently will work with Windows 10 S, yet might have singular functionality,” Microsoft warns.
What’s in it for educators?
This essay focuses some-more on Windows 10 S from a consumer standpoint, yet Microsoft’s ancillary a Windows 10 S pull with countless advantages for schools.
Most notably, Windows 10 S supports a slew of modernized facilities found in Windows 10 Pro, yet not Windows 10 Home, like mobile device management, Bitlocker encryption, Azure active office domain join, and a essential Windows Update for Business, that allows administrators to fine-tune accurately when they wish underline updates to hurl out, and defer normal updates for adult to 30 days. It can all be managed by a cloud with Microsoft’s new Intune for Education, and admins can configure a complement picture regulating a wizard, afterwards slap it on a USB pivotal that can be used to implement that customized chronicle of Windows 10 S on any PC in underneath 30 seconds.
Not too shabby.
There are advantages for students, too. Microsoft’s including a one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition with Windows 10 S laptops and creation Office 365 for Education giveaway to schools. What’s more, these laptops are configured to save files to students’ OneDrive comment by default, creation it easy for them to collect adult where they left off while hopping from classroom to classroom and PC to PC.
So is this Windows RT reborn?
There are some pivotal differences between Windows 10 S and Windows RT. Since these laptops are powered by normal PC processors rather than Windows RT’s mobile ARM chips, they can run normal desktop program found in a Windows Store, as mentioned previously. That might be bursting hairs for bland users though. Being limited to a muted Windows Store is still being limited to a muted Windows Store, yet Microsoft now offers a overpass tool to assistance developers quick pier normal desktop program over.
Another pivotal difference: Windows RT had Windows 8’s awful tablet-first interface. Windows 10 S is designed for PCs, yet it can still switch into inscription mode if desired.
Locking these inclination to a Windows Store creates clarity for propagandize solutions, and Windows 10 S could finally break developer insurgency to a Windows Store if a pull proves successful. Selling Windows 10 S inclination directly to consumers feels tricky, however. If people start shopping these low-cost laptops during stores and get indignant during a thought of profitable $49 to use “real” program like Steam and Chrome, a repute of Windows 10 S could go downhill fast.
Time will tell.