Microsoft launches Windows 10 S
Microsoft has unveiled a new version of Windows, called Windows 10 S, which is designed to compete with Google’s Chrome OS and the Chromebook laptops that run the cut-down operating system.
Windows 10 S is designed for education markets, and will only run apps from its own online store. It’s also locked down for browsing, which means you’ll only be able to use Microsoft’s Edge browser and search using Bing.
Other than those restrictions, Windows 10 S is the full-fat version of the OS, and comes with security and administration tools that are available in Windows 10 Pro but not Windows 10 Home. It will arrive 15 June on the Microsoft Surface laptop.
How will it affect you?
Windows 10 S is currently limited to laptops for schools and universities, who will be able to switch to the new OS for free. It will eventually extend to other budget devices (as Chrome OS has), with HP and Acer set to launch laptops running the OS this summer for $299 (£230) and other PC makers expected to pitch in, too.
The main restriction is the apps. Many popular Desktop apps, including Chrome, aren’t yet available in the Windows Store. If you buy a laptop running the restricted OS, you’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49 (£38).
What do we think?
There’s value in locking down the OS, particularly for students or users who aren’t security-savvy. This could make Windows 10 S devices ideal for young children, or PC users who need Word and Edge and little else. However, anyone who uses more advanced software should wait before switching to Windows 10 S. Windows 10 laptops are already available at budget prices, so there’s no need to lock yourself into the restricted OS without good reason.