Why Microsoft made Windows 10 S an OS 'mode' instead of a version

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

Recently, news broke that Microsoft is turning Windows 10 S into a mode that runs on top of other editions of Windows 10 such as Home or Pro, which appears to have caused a bit of confusion. Some reports claimed that Windows 10 S was dead, and others seemed to think that Windows 10 S was going to be made the default version of Windows 10. Let's set the record straight.

Windows 10 S is not dead

Microsoft is not killing Windows 10 S. In fact, this year will see even more Windows 10 S PCs ship, with Microsoft showing no signs of slowing down. The only thing that has changed is how Windows 10 S is distributed to OEMs.

In the past, Windows 10 S was a separate edition of Windows 10 that sat alongside Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. Hardware makers could pick between the three editions. Now, however, Microsoft has removed that separate Windows 10 S edition and instead turned it into a mode that runs on top of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro.

This means hardware makers can now just pick between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, and choose whether they want S mode to be enabled by default on the device that it is selling to consumers. In theory, this should make Windows 10 S even more accessible to hardware makers, and make it easier for users to switch between S mode and the "unlocked" version of Windows 10 Home or Pro.

Turning S into a mode is Microsoft broadening the availability of S for hardware makers, so OEMs now can preload a specific edition of Windows and still ship with Windows 10 S out of box. This change is so far from Microsoft killing Windows 10 S. In fact, the Windows 10 S game is about to be taken up a notch.

Windows 10 S is not going to be default

Surface Laptop 2

Surface Laptop 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

The S mode change does not affect existing Windows 10 installs that aren't already running Windows 10 S. This means if you're running Windows 10 Home or Pro today, you will not have S mode forced upon you in an update.

Microsoft isn't even making it a default option for hardware makers. Instead, it's making S mode cheaper for hardware makers to preload onto new hardware. It isn't forcing hardware makers to use S mode, which means OEM partners like Dell and HP will likely continue to sell versions of their hardware with editions of Windows without S Mode.

Microsoft wants hardware makers to choose Windows 10 with S mode over non-S mode editions, but by no means is Microsoft forcing this option on anybody. Windows 10 Home in S mode is cheaper for OEMs than Windows 10 Home without it, but a hardware maker is more than welcome to pay a little more to preload Windows 10 Home without S mode if they wish. Same goes for Pro.

All this means is that you might see new hardware go up for sale with Windows 10 S more often. This helps Microsoft get Windows 10 S out onto more devices, and gives users the chance to upgrade without paying.

Switch from Windows 10 S becomes free

In the past, the upgrade from Windows 10 S to a "full version" of Windows 10 would cost $49. The reason for this was because Windows 10 S was actually Windows 10 Pro underneath, so upgrading from S was more like "sidegrading" from S to Pro. As such, when you did the upgrade from S, you were actually paying for a full Pro license, which S users could grab for $49.

Now that Microsoft is turning S into a mode that runs on top of Windows 10 Home as well, things are a little different. The switch from Windows 10 Pro in S mode to Windows 10 Pro without it still costs $49, but the switch from Windows 10 Home in S mode to Windows 10 Home doesn't cost anything.

This is a good thing, as it means users no longer feel pressured into upgrading to the full version of their edition straight away. The Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro upgrade was free for a limited time, which meant lots of people felt the need to do the switch to make sure they didn't miss that free offer. Now Windows 10 Home in S mode to Windows 10 Home is free, users may feel less obligated to do it.

Windows 10 S users will remain on Windows 10 S

If you're already using a device with Windows 10 S, these upcoming changes won't change much for you. You will still be running Windows 10 S on your device, but only now the OS will call itself Windows 10 Pro in S mode. You're still benefiting from all the advantages Windows 10 S has, but now it's running as a mode on top of Windows 10 Pro.

What do you think?

Microsoft is only just getting started with Windows 10 S, and we're not expecting the company to give up on it anytime soon. If you're not a fan of Windows 10 S, don't worry, these changes won't affect you. Your existing devices will continue to operate as normal, so there's nothing to worry about. Let us know in the comments if you're using Windows 10 S already, as well as what you think of the changes.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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

  • Unless all the person is doing is browsing the net, using the useless apps built into Windows and doing a bit of office stuff, if they want to pay the high price of MS office, then Windows 10 S is a total and complete waste of space.      
  • Which apps are useless? I use the apps like mail and calendar, pretty useful to me. Also, some people do exactly what you said which is they mainly just use a computer for internet and email. Not sure what the problem is? You don't have to use S mode if you need more advanced capabilities.
  • Most of them really, the mail app is pretty naff to be honest, while I do not have a MS account, I thought I would use it with my own email account and it was not that great.  I never used the calender i must admit, I have looked at it and that is about it.   The problem is MS is trying to get people people into their Eco system, lets get everyone a MS account so we can get even more info from them.      
  • Yeah no other software company does that! Cough (Apple, Google).
  • Android will work without an account, so will a MAc, i do not not know if a Iphone will or not. But I doubt windows 10S will work without an MS account.  
  • Windows 10 Home or Pro definately works without a Microsoft account.  Android may work without an account, but you can't access the App store.  I would guess the iPhone is the same way.   Of course both the full Microsoft Office and mobile versions are now available in the Microsoft Store or you can use the free version of Microsoft Office in the web browser.
  • !0 home and pro works without an MS account as I use windows 10 pro without one, but I doubt Windows 10s wiil. You will find you can access the store on Android without an account as i have no account for my tablet and i can use the store.   But it is not the full MS office, it is office 365, which requires a subscription.  there are a couple of good office suites for free outside the shop which windows 10S users will not be able to use.  
  • IPhones do not work without an apple account and they require a credit card to setup so they're a pain.
  • Also found out last night that what was said above about not being able to access the store on Android without an account is correct. I forgot my tablet have got an account, but it is separate to my phone and there is no info on it at all.  So I was wrong there. 
    I thought i would have a check and found the account there, I use the tablet so little, I forgot i made an account, so I took the account off and no access to the store. 
    A bit naff really, but then it is only a tablet, not a computer.  
  • I think you should stop commenting on this because with each comment you are making more and more of a fool out of yourself. Did you even read the article? No, obviously not. S will become a mode, i.e. something you can turn on or off, so you will 100% be able to use Windows without a MS account - you can already, so adding a mode that you can turn on or off doesn't change that.
  • If you aren't impressed with the mail app that's fine, it's meant to be a basic mail app and not for any advanced user. While I like the mail app I primarily use the desktop outlook program because I like to use a few more advanced features. When I'm on the go or just need to briefly check email, the mail app is totally fine. You can definitely use any windows 10 computer only using a local account (I don't see why S mode will be any different) , but it may reduce the number of features you can use. But that's the same for any other platform.
  • i use thunderbird for my email these days, sadly there are not many email clients now,  it is as if they think we all use Webmail.   I know it is possible to use windows 10 without an MS account, I have been doing so since I stated to use the thing, but knowing MS they will either force people to use a MS account on Windows 10 s or make it difficult to use the machine without one
  • Are you saying... once you switch to S mode, MS will force you to login?
    Make sense?
  • They may do, i saw a video about windows 10s  on you tube and that did not require a log in, but who knows with MS.  I remember when Windows 8 first came out, Almost everything you did required an MS account, thankfully MS backed down and using a local account became easier with updates. . 
    I must admit, I thought Ms would have gone back that way with Windows 10 since they want people inside their eco system, but they have not, but that could change.  
  • So someone's been using Pro without login cannot switch to S cause login is required? Unless you give me a solid evidence, else, not worth time reading your speculation or conspiracy. I'm off this topic.
  • I use the WIndows 10 mail app to manage both my personal hotmail and a work gmail account. Works fine for me. Prefer it over the web gmail interface, honestly.
  • I do not like webmail, the email service i use have webmail and it is awful, which is why I use thunderbird, as I said I did try the Windows 10 mail app, but with multiple accounts  it was just a pain.   
  • No. actually Windows 10 Home is waste of space the average person does not install Win32 applications constantly. The S mode prevents users from installing random malware and adware from the internet along with tool bars.
  • No one installs software constantly, like it is nto a thing you do everyday, but it is nice to be able to install something better than 99.5% of the trash in the store. MS wants more control and the S mode is one way of doing it., already they have far too much control with Windows 10.  
  • S mode gives you one more choice rather than more control.  You gain security and app consistancy from the Store.  The Store apps can satisfy most users.  If you don't like it, you can switch to other modes or leave MS ecosystem.  Try Mac.  It even controls your hardware choice.  :-)
  • There is nothing in the store or very little to satisfy anyone to be honest, if you are just going to use a machine to browse the web then may as well use a tablet. I do not use the MS ecosystem as much as Ms would love me to. Macs may control hardware choice, but the OS is so much better.        
  • Typical whiner. Windows 10 S is fine for some people, and not for others. If you don't like it, or the apps, don't use it. Problem solved.
  • Lets get some stats n see how many current S users, while in theory you are right that W10S "would" be fine for most ppl, yet W10 Store is so crippled, most wouldnt choose W10S even if it would satisfy 100% of their requirement.
  • As a Mac user, how is macOS better? If I have learned one thing it would be that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. 
  • Once upon a time I was a Mac user. It's been more than a few years but things haven't changed much from what I can see so I can speak with reasonable non fanboi authority. On Macs the OS does not force one and only one default browser. The default browser is not locked into one and only one default search engine. You can easily turn the AI assistant (Siri) off yet still retain GOOD local searches (I only managed to do that on Windows because I am fortunate enough to have Pro and can use the policy editor that's not available to Hone users). The OS isn't advertising to you at every step of the way. The OS isn't sending a constant stream of data back to Apple (provided you're not using Siri... Makes sense since when you search with Siri it needs to communicate with a server). And, now switching to a luxury that us Pro (& Home) users have, your OS doesn't keep trying to make Edge the default browser or resets the settings in Edge everytime there's an upgrade to show you more click bait advertising (ehem news) in the Edge browser. I like what Microsoft did with Windows 10 but I am glad that I am not a Windows fanboi which means I can easily switch to Mac if Microsoft ever cripples Windows 10 Pro too much. Macs nearly run all the software I need and, as an added bonus, your OS isn't spying on you or constantly trying to advertise.
  • Faster, more reliable, nicer to use, more secure. Granted the newer versions of it have done what MS have done with Windows and made it more mobile OS like. 
    I loved using my friends Mac when she lived around here, it just seemed so smooth and no fighting with it like I seem to do with Windows 10. My friend have also said that it is not always rosy, but for most part OS x is fine. .    
  • @ad47uk. It's a catch 22 situation, if you want quality apps then you need to get more people to use the store.
  • But as you said catch 22, people are not going to use the store if there is nothing there for them. I know people try to compare Windows 10 with IOS and Android, but Android and IOS have had an app store since they first came out, more or less, that is how they work, these operating systems was produced for mobile use more than anything else. Sure  IOS and Android are on laptops and Android have been put onto other devices, like TVs, but they are both for mobile use. Windows was  and still is a full blown computer OS and for years people have been buying software from stores, then changed buying software online, yes I know things change and maybe at some point in the future if the quality of the software in the MS store gets better more people will use, but a lot of people still like the choice of getting their software where they like.  Getting software from different places can save money, some stuff on Amazon is cheaper than from the producer., do you really want to stop people having that choice? While you do not need a n MS account to use the store and even download stuff from it, at the moment, you do need one to buy from there, I myself do nto want a MS account and i know a lot of other people who don't either and yet if everything went into the store they would need one to buy software. TBH, I think it will be years before that happens, for a start windows 8.1 and windows 7 is still out there.    
  • "No on installs software constantly"...... yes they do! I'm constantly cleaning friends and relatives puters, every time they go to site X Y or Z they reinstall all the associated add on's and malware c rap. It's a huge problem, especially where kids or teenagers are concerned. S is a great solution for the above  
  • Then maybe you need to educate them about clicking on everything they see. thankfully most people i know seems to have got past that stage, even the younger ones and i have not had to sort out a machine with those problems for along time.   
  • win32 is unnecessary once a uwp version is available imo.
    It's more dangerous, messes with your reg, hdd, system, might have crack-proof, has standard alone update checker running in its frequency, slowing down you machine overtime, most likely won't fully clean up rubbishes during uninstallation..
    Nowadays, most people either need / work on the web or uwp for native features or speed. What win32 you are using anyway? I understand you need win32 applications if you are a creator tho... but not ever pc owner is creator.
  • LOL you're a MS "fan" on every topic. It's funny how company slaves accepts to be prisonners and be controlled by that company. And actually WANTS others to be controlled and PREACHES for that company.
  • It's just logic. I don't care about you, me or anyone else or those companies. UWP is sandboxed, safer than win32. If VisualStudio, Unreal, Komplete typpa application has an UWP version that does the same thing as the win32 counterpart... what is your if-else? Do we need a win32 Facebook? Certainly not. Why go through the installation process just to put your system in danger? Do we need Win32 Netflix? No, you either use web or UWP. Much simpler. Besides, why run a update checker in the background, let it run in its frequency? Do we need ticket system or project management tool in win32? No one's using win32 application for those typpa job nowadays. My GF work on the web with her virtual team @ home or in the coffee shop.
    Are you from stone age? As a freshman or startup. If you don't already own legacy codes (like Adobe, which already has their own sales channel), why build win32? Do you like to spend money on advertisement or wish someone to find you in the internet of sea by accident? Why should people trust your win32 anyway? Do you want to miss out IOT, AR, MR, Xboxes, Win10S, ARM?
  • what win32 am I using? I am not sure what you mean by that, but if you mean what win 32 software I am using, then everything  on my machine I use is win32, from the video editor, the graphics package, the audio editing software and even the office suite I use. As for win32 being dangerous, we have been using them for many years and yes we have had problems, but a lot of that have come down to MS and the lack of security on their platform. thankfully things have got better.  I have not had a machine slow down over time for years.         
  • I'm a main programmer in a major game studio / publisher. We creators (e.g. programmer, game programmer, planner, designer, music composer, etc) need powerful HW to run Adobe, 3dsMax, Unreal, VisualStudio, SVN, Git, Office, Reason, Komplete, Local Server typpa applications. But other than those, our ticket system, project manager, chatroom, etc are all web based. Except Office (UWP version available), most people in business department (e.g. CS, Cooperate, International Business, etc) work on the web. My GF is a APAC manager of a US IT firm, works on the web with virtual teams @ home or in the coffee store. We creators still use legacy softwares but other... don't need'em.
    tbh, if VisualStudio has a UWP version, I don't see the need of a win32 version. It's just more hassle. Dangerous... MS def has some responsibility but so do users and the HW provider they choose.
    Some users tamper their system by thinking they are doing something smart.
    Even with Android... I can tell you many funny stories cause I'm a programmer & a hacker. Custom ROMs are one of the jokes any programmer who uses these for debugging are def outta their mind. 3rd party phones are ok for consumers but as a programmer, I against 3rd party ROMs. Tell me, as a freshman or startup, if you don't own legacy code already (like Adobe, which already has their own sales channel) would you want to compile a win32 application?
    You'd miss out IOT, AR, MR, Xboxes and Win10S, ARM. You'd need to provide your own installer, updater (running in its own frequency), uninstaller, crack-proof. You'd need to do advertisement or else pray that someone finds your website in the internet of sea. Why would they trust your win32 application anyway?
  • windows 10 S has nothing to do with safety, okay. it was designed to kill Goggle Chrome Browser. And it failed
  • Um, you're just completely wrong on this. S mode was initially for enterprise, where it still exists, then for education (as a holdover until WCOS), and now it's slowly being pushed to the consumer market. Check your facts again. This has nothing to do with Chrome Browser. Maybe you meant Chromebooks, in which case you should have said that, but even then you'd still be wrong in the "failed" thing as school budget cycles don't operate on a yearl basis for hardware refreshes.
  • This may be accurate, but its not useful. You require to run JUST ONE Win32 app, you must turn off S mode. For example, wanna game on Steam? That is not a Store/UWP app, and neither are 99% of the games you'd want to play on there. Want/need Chrome or any other browser? (For example, if you want to stream from a website to your Chromecast, which Edge does not support?) Wanna install that device driver package for your 1 year old HP printer/scanner with the OCR capability? Yep, those are all Win32 apps as well. So what is the likelihood that any given user requires EXACTLY ZERO Win32 apps?
  • Windows 10s isn't made for gamers. Windows 10s is made to compete with Chrome OS. Honestly, I wish Windows 10s would have exsisted long ago. I would have put my parents, granmother and brother on it faster than you can say install. I got tired of constantly fixing their messes. 
  • THIS ^^^   Totally agree, I've spent hundreds of hours over the years cleaning up computers for friends and family. Every time they go to a site where a pop up appears saying 'Do you want .....' they all hit YES regardless and download all that malware. They don't even read the pop ups, they just keep hitting YES , then wonder why their computer stops working. Windows S is a game changer for kids, teenagers and the elderly.
  • This. OMG this. I am tired of cleaning every family members machine because they don't read (including my damn wife, she knows how frustrated this makes me) and just click crap to get it to go away. My wife loved her Surface RT, but it was just too underpowered, though safe. Well, that and I wanted a Surface Book, so she got my Pro 3. Would be nice to turn S on my Pro 3.
  • You can do similar thing in settings.
  • As i said above, maybe they need educating on what not to click on, unless they are very young and then I would not allow them on a computer with my supervision.   
  • Windows 10 S will get more Win32 apps in the Microsoft Store (including games) over time, that is part of why is is so good.  Win32 apps are not as secure and part of the reason you need anti-virus in the first place.  I just run Windows Defender on our computers and the computers run without AV slowdowns, Windows Defender is updated automatically with Windows Update so it is one last thing I have to deal with.  No viruses on any of our computers in years either.  While games and video editing are the only things we need Win32 for today, that will go away in the next few years as more Win32 programs are bridged over to the store.
  • First off not sure what you mean about no viruses on your PC. I cant remember the last time I ever got a virus as well, and I only use windows defender. Not using Win 10 S, using Windows 10 Pro. With 99 percent of my apps being Win32 apps (LOTS of games, chrome, audio/video editors etc). Only 1 or 2 UWP apps because they are games published by Microsoft that are exclusive to the store. I will be extremely surprised if the situation for games on the Windows store improves in any meaningful way in the next few years (you never know of course). Steam is the go to digital store for PC gaming by a huge margin. There is very little to no incientive for game developers to go through the effort of getting their games on the Windows store, it provides no benefit at all. Its only Windows 10 users (steam survery shows ~50 percent still using win 7), no mod support, a store that is very disliked by PC gamers etc. The only reason they would is if Windows 10 S becomes really really popular among gaming PC's. I'd be shocked if Windows 10 S becomes the common OS for high end gaming PC's. There's just no way, its way to limiting, completely kills the ability to play older PC games, use emulators etc. etc. and of course only games from the store so say goodbye to your steam library, and Origin/gog/battle.net etc etc. Lots of people own hundreads of games for those stores. PC gamers tend to be power users as well. Not to mention the Windows store is pretty universaly hated among PC gamers. I pretty much never see any comments of people praising it when its brought up, at best people just saying they are ok with it. The store is still missing some major features for large PC games. One example being absouletely no way to backup or restore games (which are easily 50+ GB each). If you install a windows store game on a storage drive, re-install windows, or build a new pc etc, then login to the same MS account that bought the games, it will force you to delete all of your store apps and re download them for no good reason. With steam and even U-play, Origin, GOG,Battle.net etc if I re install windows all I have to do is install steam/origin/u-play etc and point them to where my games are stored and I'm back up and running.
  • You don't have to use the built in apps if you don't like them. Even in S mode you can install new UWP apps.
  • But that is the problem there are very few UWP apps that are any good. For the small amount of time the MS store have been going, it have  got an awful lot of rubbish in there. 
  • I have the Surface Book 2, and I try to use Microsoft Store apps as much as possible. So far, it's been pretty easy to do, with only a few small exceptions.  Once PWAs take off, this should be almost entirely worthwhile. The only apps that I use regularly which wouldn't be supported in S mode are some steam games and Office 2016.
  • Actually, the user you just described is a perfect use for Windows 10 S mode
  • So Oem are selling dos build laptops... 1) Make windows 10S free as dos for oems.. 2) If customer bought windows 10 S and if they want to upgrade to windows 10 home or pro charge them.
  • That was tried with W7 starter edition. It was not popular and was dropped.
  • Except that "upgrading" to Home will be free, so really this isn't a bad thing. They're just trying to get people using the Microsoft Store, and they want users to realize all these gains they've been working on, which are most evident when you still to UWP apps.  Lastly, of course, they're trying to make Edge the only option...  
  • Upgrading from „Pro S“ to „Pro“ should be free too, otherwise people will still find S a bad idea.
  • Then they'd have to charge more for the device as someone is going to pay for the license. (Hint: it's always the consumer).
  • We need an article that explains everything about esim
  • What about going from Windows Pro to S mode - is that a thing? Might be an interesting move as PWAs become available in the Store, if S Mode still has faster startup and is overall more secure.
  • Yeah, it already is. Settings App > Apps > Apps & features > Installing apps Click dropdown menu, select "Allow apps from the Store only" Because of this option, I still don't see the point of S or an "S mode"
  • But that's not all of it. When "Windows 10 S" was launched, a thing they emphasized was faster startup. Just toggling the option to prohibit non-Store apps doesn't make your PC start faster, right?
  • so what happens if you have some hardware that you need to install software for?   
  • It should a bit as x86 startup items should not be loading in the background. I don't have an article soaking an assumption
  • "But that's not all of it. When "Windows 10 S" was launched, a thing they emphasized was faster startup. "
    Go back and re-read our coverage. The "faster" startup was assuming a Pro user was installing apps that auto-launch in the OS and run in the taskbar. Side by side, out of the box, a Pro and S machine perform EXACTLY the same.
  • Huh... I forgot that part. So then S Mode simply is using the toggle, as JawZ_28 said, though having it turned "on" from start (and not being able to turn it "off" in Settings).
  • I was wondering the exact same. I'm running Win 10 Pro on a Dell Venue 11 Pro and pretty much just use it for internet browsing and email. I wanted to enable true S mode (not just flick that switch in settings) to see what the under the hood changes it makes does to the device.
  • What I don't get is that W10 Home and Pro can already be switched into a mode where they can only install store apps. So this seems to me to simply be a rebranding of a current feature with a bolt-on charge for Pro. Does S mode add anything for the user that the current store-app-only mode doesn't already provide? Or is it only adding an S? Since we already have granny mode, I'm struggling to see any benefit.
  • Came here to say exactly this, but I think I have the answer. I think what S adds is that the setting that is switchable in non-S mode can't be switched off. In non-S mode, accidently running a rogue app could allow that app to do anything a user could do, including switching off that store-only setting and whatever else. In S mode, that rogue wouldn't be able to run in the first place, because only Microsoft-approved apps can run.
  • I get why Microsoft made Windows 10 S into a mode, now there is another problem OEMs will start shipping premium devices that are locked down to S Mode when they should be Shipping with 10 Pro. We already see them shipping 10 Home on high end gaming laptops and devices centred around creative professionals. On the flipside, lower end devices will be shipping with "S mode" as they should have been shipping with Windows 10 S in the first place. I hope this is just a transitional step to phase out Windows 10 home and just have these two SKUs: Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Pro. So with Polaris they would have a 3 SKUS, so it would be Polaris, 10S, 10 Pro. Then phase out Windows 10 S for Polaris and Keep 10 Pro.  
  • I think OEMs know their customers, so they'll probably know that someone interested in a professional premium device is most likely going to want S mode disabled. I wouldn't worry about that, I would assume most Windows 10 S devices to be cheaper and run Windows 10 Home.
  • Actually there are many premium devices and laptops (in the £1000 - £3000 range such as Razer's laptops) that run W10 Home.
  • Windows 10 pro is very far from needed, at all, on high end or gaming machines. There is only a handfull amount of features that are pointless for most users in pro, that are not in home. Like remote desktop. What you should never see is Windows 10 Home or Pro at 32 bits.  
  • My Windows 10 is an update from windows 8.1 pro retail, which was an update from windows 7 pro retail.  i must admit at the time I had windows 7, I would have been fine with the home version, but I got the pro as it was a good price for the pro retail version when itr was launched. I got windows 8 as an update, because again it was a good offer and  I did not pay for it anyway, a friend did. So it was a pro versions, again not needed. but windows 10 is a different thing, because of the some of the extras like Cortana and the updates, I need pro do have more control over it. Gone back to windows 8.1 now any way, now it seems to be stable on my computer and I have got rid of the awful notice that MS tries to pop up saying that that my hardware is not supported by Windows 8 and that I should be a good boy and update to Windows 10    
  • S mode is just for security.
  • So aside from calling it a 'mode' instead of a 'version', and the upgrade now being free, nothing has changed really.  
  • Not true. The compilation of the software seems to have literally changed.
  • This is awful marketing. Again. Even as a Windows enthusiast, this is not very easy to understand. How should my parents understand this? When will Microsoft learn that changing or renaming things doesn't solve issues. Even more now when "Windows 10" is just one "version". If you have to search for a solution online, you will find different and confusing solutions because a lot was renamed/changed. So *even* when this change makes indeed sense, they could have just run with the same name. Headline would be: "Upgrading from Windows 10 S is now free."
  • It's not being marketed on the average consumer level.... But, if you're an average consumer I can understand why you're confused.
    On the other hand, Chevrolet Corvette is sold to consumers in several different price ranges, trim levels, feature sets, with four performance levels, all with different engine choices, suspension setups, and body work... Not to mention all this is offered in convertible, or hardtop. Somehow, dealerships still manage to get consumers the Corvette that fits them. It's really all about how educated the sales staff is, and how easy MS makes it for store associates to understand their product lineup. There's just more options for everything these days, and consumers have grown to expect this. It's ok.
  • "This is awful marketing. "
    You're confusing advanced tech knowledge about how Microsoft operates its SKUs vs "marketing". There is no marketing here.
  •   I like the idea.  The vast majority of consumers do not use the whole system whether it is home or pro.  Their use is simply checking emails, social media, and games just like on their phones.  If you can buy a tablet with the lighter tighter version, S, and you don't really want the others then you are set but if you find out that you do need more then it is readily available.  Of course that might mean a slow down of sorts when you choose the other.  This is the way that computing should have been all along, like TV should be, just use and pay for what you need instead of all the bundling.  I have pro on my computer which I got several years ago while it was 7 but did not fully comprehend that it is geared towards business rather than personal at the time.  I knew but it never sank in for a while.
  • As long as it helps killing Win32, I'm fine with it.
    Win32 needs to go away, Centennial should be a workaround until the devs have the UWP version ready.
  • Oh great, kill win32 apps and be in the grip of MS and the awful store. I know that UWP apps do not have to be installed from the store, but how long do you think it will take before Ms says that everything must be from the store?  At least with win32 i do have a choice where to buy my software and I can still get some on disks if I want, If windows is going that direction then I may as well go and buy a MAc, better OS  for a start.  
  • Windows dies without Win32. It becomes pointless. It is like selling an F250 with no trailer hitch.
  • A bunch of multi-million confused monkeys.
  • Besides their laptop, how many Windows S devices were actually released? If they change directions enough times perhaps they'll luck into moving forward.
  • What about the real reason Microsoft did this? OEMs were not using Windows 10S at all. It was a total flop, the only device was the Surface Laptop and it looks to be a flop too if useage share is any indication.
  • The reason why they didn't use it as much on consumer PCs (Not Education and Enterprise) is because of OEM pricing. In this case Microsoft is skewing the OEMs towards Windows 10 S Home. Expect the amount of S Mode PCs to dramatically increase. So in the future I expect there to be only 3 mainstream SKUs that OEMs will mainly use. Windows 10 Polaris.
    Windows 10 S Home
    Windows 10 Pro
  • They didn't use it at all. Microsoft will probably have to pay then to use it like they did Nokia.
  • Not really. Since Windows 10 Home S Mode is cheaper than normal Home, I expect the amount of S Mode PCs to increase.
  • Wasn't it already cheaper and that is why the premium to unlock it?
  • It was cheaper than Normal Pro however it was still more expensive than Home. Now that there will be Windows 10 Home S Mode, then we will see more S Mode PCs and potentially more cheaper PCs. Though I won't be surprised if that comes with compromises in the future when switching. Could be that you can't change the default browser, you can download other browsers but you can't change the default browser, or that you'll have the warning popup when installing apps outside the Store. 
  • "OEMs were not using Windows 10S at all. It was a total flop, the only device was the Surface Laptop and it looks to be a flop too if useage share is any indication."
    You, like a lot of people here, make the same assumption that this is all about the consumer market vs. FLWs, enterprise, business, etc. We've been over this many times.
  • I specifically said OEMs, not consumers. OEMs haven't adopted it for any market. Thurrot had a much more honest article about this.
  • OEMs have been adopting it. I'm not sure if you've been under a rock for one year, but throughout 2017 and early 2018 there have been PCs running Windows 10 S aimed at Enterprise and Education.  https://www.windowscentral.com/schools-can-now-order-first-low-cost-wind...   evices https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2018/01/22/microsoft-educati... https://blogs.windows.com/business/2017/09/25/announcing-windows-10-s-de... and of course we have Windows 10 ARM PCs which run Windows 10 S.  It's clear you've been living a rock. 
  • Well, this isn't really accurate. Most PC buyers will select either Home or Pro (or it'll be shipped on the new PC they buy, based on whether it's classed as more of a business oriented PC or not). If you are a regular consumer, and for most PCs, they will ship with Home S Mode by default is my prediction. So yes, it WILL be the default for what most people see. The regular consumer who only browses websites or downloads the odd title from the Store, will never need to 'upgrade'/remove the S. For anyone playing games or doing anything more creative, they'll remove S and install their Win32 apps as soon as they get told they can't, and this'll be for free. MS is banking on fewer people doing this then run Home wide open today, and thus, it'll be more secure for some % of the ecosystem. The problem comes for small businesses that buy Pro. Will those machine ship by default with Pro S Mode, and then they'll be hit with a very probably unexpected $50 charge? Will companies make it clear whether they offer the option of S Mode or not? I see more problems on this side of the fence, and I'm not sure I see the advantage here, it's likely to end up with more confusion and more pissed off people thinking they just got suckered. There's already Enterprise and Education versions of the OS. These folks control what gets rolled out to their users, so they'll know if their population needs Win32 app access or not.
  • It's just typical Microsoft. Too many versions of windows. I consider myself a techie and I don't even know the difference between Home and Pro editions. Just make 1 version and be done with it. Nobody asked for an "S" version. It's going to flop just as Windows 7 Starter did.
  • I don't think you can honestly call yourelf a technie if you don't know the difference between Home and Pro.
  • "I consider myself a techie and I don't even know the difference between Home and Pro editions."
    I mean, it's like 6 things, so now I question your labeling as a "techie". It's literally a 15-minute read on the differences and they haven't changed in years.
  • Windows 10 S is dead. If it's a mode, then it's no longer a SKU of Windows 10. In that sense, it's dead. And it died because it was obviously a flop. Now...   "This means hardware makers can now just pick between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, and choose whether they want S mode to be enabled by default on the device that it is selling to consumers."   Which begs the question: What OEM putting out a Windows 10 Home laptop will be stupid enough to decide to sell it with Windows 10 S mode turned on, offering their customer a worse Windows experience than they would if they just kept Home untouched? Why even bother to force the consumer to go through the work of upgrading to the non-S version? Yes, it might be cheaper for the OEM but it will create a bad experience for the consumer and it's certainly not Microsoft that will get the bad image with that consumer and potentially lose future sales.   For schools this could be good...if Microsoft managed to get Chrome in the Windows Store and stopped being a t*at about it. Or do they think students will put up with the sh*tshow that is Edge, when they have even on their phones a browser that's infinitely better?   I bet in 2 or 3 years "S mode" will be gone, back to it being just a toggle on the settings panel of normal Windows.
  • Why is Chrome on the Microsoft Store a factor? If it's for access to Google services, then this is a serious problem that Google needs to fix. There shouldn't be two internets: One under any browser and one for just Chrome. That's where Google has been going for a while now, with Allo and other services that are strictly limited to only functioning on Chrome.  Also, I've been a techie/heavy user for a very long time; I run my own home media server, mined crypto using a home-made rig, etc, and yet I REALLY like Edge. I think Edge is excellent, on both Windows and Android.  With the upcoming "Sets" feature, I think Edge is going to be very useful, and I think S Mode will be a great opportunity to demonstrate this. Microsoft just needs to wait to do these types of things until all the kinks are ironed out before they go launching something like this. If they're waited until this was properly positioned, I think there'd be way less confusion and it would look like something that some groups would want to just on.
  • Chrome is the most used browser in the World on PCs. When you add Android numbers to it, it becomes the de facto browser for everyone.   I personally hate Edge. The thing is a mess, lags every time I try to open a page, a disaster. No matter how many chances I give it, it's just bad. Not Internet Explorer bad, but not that far away. But it's irrelevant what I or you like. It's the market that decides. And the market has made Chrome the default browser.
  • Edge is a total junk and the stat counter charts prove it! JUNK! Whatr student owning an android or an iphone would ever use that pathetic Edge, when in Chrome they have their data synced on?? Oh I've forgot about Edge on Android and IOS..who the hell is using that?? Download counts in the app store tell nothing, so don't come up with those. MS is so desperate and simply PATHETIC in all their attempts to lure people into using a cippled mediocre platform built and maintained by interns and tested by guinea pig insiders. It's not gonna work no matter how badly you fanbabies cry about it. Compared to Microcrap, OEMs do CARE what customers say about their products that could affect their reputation and sales.
  • Well, OEMs go where they can cut costs and OEMs are not fussed up experiences since they were more than happy to churn out mediocre products YoY. Now the bar has been raiser significantly so they have to maintain that level otherwise it's an obvious regression.
  • Well they can use Windows 10 Home S Mode to cut cost, and plus people that need anything outside the Store can just upgrade for free.
  • Except there's a limit to cost-cutting when it starts impacting sales. And selling a Windows 10 Pro PC in "S mode", will likely be that line. It's like "we are charging you for this product but to cut on our costs, we have put a useless version of Windows in it. If you want the normal version, pay up". Guess what consumers will do?   They might get away with Home for a while. But even there, word of mouth spreads. "Oh don't buy that laptop. It comes with that useless version of Windows and you're expected to upgrade it yourself if you want".
  • You're assuming that OEMs will more likely sell PCs with Pro S Mode than Home S Mode. Home S Mode users can upgrade to Home for free. 
  • "I bet in 2 or 3 years "S mode" will be gone,"
    In 2 or 3 years, we'll have WCOS devices and Classic Windows.
    "if Microsoft managed to get Chrome in the Windows Store and stopped being a t*at about it"
    Since when has Google wanted to cooperate with Microsoft and put their premium software on their platform/store? How do you know Microsoft is at fault here when even I don't know that? Magic?
    "If it's a mode, then it's no longer a SKU of Windows 10. In that sense, it's dead. "
    There is no logic or argument here that you're making. You're just claiming something without evidence.
  • "Since when has Google wanted to cooperate with Microsoft and put their premium software on their platform/store? How do you know Microsoft is at fault here when even I don't know that? Magic?"   I guess you missed the part where Microsoft doesn't allow other browsers in the Windows Store?   "There is no logic or argument here that you're making. You're just claiming something without evidence."   I won't even bother explaining. I'll just quote the article itself: "In the past, Windows 10 S was a separate edition of Windows 10 that sat alongside Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. Hardware makers could pick between the three editions. Now, however, Microsoft has removed that separate Windows 10 S edition and instead turned it into a mode that runs on top of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro."
  • "I guess you missed the part where Microsoft doesn't allow other browsers in the Windows Store?" One would think that an "executive editor of Windows Central, who has been covering Microsoft since 2009" would know this.    "Even I don't know that" indeed.   But even if MS admitted that IE and Edge suck, and actually allow others in the store, Google has no incentive to make Chrome available. Why help a competitor when they are already in a death spiral?  
  • If they call it Windows Core it will flop just like every non-classic version of Windows. They need to rebrand it so people go into it without any preconceived notions. Windows means Win32 and classic experiences. It doesn't mean apps and touch. Microsofts needs to let go of the past, it is holding them back.
  • I really hope it will get to be a toggle. That would actually benefit everyone. Windows 10S has an audience imo and it would be nice if I could easily switch any Windows 10 PC to S
  • The situation with Windows 10 Home is odd, and I am not sure how it is supposed to encourage consumers to move away from Win32 and increase Store adoption. Let's say all consumers will in fact get Windows 10 Home with S Mode on their new computers. Those that weren't going to install any Win32 programs to begin with will not notice any difference or limitation. Those that do attempt to install Win32 (Chrome, etc.) will get a popup about the S Mode restriction, select disable it, and then continue installing the program they wanted. I just don't see how this implementation will encourage users to change their behavior or embrace S mode in any way.
  • Because the more PCs that come with S Mode. The more apps get into the Store. The thing is that you don't know if all those users are going to switch. The more users that don't switch the better the benefit MS has. Even if 80% switched, that remaining 20% is a massive userbase.
  • "Let's say all consumers will in fact get Windows 10 Home with S Mode on their new computers. Those that weren't going to install any Win32 programs to begin with will not notice any difference or limitation."   For as long as they open the Store, type in "Chrome" and nothing shows up, they'll notice the difference. As soon as they do and get that message they'll just be irritated with Windows 10. And there goes the "we want people to love Windows" from Nadella.
  • Add iTunes to that list.   Until iTunes and Chrome are in the store, Win 10 S is  DOA.   Since neither Apple nor Google have ANY incentive to make these available, 10 S will go nowhere.  
  • Itunes is actually coming to the MS Store. 
  • Yeah, MS announced that almost a year ago.  But it still is not there.  
  • Well, I think my mom doesn’t even know what chrome is …
  • Your mom does not represent the whole world.  Chrome is the most used browser worldwide, on all devices (desktop, tablet, phones).   By a huge margin, and growing.  Chrome is at 56%.  2nd is Safari at 14%.  IE is a distant 6th place at 3%.  Edge is an even more distant 9th place at 1.9%.  That means IE and Edge combined are less than 5%.   From Statcounter.    
  • Putting PC 's and smartphones in 1 basket to prove your point about Chrome is crazy from a methodological perspective. It's like mixing cars and motorbikes. 2 differnt things that have nothing to do with each other.
  •  it is not growing chrome was at 60% 3  years ago. 
  • As sad as it is, that is true, almost everyone I know that uses a windows based PC uses Chrome, there are a couple who uses firefox, but as far as i know no one uses Edge. Oh I did use Edge on my brothers computer when I built it and that was to download chrome.   some people are not even trying edge, apart to download the browser they want to download, reminds me of internet Exploder.
    I used Edge for a couple of hours and that was enough for me.        
  • I have used just about every version of Windows plus DOS. Some systems work better than others. But for the most part, since 1981, I have used Wintel computers. What is my biggest complaint? Not being able to transfer my macro programs in Excel in the mid-1990s when they changed the capability of excel (visual basic i guess?). I much preferred the prior method of integrating Word and Excel documents.
  • 100% behind S-mode, 100% behind Windows on ARM, 100% behind WCOS, 100% behind Windows 10+XBOX merger, 100% behind XBOX on ARM. Windows 10 hate memes and narratives are only giving Win32 the kiss of death.
  • Without Win32, Windows is pointless. Might as well be using a Chromebook or iPad. As I said before, it is like selling an F250 without support for trailer hitches.
  • Well, tbh for about half of the users a chrome book would totally suffice. For example never have I seen my mom install any app or program. And I am pretty sure my mom isn’t alone out there in the wide world of moms that basically just use their pc to access the internet and that is pretty much it. For those users Windows 10 S is actually a benefit as it keeps them from accidentally installing malicious software 
  • Windows S may be great for some people but calling it a mode doesn't make it a mode. Unless you can switch back and forth at will from Windows to Windows S, it's not a mode of Windows. The fact that you can't switch back and forth, the fact that you need to upgrade to get full Windows means that this is a version of Windows, not a mode. It may be written or compiled differently now and they may call it something different now but none of that changes the fact that this is still a version of Windows. I don't understand why every single site that covers Windows is just going along with this narrative instead of calling them out for what this really is. It's a narrative change, a new way to market and distribute Windows S, it is not a change to what Windows S ultimately is and that is a version of Windows. A SKU of Windows that just happens to be in devices alongside full Windows with the ability to upgrade to a full version of Windows.
  • Microsoft should make more UWP apps for desktop use. So far, most of them are for mobile use.
  • That's because mobile is where the action is.  Desktop use is going down, thus app development for it is also going down.  
  • Desktop use is actually pretty same for PC sales. Decline over the next 10 years is expected to be pretty minor.
  • A bunsh of nice words. However the artikle does not answer the question of the headline
  • Finally. This is what they should’ve done from the start … makes much more sense.
  • It does not matter how it's called. It is still a junk pathetic project
  • I do like the idea in windows 10 of being able to stop anything being installed  by changing it to store only, but only do that one the software is on the machine that you need. then hide the store icon, but that is about it
  • To be clear, the single and only reason MS have done this is because 'S' is still Microsoft's vision for the future of Windows, and they want to get this capability onto *all* windows 10 devices, not just the Windows Laptop, which has actually been a complete sales failure. As far as MS are concerned, the sooner they can make 'S' the default, out of the box setting in Win10, the better. They envisage this will push more people to their app store, thus drive up interest and pull devs in who will then start writing for UWP, which is also, at this stage, an abject failure.  I'm sure MS will encourage their slaves partners to enable 'S' mode by default, but give the option of switching to 'full' mode, in the hope people don't, or forget, or can't be bothered. Whatever.  Anyone who thinks any different is delusional.   
  • The messaging to the Consumer needs to be CLEAR. This is the version of Windows that is HIGHLY more secure than any other. People do care about that. I'm guessing it won't stop the #1 call I get from un-savvy consumers which is the fake website, that puts up the scam phone # that asks them to call Microsoft about a "problem" with their computer. I don't get calls for Malware much anymore, but I get plenty of those, and there are plenty of un-savvy users that actually call the phone #. I'm all for Windows 10 S. The vast majority of the users are neo-phytes, thats why they buy iPads for christs sake; and just wanna use the web and check their email, and shop. Microsoft in turn needs to start tuning into Consumer needs; and highlight the usefulness of the built in apps. A simple video tutorial dumped onto the god-dang desktop would work wonders. Tutorials that actually SHOW them how to use the apps, and not moronic cartoons set to f-ing piano music and clapping. Gee maybe Lynda.com could help with that? JF
  • I think they should not charge $49 to switch on any version Home, Pro, or Ent., it's a mode.  If Centannial is really workng well, Enterprises could convert all their apps and enable S mode on all their devices and thwat a lot of malware.  MS always has the gun aimed at their foot when they pull the trigger.  There's A Mode for that... What Microsoft could do with competent marketng and competent execution is astoundng. That they haven't self destructed absent competent marketing and executiin is also astoundng.  I'm jsut spitballing here but so is Microsoft. 
  • Windows S is just Windows RT!!! Despite all the 'semantics' and spin that some people have put on this, it is just tethered to the MS store... So now, after the public has seen through the lies by MS about this version of Win 10, it has now become a 'mode'. Microsoft really have no idea what consumers want. All this wasted time and money on 'cul de sac' products. Who the hell is in charge over there??? Oh... and don't get me started on the 'new class of mobile device'. Are you kidding me!!!!!!
  • It would very useful in the family desktop situation if I could have windows 10 home for admin but make my kids accounts windows 10S.
  • Could one go from S-mode to home and afterwards again to S-mode? Or could one activate S-mode on a normal Windows 10 Home version on existing devices?
  • My take is this will, like most else MS has done in the consumer sphere, fail quickly. Why enable S mode? I can understand to lock kids or old people, or employees out of downloading unverified software with malware, but aside from that what benefit is there? With the lack of W10 universal apps, who would want it.