Skip to main content

Does Windows 10 S really have better performance than Windows 10 Pro?

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

Along with the Surface Laptop, Microsoft this week debuted Windows 10 S, a new edition of Windows 10 that's locked to the Windows Store for all your apps and games. Most reviewers decided to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro almost immediately, as I'm sure many consumers will do too. Unfortunately, because of this, many reviewers noted that they didn't see any performance differences between Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro, even though Microsoft said Windows 10 S has better performance.

That's because Windows 10 S doesn't have better performance, at least not when compared to an identical, clean install of Windows 10 Pro. Keep in mind; Windows 10 S is just another edition of Windows 10. Saying Windows 10 S is faster than Windows 10 Pro is like saying Windows 10 Pro is faster than Windows 10 Home when we all know that isn't the case. Microsoft's case for calling Windows 10 S faster isn't to do with raw optimizations to the OS; it's to do with how the user is able to use the OS over time. I think a lot of people have missed that point.

How is it faster?

With Windows 10 S, the user is locked to the Windows Store. That means if the user wants to download any particular app or game, it must come from the Windows Store otherwise it simply won't install. This, in theory, is more secure, and over time keeps your machine running smoothly, as chances of installing malware or rogue programs are zero to none. What's more, Windows Store apps don't add themselves to your startup folder when you install them, which also means that over time your login time won't slow down as you install more apps on your PC. This is explained on Microsoft's Windows 10 S website. (opens in new tab)

The idea is Windows 10 S won't slow down after 6-12 months of use. You could make the argument that a Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro machine does, in fact, slow down over time, due to installing and uninstalling lots of apps and games. Some of those programs may add themselves to your startup folder, slowing down login times. You may also find that some programs change up the registry quite a bit, which can also slow down your PC over time too. A lot of "tech experts" will recommend a clean install every now and then to keep everything running smoothly, but normal people don't have such a luxury, likely because they don't know how to clean install Windows to begin with.

6 things you need to know about Windows 10 S and Surface Laptop

Windows 10 S essentially solves this issue. With Windows 10 S, you shouldn't need to clean install Windows every so often as so many tech experts recommend should be done. That's what Microsoft means by better performance over time. It's a version of Windows that continues to run just like new, forever. Of course, if you're sensible on a Windows 10 Pro install, you too can likely get the same performance mileage as if you were on a Windows 10 S install, but most normal people don't care what they're installing on their devices, as long as the thing they're installing gives them what they want.

The average Joe

On a Windows 10 Pro machine, your average Joe is far more likely to install something that also installs additional toolbars, search engine optimizers, trialware and more. That "Express Install" button we all know and love can, more often than not, include additional things that the user might not even be aware is installing in addition to the program they've downloaded. This is one of the biggest reasons why a Windows machine slows down over time. On Windows 10 S, this isn't possible. It remains fast and smooth, no matter what you install, as it all comes from the Windows Store.

Surface Laptop 2

Surface Laptop 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows actually has a reputation for slowing down over time. It was, for a while, one of the main reasons why people started switching to Mac. In reality, it isn't "Windows" that slows down over time; it's the programs you install on Windows that slows it down over time. The more rubbish you install, the slower your Windows machine will be. If you're smart about the apps you install, Windows doesn't slow down over time. Of course, the average Joe doesn't see it like that. If there's a problem with their device, it's Windows' fault. To them, it's simply Windows that eventually gets slower over time.

For the more techy users who are aware of the things they're installing and uninstalling, the performance gains Microsoft is touting with Windows 10 S might not be a thing to you because you're probably already pretty sensible with how you treat your Windows 10 Home or Pro machine. But most people don't even know that a "startup" folder exists, let alone the fact that programs can slow down your machine over time.

So that's what Microsoft means when it says Windows 10 S has better performance over time. It has better performance because the user can't just install randomapp.exe along with ten different toolbars and trialware apps. Windows 10 S should stay running fast and smooth for as long as it is in use because apps won't slow down boot times, and malware is far less likely to find its way installed on your system. What do you think?

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.

152 Comments
  • I like this idea of preventing the bloatware from slowing down machines. I hope S gets more popularity so that more apps will come in for those who want to use the platform after the free upgrade is over :) Also, this is a very nice article :)
  • The idea is good. It, however, depends on how advanced users like us tell other users. Since the Pro will be for us and S will be for them.
  • Well I'm ab IT director and computer science grad and I for one hope S catches on with developers and becomes main steam. In the consumer and enterprise you can instinct/tell users what to do, not to do, to keep computers running efficiently and it doesn't matter they're going to mess out up anyway thereby negating your ,"advanced user theory".
  • S would be very hard for developers to use unless you do everything on a remote machine. 
  • Its not targeted at developers
  • Last I checked, programmers and developers are the same; they write programs using code and code languages so the target is developers x86, win32, etc.
  • I think you guys are confusing each other with what you mean by 'developers'.   Developers won't use Windows 10 S, but developers whill hopefully develop more UWP apps that can run on it (or put more Win32 apps in the Windows Store).
  • Well, this would be a good idea if the Windows Store wasn't a convoluted mess.
  • Completely disagree. I'm an advanced user and I'd instantly switch to W10S if all the software I required was available in the store. It just isn't. I'd love it if it was easier to keep W10 cleaner than it is now. 😐 Claiming "Better performance over time" is outright dishonest though. I really wish WCentral would call MS out on this sort of BS. If MS was honest they would have said "performance doesn't degrade over time" (like our other editions of W10 potentially do). Of course I understand why that is a pretty bad marketing message, but I prefer honesty over MS' deceptive marketing and wish WCentral did too.
  • Nah, I prefer to have more control over my computer, bit by bit Ms is taking more and more control off us even on windows 10 pro, so no way would i use windows 10s.  what happens if you get a new printer that is not supported by windows 10S, you can not install the drivers.  Most of the software in thew store is total rubbish, i had a look at it now I have to use Windows 10 and I thought there was some junk in the Android store, windows store is worse. also, not being able to install the browser of my choice is not for me, I detest edge. Anyway, windows 10s will be for laptop type machines and tablets, not full blown desktoip machines like mine,    
  • "I'm an advanced user and I'd instantly switch to W10S if all the software I required was available in the store." If the software was available this conversation would be a moot point. As an advanced user you already know this: if you desire any or even all of the Windows 10 S features real Windows 10 has them all. Do a Fresh Start and only allow Windows Store installs. There you go. Now you've got Windows 10 S, and, if you need to you can simply install whatever apps you want.
  • Eliminate the ability to install most software to keep a computer running faster. This likely will be a difficult thing to sell to most people. But I would be happy to put it on my 75 year old mother's computer and my teenage kids computers so I don't need to "fix" their computers. This sounds like something that people will impose on others but not themselves.
  • Haha, nice points. #EDU hashtag was there for a reason.
  • Yep, I can attest to the Grandmother. Every time I go over there "do you know what this program is", "why is your virus scan disabled", or "how did this even get on here?" Thankfully she is on W10 or she would have a petri dish of computer viruses by now.
  • When your new friends learn about your IT prowess, their eyes will glow and soon you will be invited to check their PC that have 20 tray icons.
  • Exactly what I'm planning to do! lol
    And hopefully, we'll have tons of apps when win10.arm is out.
  • arm can run full windows with that 835 chip.. I winder why are you connecting these
  • The average person doesn't use much software. Really. Mostly just web browsing. So, if they can stay off of bad sites and only i stall apps that are guarantee safe, yea its great.
  • @Paul Kinslow: "sounds like something that people will impose on others". But, there's no point since real Windows 10 can already do all of that without any of the drawbacks of Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S is a solution looking for a user problem that does not exist. Yes, Microsoft has problems, but, those aren't up to users to fix. 1. Users don't use Edge because it's an incomplete browser built around an inferior rendering engine. 2. Developers don't develop for Windows Store because users don't like the lock-in and the subscription model, and, there's the self-fulfilling reality that no one develops for the store because no one develops for the store. 3. Real Windows 10 is now pretty much as secure as Windows 10 S could be anyway, without users being forced to get all their software through the Microsoft gouge of the Windows Store. 4. And, for edu, there's absolutely no reason the management software Microsoft is rolling out for Wndows 10 S can't also be applied to real Windows. All in all Windows 10 S is looking like a flop. It's solving Microsoft problems without offering users anything in return. In fact, for users things go from bad to worse when you dig deeper. 1. You can't change the browser or the search engine. You must always use Edge and you must always use Bing. 2. Pretty much all your software has to come through the Windows Store. Microsoft gets to gouge you. 3. No third party browser is allowed to be distributed through the Windows Store. Have you ever wondered why there is not a single browser in the Windows Store. It's because Microsoft's licensing agreement for the Windows Store explicitly excludes third party browser rendering engines which also means there never will be a Chrome, FireFox, Vivaldi or Opera for the Windows Store. Third parties are allowed to put a wrapper around EdgeHTML but that means they're stuck with the mediocre performance of the proprietary Microsoft-only EdgeHTML rendering engine. Microsoft needs to fail to make things better. Unfortunately, sometimes Microsoft's failures teach them the wrong lessons. For instance, Windows 8 was a terrible desktop OS but a reasonably well thought out touch OS. It was introduced for the wrong devices. It forced Microsoft to prematurely start working on Windows 10 to stop the terrible press Windows was getting. Sadly, Microsoft then made Windows 10 back into a half-decent desktop OS but a mediocre touch OS. They threw the baby out with the bath water. I'm hoping that Windows 10 S doesn't suffer the same fate. It's designed to solve Microsoft problems. Some of them are sorely needed (e.g. eliminating legacy support), but, since it solves Microsoft's problems and not user problems, when it fails Microsoft might learn the lesson that legacy support must continue even though it allows bad software to persist. Whatever. Too much time spent here.
  • I will surely get an Device with "S" for some of my family, that are regullarily breaking their computers by installing bullhit "opmizataion tools" and other crap from the net, no matter how often i tell them "don't".
  • Nice article, I totally agree. Now, the success of Windows 10 S is all up to good marketing. Hey Microsoft, are you there? 🙂
  • It's not (only) up to marketing. It hinges primarily on software, most notably the x86 type of software, being converted to UWP (store) type software. In marketing, as soon as the general public sees that Windows 10 S is limited to the store, they immediately will think, that means a greatly limited amount of software available. And they would not be wrong. The vast majority of software I'm running on my PC doesn't come from the store, they are coming from disc's or directly from the publisher's download.
  • That is a pretty big issues. 10s will effectively run into the issue effecting Windows 10 Mobile. No apps, so people abandoned the platform.
  • You are true. But I think Windows 10 S is not targeting pros. I would never install it on my home PC, neither would you, but for most of the average users it may fit. My parents don't need any specific software, except for the one to update Tomtom maps for the car.
  • All it takes is one missing and seemingly needed software program for user satisfaction to drop off the cliff. People accept differences moving Windows to Android Windows to Apple, but Windows to Windows comes with the expectation of the same things continuing to work.
  • Agree, however this is where we as consumers need to tell the developers to pull their collective heads out of their arses and get with the UWP program. For too long we have had to put up with crap code and bloatware.
    Absolutely will be using W10S for my wife and kids with next hardware refresh. No more headaches. If developers programs are not in the store, then tough. find an alternative.
  • You can already do that with Windows 10 (no S). Create their accounts as simple users (not administrators), and they cannot install anything outside the store.
  • Nice article.
    Recommend reading for reviewers out there also ;).
  • Its faster because UWP apps are as light as a leaf.
    They bomb out like a needle to a balloon.
  • Probably not possible for "slower" PCs that this locked-down ecosystem is good for, but couldn't they have built a virtual-internal system within the OS where .EXE apps could install but not affect the rest of the OS - and be "wiped" clean easily if needed? Sort of a sand-boxed area for those win32 apps. At least until those developers could get their apps into the Store...
  • You meant windows in windows... Hmmmm I can see that coming together with W10ARM
  • I would love a windows s boot option for when im just browsing and using word. The extended battery life and increased performance would be perfect for light productivity
  • You know dual-boot exists, right?
  • It's hardly user friendly, and requires two versions of windows installed, but yes, I suppose I will set that up for myself when I get time
  • That is EXACTLY what centenial apps are.  Win 32 centenial apps are just repackaged into a virtualized container to sandbox any system changes.  The main reason they have to go throught the centenial converter is mostly the installer has to be changed and to make sure there aren't any processes that need to modify restricted areas.  Most apps will have very little if any actual changes required.
  • Re: Evillama,
    I use the sandboxee software on an old XP laptop to sandbox my browser for causal web surfing.
  • But navigating websites through Edge can affect a windows 10 S machine with viruses or malware, right?
  • Not 100% - Viruses and malwares cannot execute its code (.EXE) in Windows 10S either.
    Unless it can come through Windows store somehow.
  • I see, thanks
  • Welcome :)
  • As long as C:\program files C:\users C:\ Windows exist in the current form, a virus can penetrate. A simple batch file can be passed through UWP app because the app has the ability to save to disk.
  • It is possible. But app approval process might catch(compared to downloading a piece of s/w from wild web) those kind of injections, esp when app developer requests the capabilities mentioned in app manifest.
  • Yeah, it can never be 100% virus free. It's more secure.
  • Maybe they applied the Windows Phone security framework where you can't see system folders.
    Possibly that's why you can't install win32 because if the program can't see the version of Windows and directory structure, it cannot recognize the OS. Would be interesting if WC can confirm whether those folders are visible.
  • Batch files won't work on W10S. No cmd/ps/bash.
  • You're right, i didn't consider that
  • Any app in the store is deemed safe by microsoft too,  so the chance of that happing is slim to none....if it does,  MS is at fault.
  • I like the idea of Windows S, especially since given that you can upgrade it easily and freely if you need the full version.  However, the store simply is gimped.  There is no way around it at this point, and I don't see developers jumping on nearly as much as letting old apps linger or dumping it entirely.  
  • We should not compare only Windows 10S vs Windows 10 Pro but vs Chromebooks also.
    For someone who is ready to buy a Chromebook the Windows 10 S is a reasonable or better solution if he finds the same hardware for the same price.
    For people with lite use from their PC it's also a good option.
  • You can compare a Mercedes Benz S-Class with an Audi A8 but in reality the Audi doesn't have the historical pedigree or profile to match, even if technically they are both competent at that level.
  • beg to differ,  audi has been around for A LONG TIME,  and their profile is Just as good as MB.   I own both!
  • Market adoption or lack thereof will decide the fate of Windows 10S. It is make or break time for Microsoft and they know that they have to kick start their Apps Store and entice, seduce or push, pull, drag developers to make it work.
  • So, my understanding is that there will be several Win32 apps distributed through the Windows store that will work on Windows 10 S. This is one of the things that makes 10 S more appealing than RT. So my question is this. How does installing a Win32 app through the store eliminate the possibility of slowing down the computer versus installing it the traditional way? Does it somehow eliminate changing the registry, adding DLLs, putting something in the startup folder? How does this work? Can these Win32 apps simply be published to the Windows Store or do they have to first be modified by the developer to confirm to Windows 10 S standards?
  • Store apps are not added to the startup folder and therefore cannot add to startup times over time due to an increasing number of apps loading at boottime.
  • Okay, but what about the registry? Will installing a Win32 app from the Windows Store prevent additions to the Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run key?
  • I thought uwp is sandboxed? Easy to find, clean install, easy update, sync, clean uninstall. Think no uwp app can touch registry.
    Traditional win32 applications will need an simple repackaging tho. google result:
    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/34694059/read-write-registery-key-fi....
  • Correct, but I'm referring to Win32 apps being published in the store, not UWP apps. Once they are repackaged for the Windows Store (without rewriting the app or porting it to UWP), does this prevent them from alterting the registry, adding services that start automatically, messing with DLLs, or anything else that contributes to slower boot times?
  • Supposedly everything is virtualized sandbox so any changes it makes in those areas only effect it's virtual container... But i don't think they support services... Just a guess
  • All Store apps run virtualized, with their own registry, appdata folder, install folder. Not too different to how somes PC games are ported to Mac using wrappers. Point is, every single app coming from the store is 100% self-contained, and uninstalling it clears everything about it from the device.
  • Win 32 apps can't be directly uploaded to the Store. They need to be converted with project Centennial first or rewritten from scratch to UWP apps. Both approaches take some time and that's why we won't see lots of new apps coming to the Store right now. Store apps can't have administrative permissions, so they can't modify the registry or other parts of the system.
  • Okay, makes sense. So there is conversion required. I think when they stated Win32 apps can be published to the Windows Store starting with the anniversary update, it has caused some confusion. So, you can't just take any Win32 app and upload it to the store. It needs to meet some qualifications and go through a conversion process first. 
  • They have virtualized the registry for centenial apps.  Essentially they have a fake registry that the app writes to that is enclosed in its own sandbox along with the app away from the real registry.  Oddly enough this appears to be the way they made the Android and iOS versions of Office too.  They actually exported a virtualized registry and many windows apis to an app container to run a mini emulation layer for iOS and Android.  
  • Interesting; thanks for the info.
  • it is a great idea. The variable that will determine it's success is the population of software available from the store. Office in the store is a giant step in the  right direction. This will be appreciated by business and their technical support staff that service computers for non-technical team members.
  • Better performance or not, Windows 10 S will not succeed unless it can install apps from google, apple stores in addition to Win store.
  • Not true brotha.
  • And do you think Microsoft will go under if they remove Google from Windows completely? If so you are freaking delusional.
  • Most people just need a browser, email client, facebook, messenger and a few big name, trustworthy app imo. I don't make testing apps my habit. User base is there (My parents and kids would benefits from uwp), it will be more when win10.arm is out. Missing this market is just unwise. * Some xbox games runs on and sync with win10 / win10.arm, no Android / iOS can let me continue my xbox game progress. Portable Xbox, how cool's that? Gamers like me will def throw away our current phones.
  • Sounds like ChromeOS is perfect then.
  • Full Office, Elements, Xbox games, iTunes (soon), inking/drawing, and the option to go to 'Pro' Windows with 2 clicks would disagree.
  • Agreed Daniel.    I could ALMOST run windows 10S.   There are some programs I use that are not in the store,  but MOST are.  
  • Well guys, I am using the Surface Laptop for business and so far so good. Upgraded our Surface Pro 4 to Surface Laptops to prevent any viruses and it's good as of now.
  • Same thing is done on WP7.8/8.1/W10M. It's why reviewers, despite constantly moaning about lack of apps, usually seemed surprised as how long Windows Mobile was still buttery smooth after extended use.
  • You mean just like iPhone?
  • Iphones get slower with updates. To the point you might have a soft brick.
  • No.....They don't.    My old iphone 4,  now being used by my mother in law is still running the exact same as it did when new.   Plus it has more apps that still work than windows 10 moible.   So please...try to make correct points when dissing another product.   
  • Re: Praxius,
    My Windows phones are buttery smooth.
  • Not buttery smooth as iOS though. Resume much better on iOS.
  • Because there is something available that would make them slow.
  • There is no startup "folder", it's just programs that launch in the background with every boot and can be managed via the task manager.
  • It's hidden in Windows 10; the one for all users can typically be found at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. If the app is not listed there, it is either in the roaming startup folder under the user profile or listed in the registry, typically at Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • Ah! Thanks for the info!!
  • If Microsoft makes windows 10s a free version of windows, it will.succeed. The iso should be able to be downloaded and installed on any device.
  • I agree with ttsoldier. Microsoft should make 10S a free version of Windows. My parents have two Windows desktops (2005 XP and 2008 Vista) that i recently set up to be used as shared/guest computers. I took them apart, cleaned them, and then reinstalled XP and Vista. However, neither of those OSes is safe to use on the internet so to solve that issue, i installed Linux Mint 18 on them. I would have preferred installing Windows 10 on both of them but i am not going to pay a total of $240 to put Windows 10 on two shared/guest computers that will rarely be used. But i would Absolutely install W10S.
  • There's a feature on my new Surface Pro to only enable programs and apps from Windows store. So basically Windows 10 pro can be made into S.
  • A lilo different tho. You still can run *.exe after changing the setting right?
  • I am curious about this too, if out just blocks installer or if it will not actually run any win 32 code from any exe, that's where Windows 10S could be more secure, maybe S should stand for Secure
  • It just block install, your win
  • Precious install .exe apps still run normal.
  • Almost all OEMs like to install many junk wares. These also contribute to reduce performance over time. Just uninstalling these will not do it because many stuff from these are left behind. This is why I always recommend buying signature edition PCs from Microsoft store.
  • Lenovo have moved their preinstalled apps to the Windows Store so they can be updated easily or uninstalled.
  • Yup, Lenovo's apps are quite nice now as UWP.
  • Or just get a fresh copy of windows. When I got my Aero 14, I got the lowest RAM and storage options and upgraded them myself to 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB PM961 storage with a cloned drive from my last laptop.
  • Thats what I did with my dell 2 in 1 as well....bought the 4 gb 500gb hard drive model,  swapped out the ram to 16gb,  and added a 2tb SSHD and it's quite fast now...and works much better doing many tasks at once.   
  • If the store gets some popular and high rated app and games then 10 s will be brilliant but unfortunately thier are less apps on the store
  • I can't wait for the performance review in 6-12 months by those reviewers that upgraded to Pro, and then say that Windows 10 S performance degrades just like 10 Pro.
  • Windows 10 S was a weird concept when I found out about it. However, if you think about it, Windows 10 S acts a lot like your smartphone's OS, that only allows apps from its store. I'd probably be fine with this if the Store was more like that of Google Play's, but it has a very limited selection, and half the apps on there look like malware. Hopefully Microsoft listens and expands the Store!
  • It's not up to Microsoft to expand the store, it's up to developers to target the store and up to us as consumers to demand the developers do it. Developers go where consumers want them to go.
  • Will Office 365 work with Windows S
  • Office 365 will be placed in the store.
  • After upgrading from Windows S to Windows 10 Pro, can you roll back to Windows S?
  • I'd say probably not but I'd guess you could restore from the factory reset image or a disk image your create before upgrading?
  • No, I wrote an article on that. You need to use a Surface Recovery Image to set back to factory state.
  • Also installing and uninstall constantly does result in a fragmented mechanical drive. Which is major factor in system slow downs. If you're running W10S on a mechanical drive it may slow down due to a heavily fragmented drive. Windows defrag cannot move system folders unlike some third party ones like Ultimate Defrag by DiskTrix. As well a random background services that get installed and some remain due to poorly written uninstall programmes.
  • Good points.
  • Good in theory, bad in practice, the store is a complete trainwreck and whatever "apps" that you can find are dumbed-down/crippled garbage made for mobile and shoehorned onto the desktop.
    Even microsoft themselves had to dumb-down their own office suite just to get it to work in the store. This is but a small part of the colossal mess microsoft has made trying to turn windows into something it was never intended to be.
  • "Even microsoft themselves had to dumb-down their own office suite just to get it to work in the store."
    False. Full Office is now in the Store for S users. It's the same Win32 version as you get from the web. You're confusing nascent native UWP aps with full-fledged Win32 Centennial apps e.g. Spotify, iTunes, Office, Evernote, Adobe Elements, djay Pro, etc. which are either already in the Store, or are coming to the Store soon. It's the latter that will be the key to S success, but like UWP Microsoft needs to build out the API library so porting can work. While there are 1000 Centennial apps now in the Store the reason why we don't see more is because the Bridge is still being built. There are 450K documented WIn32 APIs, and we'll probably need a few thousand to make the Bridge reliable/useful for advanced and older apps. That takes time. Commenters here rarely think beyond 6 months, so it's like talking to goldfish ;)
  • So Microsoft, "dumbed-down" their apps, but when Apple took 4" phone apps and made them available on 12.9" screens, or when Google made 4" phone apps avaiable on 15.6" laptops, that was a sensible move? And as for "dumb-down their own office suite," no, it was not. Full Office is available on the store, not the stripped down, dumbed down version that is available on the Apple Store or Google Play, but the full version. But, we know, it is not about using actual facts, it is all about you trolling as usual.
  • And what, you buy your super expensive Surface Pro 5 and expect it to be adequate to its price tablet and use it smoothly in tablet mode, then install this ported Win32 Office from the suite (that you will also going to pay for) just to figure out that it is with tiny ****** Win32 non-touch buttons and cannot be normally used with your big fingers. Hmm good goood. Also lets take this mythical convertable Surface Phone that will benefit from Continuum when plugged by 20 peripherals to a big screen to use the PRODUCTIVE office suit. What office you are going to use on the go in the subway to edit a document exactly on the tiny screen? What Office exactly? the win32 totally optimized for touch one? The whole concept is so retardedly stupid that I'm pretty sure not even Microsoft's own engineers and managers are know what they are doing and cannot find two matching answers in the company. Pathetic.
  • Yes, I have a new SP 5, and yes, I use Office 365, the Win32 version, on it all the time in tablet mode. I have very large fingers, larger than the normal person, and hey work quite well in tablet mode. The thing about your comment and the original troll post, is that he was arguing that the store app was dumbed down and we should only use Win32 apps in tablet mode, you are trolling that we should not have Win32 apps in tablet mode. You trolls should get together and plan your attacks, and not go off in different directions.
  • I'm all for this but they need to convince more professional tools including thier own to get in the store. i.e. Adobe suite, Visual Studio, Autodesk..etc along with a lot of open source.  Maybe they need to create a special free store license for open source developers.
  • I also like the idea of Windows S but do store and upcoming x86 WUP apps distributed in the store uninstall themselves completely? I mean are they allowed to leave traces in system files and hidden folders after being uninstalled? It would be nice if Microsoft would now sort things up and let us try programs and then safely get rid of them being sure that nothing is left behind.
  • No Steam. No Google. No thanks
  • Well that's up to Steam and Google, they can always build UWP apps. personally I hate chrome anyway.
  • "Windows actually has a reputation for slowing down over time." 20 years using Windows and never experienced this. The raise of Mac and downfall of IE can be mostly blamed on IE Toolbars and Active X Controls.
  • I think people keep forgetting 10s is geared toward education and is a chrome is competitor. I would love a version of the Samsung Chromebook plus with 10s on it. Wouldn't be a Chromebook, but would be very similar in function. Surface laptop will likely have the vast majority of people using pro and not S.
  • What is startup time compared to windows home and pro?
  • I think they're inferring they will be the same after a clean install, but S will not change
  • As a tech expert, I'd accuse those "experts" of not willing to troubleshoot or troubleshoot enough "you shouldn't need to clean install Windows every six months as so many tech experts recommend "
  • Yeah, kept cringing whenever I read that nonsense. Only ever do a clean install of Windows when changing to another major version, like Windows 8.1.1 to Windows 10. Don't see myself ever reinstalling Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 2.
  • First off you do reinstall 10 twice a year with Microsoft's latest version upgrade schedule. Yes, if you don't do a fresh install most software can be carried over, but lots of garbage does get tossed in the upgrade process. At any rate, 10 isn't as prone to slowing down over time as 7/8 because of those version upgrades. The alleged advantages of Windows 10 S all center around only being able to use apps from the store. If every store app was developed for the store from the start, following every bit of Microsoft's best practices or guidance, many if not all of those advantages would likely materialize. Everything's more or less sandboxed, you can store the protected app folder where you like, updates are automatic etc. But, not all store apps follow Microsoft's suggestions, e.g. you may not be able to move or install them to an app folder that's not in the default location. You've also got software adapted to the store using Microsoft's re-packaging developer tools, & it's possible to break out of the sandbox, e.g. using the registry as a normal win32 app, though that's supposed to mean that app can only be side loaded. How all of this stuff effects security etc. is largely unknown -- AFAIK store apps haven't become popular enough to attract the attention of the bad guys, who've been happily continuing to use exploits & methods that work from XP to 10. Now that 10 S is out, assuming it gets somewhat wide spread use, time will tell... Microsoft's plans don't always work out, and that includes security, e.g. Defender was supposed to use superior design to be more bulletproof than the competition, yet this year we've had at least 2 zero days targeting & depending on flaws in Defender. We could start seeing the same sort of thing with apps from the store -- again time will tell.
  • Windows phone always returns to home screen after working on it for sometime...this should not happen as it disturbs and breaks continuity.
  • I'm not sure what most commenters write down here. First of all - it's a myth that you have to reinstall windows several times a year. I got my Surface Pro with Windows 8 and after couple of years upgraded it to 10. Then I got my Surface Pro 4 and never plan to reinstall windows on it. Second - haven't you seen Krita and Incskape already in the store?
  • I think the point is that if you know what you are doing, don't install jankware, Windows 10 is just fine over an extended time. Issue is, many people don't do that.
  • Yeah, I remember good old days, when people asked me to fix their Windows 98/XP PCs: - It seems like your System32 folder is missing. - Ah, yeah, I've deleted it to free some space on my hard drive! :D Microsoft should restricted any system access from the beginning, like Apple did with Mac OS.
  • Or configure Windows 10 Pro to Only Install Applications from the Store!
  • sorry, duplicate
  • I agree.
  • Can you run python or tex?
  • I am wondering about the statement that store apps cannot run automatically at startup and slow down the machine. EarTrumpet is a volume control app in the Windows Store. It automatically runs at startup and appears in the system tray. This seems to contradict the statement about not running at startup.
  • Either they need to be UWP - not the app converted from Win32 through DC bridge or not in Prefetch. 
  • I desagree in one point. Deezer UWP is an example of app that adds itself to the startup list by default. Yes, deezer offers in its own settings ways to disable it, but when enabled, it's there in task manager startup list affecting OS startup, and of course you can turn it off right-clicking it also.. The point is, yes, any uwp app in store can do that, just want it.
  • It's not about these apps starting up but how windows 10 manages those apps versus older apps. Windows 10 manages the full UWP ecosystem much better. It's like on windows 10 mobile where old windows 8 apps and the silverlight system causes issues with battery/speed and different things because they are not using features of windows 10, the old subsystem does all the management. There's a lot more to it than just installing/removing apps. Even things like dynamic linking of libraries, file handlers, etc are either done differently or optimized.
  • What's interesting is that everyone is speaking of Windows UWP as if it's the super stable environment. It's full of holes, both security and stability. In a few years, yes, it will be robust but now it's still got problems (for example, installing apps in user space comes at a cost, and, other times they don't install/uninstall properly--I wouldn't know from personal experience because the only UWP app I have is Halo and it was a major headache to get installed :). Windows 10 S is solving Microsoft's problems, not our problems. 1. People use Google as their search engine. 2. They use Chrome as their browser. 3. They get their software from developer's sites. 4. Developers don't write programs for the Windows Store because users don't buy from it. These things all result in Microsoft losing out on cash. They're trying to create new revenue streams through Windows 10 S, but, the problem is that they're not offering us users anything in return for giving up what we already have. Quid pro quo. Windows 10 S is solving their problems, not our problems. Real Windows 10 already is working on our problems. Windows 10 S makes their problem our problem. Bing is the only search engine allowed in Edge. Edge is the only browser allowed in Windows 10 S. EdgeHTML is the only rendering engine allowed in a browser. Third parties are prohibited from bringing other browsers into the Windows Store. Recall both Chrome's and FireFox's experiments with bringing a browser to Windows Store. Neither of those projects exist anymore because the Windows Store excludes those browsers. If Chrome or FireFox are to come to Windows Store they have to use the inferior Edge browser. On iOS the compromise that Google has made with Chrome is acceptable. Apple's rendering engine is very similar to Google's so the user experience is comparable. Users wouldn't know they're not running 100% Chrome. for EdgeHTML the story is different. The rendering engine is no where near as robust or capable as those of its competitors. Chrome wrapping itself around EdgeHTML would damage its reputation (Edge's best feature is its ability to download Chrome... if Chrome's best feature becomes its ability to download itself what are you left with?).
  • But has anyone actually timed the boot times etc, to check if it provides speed enhancements out of the box?
  • No, because that's not what it's supposed to do. Out of the box 10S and Pro are effectively the same. The differce is that you can install things on Pro that you cannot install on 10S.
  • All those reasons are bullshit. The "reinstall windows every 6 months" is from the windows xp days. The registry doesn't slow down your computer, which has been shown time and again over a decade, installing programs doesn't slow down your computer either. The start up programs is invalid aswell, since uwp apps can be start up programs. Even on a year old computer, windows s will still be the same performance as any other sky of windows.
    It's just a bullshit os to push the store and have a reason to cripple windows so they can seem it for cheaper without losing the price of the actual sku everyone will get
  • You forget that S is virus proof.
  • How?  Click on a bad link, and what, the virus or other malware sees it's S and runs away?  Does S stand for SuperWindows?
  • Anyone who's not crazy should buy it from MS, and pretty much anyone who cares about having Windows 10 upgraded it when it was free.
  • This is one of the reasons I try to keep my PCs running mainly UWP apps; not only are they modern, clean, and adaptable, but they also keep my PC running smoothly. Most of them don't enter the startup list, but even the ones that do are light enough that I don't notice it.
  • Nice article.
  • Do you have experiences from Windows 3.0 to 10? If not, Windows 10 S is the best. If yes, it's still a good OS to support to prevent any OS attacks because it needs certification.
  • It's really interesting how this happens, because as explained in the article, irresponsible users are the ones who screw their system over time, and are the first to ignorantly blame it on Windows or the hardware or anyone else. So yeah, if this is a way to make the OS idiotproof, so be it. Us expert users know better. But everyone else who doesn't have a clue benefits from this lockdown to the store. Also, it's curious how they choose to go to Mac, as if they benefitted at all for going to that OS they ALSO DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE.
    I hope Windows S catches on because of this and because it's another solid version of the definitive OS. Bring it on.
  • @fdruid: You seem not to have intimate knowledge of Mac or its history. Let me ramble a little :): In the late 80's Microsoft copied Apple's Mac interface but they had to make sure their copy wasn't too good to fend off Apple's copyright and patent lawsuits. Ultimately Microsoft prevailed against Apple's suits, but, by that point the mould had been set for their less-than-ideal Windows 2/3.1/95 interface. Ever since then Microsoft has been moving Windows more to Apple's interface (Windows 10 UWP being the closest it's been) without making too much of a break from the compromises it was forced to make in the late 80's to avoid a successful copyright suit. While Microsoft has made major changes, the Mac interface is essentially unchanged from the 1980's for good reason. It's well designed, and, for most users "just works". Migrating from Windows to Mac is not the same shock as if Mac users migrate to Windows so it's quite reasonable for a Windows user to migrate to Mac but not necessarily the other way around. The Mac interface is easy to learn, and, managing the OS is simpler than Windows (though, Windows 10 S might finally put Windows on the same footing as Mac... with more compromises, though). Plus, the Mac hardware tends to be higher quality than what most people are used to on the Windows side so that helps too (of course, the hardware also costs more than what the Windows hardware does that people have been using ;-). Over the years I've been responsible for more than a few users migrating to Mac (and not back), and, it's largely because the OS's design philosophy is that the interface should get out of the way and allow the users to "just work". Computers are tools of humans. Humans aren't tool of computers (which, for the longest time, was the driving design philosophy of Windows--it was a quick and lazy developer model but resulted in low-quality, poorly thought out interfaces. Fortunately that's changed in the past fifteen years and Microsoft has learned a few lessons from Apple, and, its Windows developers are finally taking user needs into account (and, not developer wants... that's why Linux has never caught on fire... it's an OS philosophy that's driven by developer needs and interests). Paradoxically, in recent years I would prefer it if these users in my family were to migrate back to Windows, because that would simplify my life (I'm starting to forget how to properly manage Mac OS X and have no experience with Mac OS X/macOS past version 10.5... luckily macOS still mostly manages itself). Those family members who've used Windows after having become accustomed to Mac have all complained bitterly and reverted to Mac (even though it cost them double in hardware costs... a testament to the Mac OS X/macOS design phiilosophy). Even in my own household I had to relent, and, after three years of being Mac free my wife got a MacBook Pro. FYI I did not migrate to Windows. The Windows ecosystem migrated towards me :). Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 are now "good enough" and offer enough useful software that the ecosystem allows me to do 95% of what I need it to (with easy, yet powerful video editing being the one Windows weakness). What always struck me as ludicrous (from the late 80's right through to the mid-2000's) was the contention that DOS/Windows had more software than Mac. It was bizarre because I found that especially DOS, Windows 95 and 98, but even Windows 2000 and XP lacked most of the truly useful software--Mac users were simply able to do more with their computers than Windows users. Towards the end of my Mac career in the late 90's/early 2000's I still remember some crucial Mac-only pieces of software that simply didn't have the same quality or comparables... and some still don't. GraphicConverter (why he's never migrated to Windows I do not understand but it's one of the most powerful low-cost amateur image tools around... IrfanView is kind of like it but more limited and not as easy to use), BBEdit (though, NotePad++ has now popped up), iMovie (sitll unbeaten :( :( :( :(, MacTheRipper (gone the way of the dodo with the demise of PPC Macs), Toast 5 (the Windows version was so much buggier at the time). Anyway, I've really digressed in my trip down memory lane. Time to stop the nostalgia and get to bed.
  • I was expecting something more technical in the article.
  • Great for ppl who want an oversized windows phone. Lol. Otherwise its useless and restrictive.
  • When will i be able to install windows 10 s  on other devices as a free version of windows
  • Oh, so Microsoft wants to be like Apple with Windows 10 S - create a proprietary system that requires passing through it's own store.  NO THANKS! 
  • To be fair to Apple (of course, fair and objective is hard to come by here), that is not how Apple does it and has never been how Apple does it. Apple's current approach is nearly the same as Windows 10 Home/Pro. You can install non-signed apps, if desired, but the default is to require the apps to be signed (I so rarely use macOS that I'm weak on the details). And, crucially, Apple has never forced a default browser on users and also has never forced a default search engine on users with macOS. You can change both. This is profoundly different from Windows 10 S where you cannot change either! PS Even though I disagree with your post I'll upvote it to counter the downvote. I really dislike the whole downvoting since it encourages fanbois to downvote posts they disagree with (I would, however, like a BS tracker but that would be subject to the same fanboi abuse).
  • Give me a break. This article was a waste of time, both to write and to read as was the release of Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S is a solution looking for a problem. And, the problems that Microsoft has identified is that developers ignore the Windows Store, users hate Edge and no one's heard of Bing. Windows 10 S is not going to be a raging success because it solves Microsoft's problems, not the user's problems. As for the purported benefits of improved power consumption (battery life), install management and security: real Windows 10 now includes a variety of tools to take care of lot of the headache of managing a traditional desktop Windows install. Fresh Start, for example, is a game changer. For 95% of cases it elimintes the need for clean installs. Run Fresh Start when your computer gets slow. It gets rid of all the CrapWare you've installed and forces you to re-install your favourite apps. Luckily they all now install using on-line installers. The battery advantages of Windows 10 S are non-existent. You can run all the same apps as Windows 10 S on real Windows 10, plus, you get to run conventional software, set your own default web browser and set your own default search engine (not even Apple has forced users to accept only one search engine for Safari on iOS). Being able to use any browser and any search engine is a small price to pay to lose a few minutes of battery life. As for security: Microsoft has thrown a lot of resources at shoring up the Windows 10 security so the purpoted advantage of Windows 10 S is weak. I suspect Microsoft will further tighten up real Windows 10 installation security. You can already activate software installation restrictions on real Windows 10 that don't just allow anything to get installed without your eplicit consent (essentially you have Windows 10 S without its drawbacks). As for education: education needs traditional desktop software. They'll all be running Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise. And, Microsoft's fancy education install management software will undoubtedly be capable of handling real Windows 10 (since Windows 10 is Windows 10 S with much more). Anyway, to repeat what I started with: Windows 10 S solves Microsoft's problems. It does nothing to make the computing experience of users better. As such, it's highly unlikely to be a success.
  • Two posts that I'm responding to: 1. "When will I be able to install Windows 10 S on other devices as a free version of Windows?" (fork507) You're on to something. For that matter, that could be an article by WindowsCentral (hint, hint, hint). That would be how Microsoft could get Windows 10 S adopted. Make it available as a free download. If it's free then anyone who's on the fence and still running Windows 7 or 8 could join the Windows 10 world without any expense. And, because it's free there won't be the same expectation of continuity with the traditional Windows paradigm of legacy software dating back to the stone age. This would allow Microsoft to successfully have users solve Microsoft's two big problems: 1. dictate that Edge is the one and only browser and that Bing is the one and only search engine; and, 2. you can only install UWP applications. These are the Microsoft problems that Windows 10 S is trying to solve, but, these are not user problems, so, unless users get Windows 10 S for free users will expect more from their operating system. And, a growing user base with users who only have access to UWP applications will force developers to start paying attention to Windows Store. Otherwise, users will not be opting for Windows 10 S. My prediction is that the lack of web browser choice will be enough to give Windows 10 S so much bad press and ill will that it will not experience wide spread adoption. People will demand real Windows 10, not some crippled consumer version designed to push Bing and Windows Store. 2. ", but for most of the average users [Windows 10 S] may fit. My parents don't need any specific software" (Hirox K) Wait until average users try to install Chrome or change their default search engine to Google! At that point all hell will break loose. People use Edge to download Chrome because that's all Edge truly excels at. Otherwise Edge is an incomplete browser (try doing a ctrl-F to find something) running a rendering engine that simply isn't as robust as more mature ones like what power Chrome or Safari. People use Google because they like the search results Google gives. I've been trying to live my life through Edge and Bing, but, I found the search results to be of such midling quality that I switched the Edge default to Duck Duck Go to see how its search results stack up against Bing. While Duck Duck Go has some limitations due to the fact that they don't track you I prefer Duck Duck Go's results to Bing. In Chrome I use Google because, well, even though you lose your privacy to Google, at least the search results can't be beat.