Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 S

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has unveiled a new variant of Windows 10 known as Windows 10 S. It has some key benefits for price and security, but with some major drawbacks.

The new variant of the system will be built in to several machines, ranging from more basic $189 laptops to a $999 Microsoft Surface, which combines an ordinary laptop with a touch screen.

The name doesn't stand for something specific, but rather Microsoft has thrown around terms such as security, simplicity, speed and streamlined. Devices running at the system will be billed as loading and running more quickly than many rivals and all files will be encrypted through Microsoft's BitLocker.

App Store Only Option For Downloads

It's clear that Microsoft is trying to ape the success of Google's Chromebook range, which also promise a cheap way to carry out more basic computing tasks such as word processing and web browsing. In particular, Microsoft seems to be trying to win back business in the education sector where low prices and security are particularly important to buyers.

The big difference with Windows 10 S is that it will only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store. While that has a wide range of available apps, many more Windows programs won't work. Some of the most notable absences include iTunes and Adobe software such as Photoshop. (Source:

No Chrome or Firefox

It also means that for now at least most browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox won't be available, leaving users with the default Edge option. To date rival app developers haven't had any real reason to make a version for the Windows Store. Microsoft does say it won't stop them from doing so if they choose.

Microsoft has previously released a version of Windows 8 that only ran Windows Store apps, namely Windows RT. In that case it was a technical issue because the computers running Windows RT had processors more associated with smartphones. With Windows 10 S there's no technical barrier and it's simply that Microsoft believes only running vetted software will mean computers run faster and more stable.

Buyers who get a Windows 10 S machine and decide they can't live with the software restrictions will be able to carry out an irreversible upgrade to the standard Windows 10 for $49, though the fee will be waived on the Surface device. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Would you be interested in a Windows 10 S machine? What proportion of your Windows software came from the Windows Store rather than other sources? Does the system make sense for schools were the Store might stop students installing inappropriate or insecure apps?

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Average: 5 (7 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

As far as I recall Windows RT was a major flop, so I don't know why Microsoft thinks people want more of the same. I was visiting a friend recently who owns a Windows phone, and his biggest complaint is that he can only use the Edge browser - there are no other browsers available. The problem is that Edge simply doesn't work on his phone - it is extremely buggy, locks up constantly, and often won't allow him to input the web browser URL. What an abysmal smartphone experience! He also said there just weren't enough apps in the app store. He has since decided to trade it in for a Samsung A5 (Android).

imallett_8441's picture

For a $45 saving why bother? I gave up a Windows phone because of the unavailability of apps which were available on other platforms. I couldn't imagine being so locked down and knowing for $45 I could install stuff that did what I wanted.

ecash's picture

I know that most corps SHOOT themselves in the foot, but how many times and ways CAN YOU DO IT??

Anyone looked at the APP STORE??..
NOW compare FREE on other services.. I will give you 10 to 1 for OTHER services FREE SOFTWARE..
even pay SOFTWARE...

and ms YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH time to figure this out..

I mention to Friends that they LOOK at Windows Phone, Win desktop, Win Tablets, Consoles, Windows EVERYTHING.. And they are trying to make the SAME interface.. and would be GREAt if the same drivers WORKED on each..

I suggested a GAME version long ago..that MANY people would love, I would think. AND NOW they have it, and it gives you 1-2 frames per sec. Advantage..

Navy vet's picture

I can't imagine why anyone would actually WANT this.

wkrasley's picture

I agree about the Windows 10 phone. I have one and Edge is not very user friendly. It was my understanding that when Windows 10 phones came out, you could use apps from android and iOS on it. What happened to this promise from Microsoft? You are right, there are hardly any apps for the windows phone. I am sorry that I got it and when I upgrade again, it won't be a Windows phone.