Win­dows 10 S to evolve into a mode in 2019

Mi­crosoft’s Joe Belfiore tweeted the news. MARK HACHMAN re­ports

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

Re­ports that Win­dows 10 S will be­come a ‘mode’ of Win­dows 10 were con­firmed re­cently by Mi­crosoft’s Joe Belfiore, who stated that the tran­si­tion will oc­cur next year.

Belfiore, a cor­po­rate vice pres­i­dent in the Op­er­at­ing Sys­tem Group within Win­dows, tweeted his state­ment in re­sponse to this au­thor’s own com­ment that Mi­crosoft had ne­glected to men­tion 10 S in a re­cent blog post tout­ing the suc­cess of Win­dows de­vices in schools. Mi­crosoft launched the OS in 2017 as a stand­alone

ver­sion of Win­dows, partly to pro­vide a se­cure, man­age­able ver­sion of Win­dows to those schools.

Cur­rently, Mi­crosoft sells Win­dows 10 S and 10 as sep­a­rate ver­sions. Win­dows 10 S works only with the UWP apps Mi­crosoft it­self pro­vides from the app store. Its users may also switch to Win­dows 10 Pro via an up­grade found within the Mi­crosoft Store.

How­ever, Win­dows 10 S hasn’t ap­peared in any­thing more than the Sur­face Lap­top and a hand­ful of ed­u­ca­tion de­vices. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Fu­tureSource, the au­thor of the re­port, said that the com­pany could not pro­vide data on the num­ber of Win­dows 10 S de­vices, given that “few have been avail­able un­til re­cently.” Re­ports sur­faced re­cently that Mi­crosoft would com­bine Win­dows 10 S and Win­dows 10, mak­ing the former a ‘mode’ of the Win­dows 10 OS.

Mi­crosoft had de­clined to con­firm the sub­stance of those re­ports un­til now, and hadn’t said when the tran­si­tion would take place, if ever. Belfiore’s tweet has re­vealed that the re­ports are true, and when the tran­si­tion will take place.

“We use Win10S as an op­tion for schools or busi­nesses that want the ‘low-has­sle’/ guar­an­teed per­for­mance ver­sion,” Belfiore tweeted. “Next year 10S will be a ‘mode’ of ex­ist­ing ver­sions, not a dis­tinct ver­sion. SO … I think it’s to­tally fine/good that it’s not men­tioned,” he said of the re­port’s omis­sion of Win­dows 10.

Whether Mi­crosoft will of­fer Win­dows 10 S by de­fault is not clear. One re­port by Thur­rott.com has said that users will be able to up­grade from an ‘S’ ver­sion of Win­dows 10 Home S to full-fledged Win­dows 10 Home

for free, but Pro users go­ing from the ‘S’ ver­sion to the full ver­sion will be charged $49 (around £35).

While it’s not clear why the Win­dows 10 S tran­si­tion will take place in 2019 – de­vel­op­ment time, or just a chance for the Win­dows 10 S to suc­ceed on its own? – we do know now that Win­dows 10 S will be the ‘low-has­sle’ ver­sion of Win­dows. Win­dows 10 Home/Pro, with its legacy Win32 sup­port, will be the more pow­er­ful ver­sion. Guess we’ll know in a year how this will change the sta­tus of Win­dows 10 S in the mar­ket­place.

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