In order to give manufacturers and schools the option to lock down their Windows machines, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 S (opens in new tab) will make the shift from a full fledged OS to a mode available in all versions of Windows 10.
The company originally created Windows 10 S for the education market. This lightweight version of Windows was intended to run on low end hardware and limited users to only installing apps from the Windows Store. Windows 10 S also pushed users towards Microsoft's first-party apps and services as there is a lack of 3rd party alternatives available on its store.
Corporate Vice President of Windows, Joe Belifore offered more details on Windows' new mode in a blog post (opens in new tab), saying:
“Starting with the next update to Windows 10, coming soon, customers can choose to buy a new Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled, and commercial customers will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled. We expect the majority of customers to enjoy the benefits of Windows 10 in S mode. If a customer does want to switch out of S mode, they will be able to do so at no charge, regardless of edition.”
This is quite a different stance than Microsoft took with its Surface Laptop (opens in new tab) when it launched with Windows 10 S last summer. Unless they met a certain conditions, users that were unhappy with its stripped down version of Windows had to pay $49 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
By including Windows 10 S as a mode in Windows 10, Microsoft is giving customers the option to lock down their computer for better battery life and security when they choose and to switch it right back to traditional Windows when they want to use more advanced programs or features.
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