Mi­crosoft ex­pects the ‘ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers’ to use Win­dows 10’s S mode

Will Win­dows cus­tomers pre­fer to use Win­dows apps over their tra­di­tional games and util­i­ties? With Win­dows 10’s S mode, Mi­crosoft is bet­ting they will.

PCWorld (USA) - - News - BY MARK HACHMAN

Mi­crosoft ex­pects that the “ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers” will en­joy Win­dows 10 in its new S mode, Mi­crosoft’s cor­po­rate vice pres­i­dent of Win­dows wrote in a re­cent blog post.

The stun­ning en­dorse­ment of Win­dows 10’s S mode—which was for­mally con­firmed as a mode of Win­dows 10 ( go.pc­world.com/ w10m) only very re­cently—was made by Joe Belfiore, who told me ( go.pc­world.com/ mhtw) via Twit­ter that he ex­pected the tran­si­tion to take place in 2019. Belfiore’s blog post set an even more ag­gres­sive timetable, claim­ing that cus­tomers would be able to buy a PC with Win­dows 10 S mode at or near the

time when the next fea­ture up­date to Win­dows 10 drops. That up­date, known as Red­stone 4, is ex­pected to ap­pear on PCS in early April.

But for those who don’t want Win­dows 10’s S mode, there’s an­other im­por­tant change: Whether cus­tomers opt for a PC with Win­dows 10 Home, Win­dows 10 Pro, or a com­mer­cial ver­sion, the up­grade from S mode to the full ver­sions of Win­dows 10 will be free.

“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,” Belfiore wrote ( go.pc­world.com/jblf).

Whether Win­dows 10’s S mode is the de­fault mode ( go.pc­world.com/10sm) for new Win­dows 10 PCS seems like a moot ques­tion at this point. Though just the Sur­face Lap­top and a small num­ber of ed­u­ca­tional de­vices use Win­dows 10 S, Belfiore made a bold claim: “We ex­pect the ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers to en­joy the ben­e­fits of Win­dows 10 in S mode,” he wrote.

Mi­crosoft clearly ex­pects new de­vices to use Win­dows 10 S in the fu­ture. Though Belfiore didn’t pro­vide de­tails, he did say there are more than twenty de­vices with Win­dows 10 S en­abled. “We ex­pect to see new Win­dows 10 de­vices ship with S mode, avail­able from our part­ners in the com­ing months, so check back here for up­dates,” Belfiore added.

In some re­cent com­ments on Twit­ter, Belfiore char­ac­ter­ized Win­dows 10’s S mode as the “‘low-has­sle’/ guar­an­teed per­for­mance ver­sion” of Win­dows. Belfiore called out the se­cu­rity, faster boot time, bet­ter bat­tery life, and con­sis­tent per­for­mance that Win­dows 10’s S mode pro­duces. Win­dows 10’s S mode blocks the op­er­at­ing sys­tem from us­ing tra­di­tional Win32 apps, al­low­ing only apps from the Win­dows Store in­stead.

Belfiore re­it­er­ated that po­si­tion­ing in his blog post, call­ing Win­dows 10’s S mode a Win­dows ex­pe­ri­ence that was “stream­lined for se­cu­rity and per­for­mance across all our edi­tions.”

It’s un­clear whether PC mak­ers will of­fer Win­dows 10’s S mode as a con­fig­urable op­tion, though that seems likely. What we now know, though, is that Win­dows 10’s S mode is far more im­por­tant to Mi­crosoft than it orig­i­nally seemed.

Why this mat­ters: Belfiore’s bold claims about the pro­jected mar­ket share for Win­dows 10 S/win­dows 10’s S mode could po­ten­tially change the mar­ket dra­mat­i­cally. If over 50 per­cent of the mar­ket uses Win­dows 10’s S mode, tra­di­tional UWP apps and up­com­ing Pro­gres­sive Web Apps will be­come far more im­por­tant within the Mi­crosoft ecosys­tem. Who knows what the fu­ture may hold?

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