4 good reasons why you should buy a Windows 10 S PC

Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper
Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper (Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 S is a variant of Windows 10 that's designed to keep your PC secure and streamlined over time. Unlike normal Windows 10, Windows 10 S is built from the ground up for people who do most of their work in a web browser or Office and is tied to the Microsoft Store for all your apps and games. This means every app that runs on Windows 10 S is checked by Microsoft to make sure it's safe.

Still, you might be unsure of whether or not you should buy a Windows 10 S PC over a PC running Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. To help you out, here are four reasons why you should buy a PC that comes with Windows 10 S.

Here's a list of Windows 10 S PCs you can buy right now!

More secure Windows 10

The biggest benefit of Windows 10 S is enhanced security over other editions of Windows 10. Because Windows 10 S is locked to the Microsoft Store, users can't download apps and games unless they have been trusted and verified by Microsoft first. As such, PCs running Windows 10 S are less likely to run into malware or viruses, as they can't run programs unless they come directly from the Store.

Because of this, Windows 10 S is secure right out of the box. You don't need to configure any third-party antivirus software, nor make sure there's additional bloatware installed. This makes it an excellent choice for a family member or friend who may not be experienced in the world of PCs. Windows 10 S keeps itself safe, and secure, forever.

Built for a marathon, not a sprint

Because Windows 10 S can only download apps from the Microsoft Store, PCs running Windows 10 S are designed to remain fast over long periods of time. In most cases, buying a PC running Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro usually comes bundled with extra bloatware that can really weigh down your PC over time. If you've ever owned a PC that feels like it got slower as time went on, that's partly because of all the extra bloatware your PC maker likely preloaded onto your device.

With Windows 10 S, this is not allowed. Hardware makers aren't able to preload extra bloatware onto devices that ship with Windows 10 S, as those PCs simply cannot run those kind of programs. Instead, all programs must come from the Microsoft Store. This makes it more likely for PCs to remain super fast, even a year after buying it.

Still good ol' Windows 10

Even with the extra security and performance over time, Windows 10 S is still Windows 10. It features your familiar Start menu, taskbar, Action Center, and windowed apps. It can even run desktop apps, as long as they're available from the Microsoft Store. What's more, depending on the device, Windows 10 S has all the same business and education features that you can find on Windows 10 Pro. This includes Windows Update for Business, Shared PC Configurations, Azure AD and more.

It has access to the full version of Microsoft Office too, meaning if you rely on Outlook for email or Excel for heavy spreadsheets, Windows 10 S has you covered.

Switch to normal Windows 10 at any time

Windows 10 S is a mode, meaning you can turn it off if you ever need to download an app that isn't available in the Microsoft Store. The switch to normal Windows 10 is free, and can be done whenever you need it. This means that for most people, they can remain in Windows 10 S until they need to switch it off, and then jump straight to Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, depending on what edition of Windows 10 your device came with.

This means there's nothing to lose when buying a PC with Windows 10 S. It's not a be-all, end-all choice you make when buying a device. You can buy a Windows 10 S PC, and switch over to normal Windows 10 whenever you like. This makes devices like the Surface Laptop an excellent choice, even if you're not planning to use Windows 10 S at all.

Are you interested in Windows 10 S?

These are my reasons for why you should buy a Windows 10 S PC. Are you interested in getting one? If so, make sure you check out our list of available Windows 10 S PCs and let me know in the comments!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

36 Comments
  • One of the reason to switch to Win10S is you can switch back to "Win10 non S ".
  • Can you switch back and forth between Windows 10 S and normal Windows 10? Or once you've switched, you're stuck with normal Windows 10 for good? It would be ideal if I could go back and forth between the 2 modes since I share a computer with other family members. 10 S would be perfect for my wife and kids.
  • I wouldn't think so, but even current Windows 10 non-S have a switch in the Settings app to lock the PC to Store apps. You can do that today without getting 10 S.
  • You don't need 10S to do that, you need separate logons for you and each other, don't just let them logon with your logon name and password. Start with Settings, Users...they need to be normal users, not administrators like you........then research microsoft.com for kid friendly settings....like no XXX sites........
  • I believe switching to 10 is pretty quick, but going back to 10s is an OS reinstall and thus more time consuming
  • Meh... I'm far more worried about my wife's being duped by a socially-engineered email. I doubt that the choice between Win10 vs. Win10s will much matter in that scenario.
  • Maybe get your wife a Chromebook? It does the online Word, Outlook, etc. just fine, or one can use the Android apps for those (with an Office 365 sub if the screen is 10.1" or larger).
    Just offering an option.
  • Maybe you should back off from making moves on his wife through the internet with suspicious emails!? , I KNOW ITS YOU BOB!
  • One reason is that its Windows 10. Another reason is that it can switch to full Windows 10. Really... this is more 2 reasons to use S and then a nice reminder that you can always change your mind later.
  • Is it still going to be very simple to install this on hundreds of laptops since these devices are supposed to be very cheap and targeted toward schools so IT can easily setup and manage them?
  • Problem is that it doesn't run Chrome and that's what schools use to access the world. Until Chrome comes to Windows 10 S it's going to be a tough sell in education. Besides, there's already Windows 10 Education so targeting Windows 10 S at education seems like unnecessary duplication. District education customers will choose the Enterprise option since that gives them the ability to run Windows applications (i.e. not the UWP junk that's out there) and they can control the computers. Windows 10 S seems more like it's targeted at a consumer market that doesn't want (or need) that particular product.
  • In that case, these devices gotta to be very cheap if you are stuck with market store apps only.. If they cost anywhere close to what an iPad costs, most people will go for an iPad.. way more quality apps.. It would make no sense to get this if you're just watching netflix/browsing net (I'd want chrome in that case too).. This is gonna be tough.
  • @henilp89, for Netflix and video streaming in particular, Edge is the best choice. Unless something has recently changed, only Edge supports the best streaming options from Netflix for DRM security reasons.
  • Schools use Chrome because they can, there is no inherent reason to use it. GApps work in Edge, and they should going forward unless Google gives up on HTML5 compatibility (and further cements it new IE status by using proprietary code). Give the students a 10S machine they can still use Google apps, if they want to.
  • In terms of browser speed and web usage Edge still works fine, included that you can get plugins on edge right through the windows store , yet again another universal solution to every daily need. we're talking about Windows 10 S here so performance optimization is going to be at its best due to windows 10 S being light weight and windows having improved over time on ram usage /page file compression methods including ram task management optimization... so yeah chrome is a placebo effect for people who believe they need a certain browser to access google /services which isn't exactly the case, included that google docs vs Microsoft office which is clearly on enterprise level of consumption and consumer base has no competition, one(google) maybe free but the other comes at a cost for a reason of being a product that provides good standards and services/bonuses alongside it; overall we're talking about a platform that is more desktop friendly than just mobile, Chrome OS was moving from mobile towards PC and somewhere along the way they pulled a U-turn and went towards unifying with android instead where as Windows is moving towards universal adaption of all form factors and isn't just sticking to desktop or mobile friendly but in order to do this they had to push a lot on optimization/memory usage which they have purely achieved with Windows 10S; While Windows 10 non-S versions as well have achieved very good optimization, Win32 applications will always drag it down due to its nature/flaw of architecture methods and since you said UWP is junk, here's where UWP comes into play and isn't junk as you somehow try to claim by "personal opinion" , Win32 apps will store its information into the system registry which slows down Windows over time included that it has administrative access at a whims notice included that it can run in the background without user authorization at all which all contribute to slowing down windows, causing security issues, sucking up the internet without the user noticing it until too late in some cases vs UWP which can be controlled by windows settings to prevent it from running in the background, and setting up the network as metered so that the UWP app will not suck up the internet while you are using that network either and UWP doesn't store its information into windows registry instead it has its own registry that doesn't affect the system boot up speeds over time and no matter how much of UWP apps are installed, Windows will stay fast as it should be, lastly when it comes to win32 vs UWP functionality is based on the developers themselves, the UWP skype app provides just as much and more features vs Win32 Skype and it was meant to be an example of what dev's could do with UWP Skype preview itself had surpassed the win32 version when it was released and they had to update the Win32 version to keep up with it. in the end of the day Win32 is an old coding platform as all systems outdated will become insecure one way or another it is a system that must eventually go away and UWP is the platform that can replace it, the creation of Windows 10 was and is the path to that future which is why the old control panel is being slowly removed with its old inefficient coding, sooner or later win32 will be dead and gone for good and that is actually a good thing because new coding platform/UWP has more optimization and developers have to just pick it up and improve their products on it which will help the consumers have newer/safer/better products that they can use without fear of being open to decade old threats because a company thought they could just stick to the win32 product and provide the consumer bad old coded programs so they can do less work and get more profit. #rant-over.
  • You must be a MSFT novice. Go to microsoft.com and read about "winimage" or whatever they call it these days. Maybe start by googling "Sysprep".
  • Weren't most of these the same good reasons why we should have bought a Windows RT PC?
  • No lol it is using an Intel chip.
  • People, 10S is for corporate users, or for your kids, if you know how to configure it. It can be locked so the mode cannot be changed. Obvious there are other apps and other MSFT ways to lock down a PC and has been for over 10 years. This is supposed to be the "easy way". Don't even consider it if you can somehow read your crystal ball future and know for sure you'll never want to install a non-Windows store app...............
  • Zac Bowden, did you miss YOUR OWN memo? One month ago, on February 22 of 2018 you wrote "Why Microsoft made Windows 10 S an OS 'mode' instead of a version". Now you've got a post titled "4 good reasons why you should buy a Windows 10 S PC". Umm. Umm. Umm. While your previous article put a positive spin on the "news", Microsoft was likely forced into making Windows 10 S a mode because they failed to understand the consequence of their marketing decisions. Windows 10 S was targeted at low cost PCs (except for their own Surface products, which, stupidly, ran Windows 10 S out of the box) which means it must've been CRIPPLED (and, given that its ONLY browser is Edge that is a pretty good characterization). Anyway, I realize that WindowsCentral is a strange hybrid site. On the one hand it tries to serve up articles of relevance to Windows users. On the other, it runs articles for fanbois. Oh well. Yet another fanboi article.
  • Did manufacturers ever even release computers with 10S or is the Surface Laptop your only choice? How about actually naming devices available with 10S?
  • They already did an article about this.
    http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-10-s-devices Of course there are Windows 10 ARM devices.
    Now if S Mode coming to all editions of Windows and a free switch forever, expect the amount of S PCs to increase quickly, I expect all PCs to be defaulted to Windows 10 S at Windows Setup.
  • The best reason is that you can switch to normal Windows, you literally have nothing to lose.
  • Good article.
    Now to some of the comments here lol the average consumer open up edge browser start using it. Edge is the best browser ever.
  • Can they not install bloatware from the Microsoft Store, though?
  • Honestly I could go 10S except for two reasons. The first is a very specialized reason, there is no good UWP for chemistry structure drawing (not really good ones in Android or iOS either) and the good ones are legacy Win32 apps that show little motion towards replacement. I teach chemistry, particularly organic, so this enough is a killer. The second is a more common one, games. Yeah my Surface 3 isn't a gaming rig but it can still support some decent games (titan quest, starbound, FTL, are my current load).
  • What does "built from the ground up" even mean in this context. They did not build Windows 10 S from the ground up. The fact that it s a mode now proves that.
  • I definitely wouldn't ever consider using 10S. I can see why it exists, but if I can't even install steam/GoG or the Android studio there's basically no point me having a PC.
  • Windows S will adress two issues for me:
    1. Inability to run unapproved apps will make it more secure, similar to the much acclaimed "virus free Mac".(BTW they get viruses too.)
    2. Get around DPI scaling issues since Modern Apps can support High DPI unlike unmodified win32 Apps.
  • But Windows S will be gone soon, right? You guys wrote about it.
  • Sorry, but there is no reason for 90% of the windows users for Windows 10 S.
    I understand the windows 10 S mode for children and schools. So it's good this
    mode S exists.
  • :))))) Delusional Zack again LOL
  • Why I don't can use a Windows 10 S
    The first thing I install is typically Sony/Magix Vegas Pro and Visual Studio 2017. Non of them are in the store.
    On my Windows 10 Pro there is a setting in the control panel that say: Allow apps from the store only. That in effect bring my version to Windows 10 S.
    But I perfer to use the setting: Warn me before installing apps from outside the Store.
  • Windows 10 has big flaw they can only download Microsoft apps unless you modify the scripts. Security is not 100% perfect. And the biggest flaw is without modification you cannot download Google Chrome. Microsoft edges unsecure. And honestly I don't trust Microsoft
  • Can't as it Visual Studio will not work on it.
  • I think Windows 10s is great for parents with young children and schools to keep students in computer labs in schools from going to sites parents and schools do not want them to access.