Windows 10 S: New Cloud-Based Version of Windows 10
Windows 10 operating system comes in various editions such as Windows 10 Home (also known as Windows 10 Core or Windows 10), Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, etc. You can read more details about all Windows 10 editions in following article:
Now a new edition of Windows 10 has been added to the list. Microsoft recently revealed Windows 10 S edition which is basically a cloud-based OS from Microsoft. There were rumors spreading over the Internet that Microsoft is working on a cloud based lightweight version of Windows 10 and people called it Windows 10 Cloud. Now Microsoft has officially announced that the could-based version will be called “Windows 10 S”.
You might be having lots of questions in your mind regarding this new Windows 10 edition, so today in this article, we’ll try to cover all questions, doubts and things you need to know about Windows 10 S edition.
Windows 10 S has been specifically designed for education purpose. According to Microsoft, it was inspired by students and teachers and it’s the best Windows version created ever for schools.
Windows 10 S is based on Windows 10 Pro edition that provides similar Windows experience but it comes with some restrictions for better security and performance.
Windows 10 S can only run apps downloaded from Windows Store. Users can’t install regular Desktop software (Win32 apps) in this operating system. You’ll be able to use apps available on Windows Store only.
Also it’ll come preinstalled with Microsoft Edge web browser which will be set as default web browser. If you install any other web browser available on Windows Store, you’ll not be able to set the other web browser as default. Microsoft Edge will always be the default web browser. Also you’ll not be able to change the default search provider set in the browser.
According to Microsoft, these restrictions have been implemented to make your Windows 10 S device running fast and secure as there will be less risk of virus infection since you won’t be able to download or install programs from other places except Windows Store.
Don’t worry! If you want to install an app which is not available on Windows Store, Windows 10 S will show you suggestions of similar alternative apps which can be installed from Windows Store.
If you are worried about security programs, it’ll come with Windows Defender Security Center to keep your device safe and secure.
Very soon Microsoft will bring fully-functional Office 2016 apps to Windows Store using “Project Centennial” (Desktop Bridge) technology.
If by any chance, you don’t like Windows 10 S edition, you’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro edition via Windows Store for $49. If you upgrade Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro within this year i.e. 2017, the upgrade will be free of cost. You can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro using “Settings app -> Update & security -> Activation -> Upgrade your edition of Windows” option. But remember, the upgrade process is one-way. Once you upgrade your Windows 10 S device to Windows 10 Pro edition, you won’t be able to rollback to Windows 10 S in future.
Microsoft has provided a feature comparison chart on official Windows 10 S FAQ page to compare Windows 10 Home, Pro and Windows 10 S editions:
|Configuration & features||Windows 10 S||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
|Non-Windows Store applications||–||Y||Y|
|Domain Join on premise||–||–||Y|
|Azure AD domain join||Y||–||Y|
|Windows Store Apps||Y||Y||Y|
|Default browser locked to Microsoft Edge||Y||Configurable||Configurable|
|Windows Update for Business||Y||–||Y|
|Windows Store for Business||Y||–||Y|
|Mobile Device Management (MDM)||Y||Limited||Y|
|Enterprise state roaming with Azure AD||Y||–||Y|
|Shared PC Configuration||Y||–||Y|
|Default search engine locked to Bing||Y||Configurable||Configurable|
|Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro||Y||Y||N/A|
One can consider Windows 10 S as direct competitor to Google’s ChromeOS which is also a cloud-based OS designed for Chromebooks.
What do you think about Windows 10 S? Feel free to share your opinion in your comment…