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Forget Windows 10 S — Microsoft needs a true 'lite' version of Windows

Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper

Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper (Image credit: Microsoft)

If Microsoft wants to get serious about competing with Google in the education market, it needs a version of Windows 10 that isn't just Windows 10 Pro with a virtual block on installing programs from outside the Store. Windows 10 S, while a nice idea, is not a true Chrome OS competitor. Microsoft needs a real, lightweight version of Windows 10 that removes the bloatware of Win32 and focuses primarily on being a web-first OS.

The beauty of Chrome OS is that it doesn't get in the way. It's a simple, straightforward experience that puts what you bought the thing for front and center: browsing the web. Microsoft's idea of a Chrome OS competitor is normal Windows with a block on installing non-Store apps, and while Windows 10 S is good for other reasons, it's not a viable Chrome OS competitor.

Windows 10 S Review

Chromebook

Chromebook (Image credit: Windows Central)

I think Microsoft needs a version of Windows 10 with a desktop environment that's true Universal Windows Platform (UWP)-only. That means no legacy Win32 programs, no classic Control Panel, and no ancient File Explorer. Microsoft needs a version of Windows 10 that's entirely modern while remaining familiar enough to be recognizable. Microsoft needs Windows 10 Mobile ... but without the Mobile part.

It wouldn't be for power users

I can already hear the power users in the comments ranting about why such a version of Windows 10 is a bad idea, but let me be clear here: This version of Windows 10 is not for you. It's for those in the education sector or casual users who do nothing but surf the internet.

In my life, I have bought or given Windows laptops to all kinds of people. Old people, young people, workaholics, casuals, you name it. While everyone's use case is different, I've noticed a trend amongst several of them; their use cases are using the web browser for accessing email, watching Netflix, and writing documents. These laptops often come with bloatware and extra crap that they're not ever going to use, killing performance, and it's overkill for a lot of people.

The fact of the matter is for a lot of people, Windows as a whole is overkill. Not everyone wants to customize every last setting available in the Control Panel. Not everyone wants to access the registry, manage connected domains or organize files in File Explorer. A lot of people just want to use the internet, and I think Microsoft needs a version of Windows 10 that gets out of the way and lets people do just that.

A version of Windows 10 that's true UWP-only, with a simple desktop experience that includes a taskbar, Start menu and windowed apps, is exactly what a lot of people need. Maybe not you or me, but people. Windows 10 S gets a lot right, but it's still the same old Windows under the hood. It still has the extra settings, functions, and capabilities that most people don't need.

As I showcased in my CShell video earlier this year, Continuum has been updated with windowed mode, which actually makes Continuum useful. Take that experience, build the hardware into a laptop rather than a phone, and you've got the exact scenario I'm imagining: A version of Windows 10 with a desktop experience that's UWP only, and runs on ARM-based laptops.

Edge needs to be better

Don't get me wrong, a true UWP-only version of Windows would come with its own problems. For example, UWP itself isn't exactly doing well when it comes to third-party apps, but again, a lot of these people just use the web browser on these kinds of devices. The only real problem with this is Microsoft Edge, which many would argue is still subpar compared to Chrome or Firefox.

While I personally disagree, I totally understand that argument. Microsoft needs to do more work to Edge before people will start taking it seriously, which is why a true UWP only version of Windows 10 today wouldn't work. Until Microsoft gets more extensions for Edge in the Store and improves Edge under the hood, the idea of a version of Windows 10 that puts the browser first falls flat. But Microsoft is serious about Edge, and I think Microsoft wants Edge to be the best browser out there.

And I'm not saying this version of Windows 10 should be installed on high-end machines. This would be a version of Windows 10 for Intel Atom or ARM-based devices that aren't all that powerful and are good at browsing the web or doing lightweight tasks. Too many times have I bought a sub-$300 laptop and found it to be incredibly sluggish thanks to Windows being so old and heavy, along with the added bloatware hardware makers like to pre-install. A UWP-only version of Windows 10 would improve the experience on devices like that dramatically.

What are your thoughts on such a version of Windows 10? Do you know anyone who would benefit from an OS like this? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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

134 Comments
  • But, why all the lies about Chrome OS though??? It is crap, always has always will.
  • Ok
  • Chrome OS, in the United States, is gaining traction. If you disagree then so be it. Doesn't change the fact that it's true.
  • It's not gaining that much traction, all of that is marketing BS lies. It's negligible. It's crap and if you disagree with that so be it. Doesn't change the fact that THAT is true.
  • Chromebooks now have HALF the US education market. That is traction. They may not have much consumer market, but getting them into kids hands so early can't be bad for them. I doubt Chromebooks will really go anywhere though since PCs are losing relevancy. I find very few instances were I would prefer picking up a laptop instead of just using my phone for common tasks.
  • No, they do not, that is all BS Google is marketing. There is not even a way to gauge that. They got traction for sure, but not that great, There is no takeover situation going one here. If anything you are correct about your assessment about them really going anywhere while Mobile is still around.  
  • Arnold,  Lay off the Fanboy kool-aid buddy.  Chrome OS is taking over the educational depts across The US and Canada.  If you don't believe it,  does not make it false.  Sorry again.  BUT IT'S the TRUTH.  here comes the downvotes for the TRUTH again.  Walk into any school around here and it's chromebooks all the way....no google marketing here.
  • There is no way to gauge what computers are sold to schools? Are you serious?
  • Eventually you will have to switch to PC if your are doing music, game, photography, movie production, 3d, etc imo...
    Can you run Visual Studio on Chrome Book? Repo? Excel?
    Can I go keyboard only on Chrome Book?
    I'm a main programmer in a major game studio, Excel / Office is very important in my industry, google sheet, etc... stand no chance tho...
  • Those are the tools man. If you want to program a game install Excel.
  • Sorry but Chrome is gaining traction, mainly in the education sector. Our ISD ditched Windows a few years ago because of the abysmal peformance and weight required to run it.   They moved over to issuing Chromebooks and not looked back at all.  Now everything is done on a Chromebook and uses google docs and drive. The school can buy the absolute minimum hardware now and the laptops run great.
  • Chrome's success in education is less about what a great OS it is and more about how easy they made them to manage. They created tools to deploy them that anyone can use. We used them in a clinic where I volunteer sometimes (all the charting is done through a web based EMR app) and it was a terrible decision, however. They were slow on the webapps that go beyond basic web browsing. Printing was a nightmare. I'm sure they've improved in the last 2 years though. Mobile tech, virtualization, and "the cloud" are making the OS you run less relevant. MS should be worried. In time, I think Chrome will be a threat. 
  • I would argue that easy to manage is part of the OS.   It is the entire package.    Also, easy to manage extends to the home.   I personally have a HUGE family as in 8 kids and love Chromebooks.  I am the house admin, never even applied, and CB are so much less work then Windows. I had one kid with a Acer 15" and another with an Acer 14".   They wanted to trade as the 15 has better speakers and the 14 is the best value machine I have seen.    Did not require me to do anything.   They just handed each other and used their account.   Now that is solid gold for me.
  • Go ahead and deny that Chrome OS is gaining traction if you want. Steve Ballmer laughed off the iPhone, too.
  • Comparing these two is laughable.
  • Stop.
  • How's life without a functional brain?
  • @ Arnold Andino. I have a Chromebox running ChromeOS. I love it. I love it as much as my Surface book. Its my secondary machine. There is a suprising amount you can do on it. RDP, Citrix Receiver, Telnet, IRC, VPN, Photo Editing. I can edit fair amount of MS Office documents. MS Teams, OneNote.  And soon, these things will run Android apps. Then, I can use actual Office. (And hopefully Visio at some point) I also used an Android Tab today, with a travel mouse and foldable MS keyboard, its fits in such a small bag but is like a mini PC.  MS know they need a moblile offering, its just too big a space to ignore. But ChromeOS is scaring them, its getting so good for a lighter user you could give up your PC. Its super cheap, and its very secure and very fast. Honestly you shouldn't bash it, live with it for a while, you will learn to love it I am sure.
  • Hwangeruk,  He's a kool-Aid drinker.  No need to use LOGIC and COMMON SENSE with people like that!
  • Great post!   Completely agree but why on earth are you being downvoted?   People are having trouble being realistic, IMO. In the end it is about developers.   Google able to leverage Android with the largest developer community with Chromebooks is a threat to MS over the very long term. What happened is MS client developers have been leaving for over a decade.   First with the Web many left and then iOS and then Android.   Without mobile this is a very real issue for MS.
  • Chromebooks grew 38% YoY and Windows/PC sales are at the lowest in a decade. "Chromebook shipments surge by 38 percent, cutting into Windows 10 PCs" https://www.pcworld.com/article/3194946/computers/chromebook-shipments-s... The data would indicate otherwise. But keep the faith maybe it will change ;).
  • Duplicated
  • Stay classy European, Zac.
  • Opinion ==! Fact.
  • I thought this
    =!
    Was "not equal to"
    Atleast in C based languaged.
  • I thought this
    =!
    Was "not equal to"
    Atleast in C based languages.
  • I am a student.. I want a laptops, but see the configuration and cost of windows laptop. On the other hand see the price chrome laptops. Whether you like or not.. Not everyone can afford surface laptop or any slim laptop(whether it is Dell or hp). They are too costly. And cheap windows laptops are not reliable. So what options we had left. Chrome laptop. Plus they had regional content. Tablets are now history. Do you think a student need 4k screen for studies? Windows laptops are best but price are worst. They are just focusing on innovation. And how they can recover the cost of that innovative products. For example take a example of figure print scanner or any app which can replace Kindle app or paper white etc.. Nothing till now in budget laptops.
    On the other hand Google with playstore in laptops will bring all cool stuff of android in laptops in my budget.
    Windows store in laptop has app gap. And play store in Chrome laptop has stability problems. Tablet app crash. But playstore is on upper hand because they know they need to fix all these issue in laptops, but Microsoft need to convince app developers to please make app for windows laptop..
  • Well, my kids' school system disagrees.  Every kid gets a Chromebook starting in third grade. Chrome OS runs fantastically on the lowest of the low-end hardware, never slows down, is always up to date, and does the one thing that is 95% of everything PCs need to do: Surf the Web. My kids can watch multimedia, do online assignments, write reports, etc., all from the Web now. And, because Chromebooks can now run Android apps, they actually have a bigger library of current software available than Windows PCs do -- not just S versions, but full Windows.
  • I agree.. Bigger library with variety of applications. Just look at the ebook app or PDF app or any video player or music player or anything .. There are so many developers who makes applications which can run in any Android laptop or phone .No minimum requirements no drivers requirement nothing.what ever app you need just download it and use them. Plus too much eco friendly. Microsoft has a monopoly,in laptop. But let see how they come up with windows 10. One more thing windows store 3rd party app are really horrible.. Except few.. And look at the price of that few products... Too expensive..
  • So why not just go with a Chromebook for light users and power users continue with regular Windows? There isnt any real argument being put forward as to WHY anyone would choose a light version of Windows if it existed so again it will be just another solution looking for a problem. The value in Windows is the fact that it IS Windows, take that away and it really has no attraction or benefit to anyone. Time to realize that and stop trying to shoehorn Windows onto devices where it doesnt belong just because they plug into a wall socket and have an On button.  
  • "So why not just go with a Chromebook?" Because not everyone wants a Chromebook. I want a Chromebook running Windows, hence the article. I don't want a Chromebook running Chrome OS. I am not part of Google's ecosystem, and want to be running Microsoft sofrware and services no matter the device.
  • It looks like this is true, but as user of W10M I can tell you that Microsoft make better software and make their services avaliable in other platforms
  • " am not part of Google's ecosystem, and want to be running Microsoft software and services no matter the device."
    So why don't you continue using the Microsoft Ecosystem? No one is preventing you from using your preferred OS and services. 
  • @Zac Bowden, So, riddle me this: "Microsoft needs Windows 10 Mobile ... but without the Mobile part." What exactly is that "mobile part" is in your opinion? If you're going to say that's the mobile shell (the part that will eventually be replaced by CShell), then you're right. If you're tempted to say anything else, or you assume there must be other parts of W10M that are specific to it which justify it being a "seperate OS", then you're wrong. In other words, with the exception of CShell, what you are asking for already exists! That is W10M (although MS would be unwise to market it under that name)! Take W10M, remove the platform drivers, add different platform drivers for the new hardware, add in CShell, and presto. Finished! The only thing missing is a larger selection of UWP apps, but Chrome also gets by with nothing but a browser, and such a device could do so as well. The shell (primarily task bar, start menu and task switcher) will work fine on large displays. It will look and behave exactly like the Windows 10 shell. But it will exclude the Win32 baggage, be much more secure, and only run UWP software. So again, there is no difference between W10M + CShell and what you are asking for. The need for such a lightweight OS, or more precisely the potential need for it, is exactly why W10M is still being developed. Understanding this is exactly why I've been saying for years that despite phones being dead, W10M is not yet dead. Understanding this is why I was able to tell you that MS would continue to invest in W10M, long before Daniel Rubino's contacts at MS (baffelingly to most) confirmed the same. The potential need for such an OS is exactly why W10M is still under development. The only way W10M can really die is if MS removes the capability to install W10 without Win32 and all of Win32's associated baggage. Once CShell is released, including or excluding Win32 (and all that comes with it) will be the only differentiator between W10M (or whatever it is called going forward) and W10. As long as MS maintains the ability to install a pure UWP version of Windows, then W10M lives on, because that is all W10M is (ignoring platform drivers which don't technically belong to the OS anyway). Many on WCentral, particularly those who comment on articles, end up inventing technically completely ridiculous theories to explain-away why W10M is still receiving updates despite its apparently irrelevant market position. That is leading to a lot of confusion and BS. Clearing that up would help a lot of people on this site understand what is going on. Lastly, there is no technical reason such an OS couldn't also be suitable for power users. Nothing about the OS itself makes it unsuitable for that purpose. The only thing that matters is wheather the appropriate software, the type powerusers rely on, is available for the UWP platform.
  • I never understood the reason why microsoft doesn't market a cheap 10 - 12 inch 2-1 laptop with touch screen , arm processor and 2gb ram - 32 gb storage and lte capabilities with a version of w10m. You can browse the web , take notes with inkcanvas, listen to your music, watch netflix etc without having a lagging legacy code base and need for anti-viruses etc. That kind of laptop is also suitable for the education sector and for companies to deploy their custom apps to employees. 
  • The problem is File Explorer.  Microsoft shunted so much uneccesary crap inside explorer.exe in the late 90's and early 2000' as a way to battle regulators by saying it wasn't possible to remove Windows Media Player or Internet Explorer, or blah blah failed technology because it was "part of the system".  I mean, have you looked at just the icons inside of explorer.exe?
  • Nope. Pointing to "the icons" is probably the most irrelevant way you could attempt to justify your point. 99.9% of those icons are embedded in explorer.exe for compatibility reasons. Unless you happen to install a two decades old program that was never updated and therefore still references them, they are never used. MS can't remove them, as being "compatible" with older software is one of its main selling points for corporations. If your software tends to be newer than that, then their existance costs you nothing beyond a few hundred kB of storage space, which in comparison to all the other junk Windows installs is pretty much a drop in the ocean. I'd say you'd have to be far more specific in regard to where you see a problem in regards to File Explorer. Otherwise I'd say you're seeing problems where there isn't one. Either way, the current File Explorer will very likely be replaced by something newer as part of CShell, but how quickly the old is phased out depends on a lot of details I currently don't know enough about.
  • Zac,  there are literally hundreds of "chromebooks" running windows.  Many cheap dirty windows laptops out there.  This day and age,  Even the cheapest of the cheap run windows 10 without issue.  The only issue is the fact that many only install 32gb of drive space.  Other than that,  there is nothing wrong with full windows 10 on cheap devices.
  • Steve, ChromeOS is much more efficient than Windows. It was explained really well from a current Microsoft kernel engineer why Windows is so much slower.</p> "I Contribute to the Windows Kernel. We Are Slower Than Other Operating Systems. Here Is Why." http://blog.zorinaq.com/i-contribute-to-the-windows-kernel-we-are-slower...
  • But as long as the end user experience is not lacking...USERS don't care how efficent an OS is.  They care about,  when I turn this on,  is it fast,  and can I do what I want to do.  SIMPLE.  At this point in time,  the newer "cheap" systems for windows 10 can do both.   It's only a few geeks here that care about the underlying **** going on.   Consumers DON'T CARE about that.   My Dell 2 in 1, is far from the highest model out there,  but 10 generally runs quicker than my sons macbook air 2016 model.  my wife's dell 3000 2 in1 even runs faster or just as fast as his macbook.  Seems OSX is the "yardstick" for speed and fluidity.  What chrome gives is a secure platform where its pretty well pointless to create "viri" for it.  Where as the baddies can mess the crap out of your windows device.  But,  As I said,  as long as it's fast and smooth,  the end user does not care.  As long as they can do what they want to do.   As it stands,  with windows 10 I can do 99% of what I want to do on computer...the 1% being I want imessage/facetime on it.  Will apple ever cave?  Who knows.  I know I would pay 50 plus dollars to buy that functionality for my windows 10 devices.     
  • Totally agree and this would be the default on low power tablets. My partner had a cheap Windows tablet and then tried a Amazon Kindle Fire, for her there is no going back as the Kindle just works and does what she wants.
  • this is a good idea 
  • Not only is it a good idea, but it works well too. I already have this 'light' version of Windows 10... on my phone! It works lovely in Continuum. Job done.
  • With how well Continuum works (could be way better though) with more work could've been the true Windows 10 for ARM. Just let developers make apps for the ecosystem as people buy it. People hated on Windows 8 but I think Microsoft never gave it a chance for people that don't use it for their workstation.
  • Nailed it Zac, spot on. A UWP-only laptop would be perfect for my family and alot of people I know whilst making my a life so much easier. I don't have to worry about malware, firewall settings, internet security suites clashing with installers because they aren't bothered to read and inadvertantly installing a bazillion toolbars and adware. Just to name a few silly but common scenarios. The worst one is that low end laptops do not have space for the forced updates thanks to OEMs shoving 32gb EMMC into the machine and not giving a crap that the user is left with next to nothing in useable storage space. As windows is a major space hog for people who just want to browse the web, use facebook and some store apps. It's what Windows RT should have been... it was an amazing tablet o/s as well and now tablets feel like an after thought (A classic Microsoft over reaction). Plus Microsoft would need to do heck of a lot more in promoting their UWA own platform that is not desktop based, many enterprise users do not need store applications but many consumers do. So for a UWP-only windows to succeed it would need store apps. There-in lies the problem, which sector did Microsoft chose to forgo? Consumer. You honestly couldn't make this up it's brain breakingly atrociously hilarious. A UWP-only surface mini LTE would be the perfect student device.
  • I don't even why they abandoned the tablets and Windows RT. That should've been the definitive version of Windows they should worked at, not for phones. They never had a chance in the mobile phones without a great app ecosystem /store.
  • Although I liked Windows RT and had bought a device, it definitely wasn't gaining traction
  • MS does a lot of things wrong from a consumer point of view. What would be good is having a stripped down/steamlined version of Windows, and then having features you can add if needed from Settings, even at a cost to the consumer. This would be great for all those, including myself, who actually got an ATOM based 2-in-1, or tablet, with limited resources. But then again, MS can't figure this stuff out, because they have no touch on consumer feedback, or know what consumers want. This is where Apple shines, because they are real people with real minds at this point, and future thinking. I'm kind of getting tired of MS and living in the past with them to be honest  :( 
  • Stripped and steamlined version is not for pro or power users, it's for the average joe who do not even know how to navigate the control panel let alone initiate commands via winkey+r. There are three obvious  reasons why RT didn't gain traction, no touch office so to use office you had to open the desktop and the user would be subjected to a jarring experience. Two - the desktop elements do not lend well to touch, three - People didn't understand what RT meant - so they presumed because it's Windows it will run traditional Win32 applications + macros.
  • This might sound bonkers, but why don't they use the core OS from the Xbox (obviously change the shell back) but there is your pure UWP and possible convert this to ARM in the near future.
  • I think you are dead wrong here Zac. I think that hardware will catch up to Windows S and both in price and computing power. Enough to give those people that don't want bloatware as you put it a useable easy machine and enough to grow in to.
  • Whilst hardware may surpass Windows S with ease you are forgetting about price, personally I wouldn't want to run the current version of Windows on anything much less than an i5, I have, I had it on an HP Stream 7 inch tablet and it was ok for me to play with but if any buys a low spec PC or tablet its a painfully slow experience and the price of higher tech is currently going up not down. This idea is for a light, cheap version of Windows to run on very basic PC's for hard working mums to buy for their kids or older folk on limited savings, they just need a quick OS that runs web pages, Skype and the mobile versions of word etc.   I don't want or need such a device, but a lot of non tech savvy low income poeple do and this is why MS could lose out in the future, people who start off with a different OS and don't need the complexity of a full blown PC won't rush out to buy into Windows, especially if MS aren't in the mobile arena at all.  
  • An Edgebook! I am sure that would go over well!
  • Call me crazy but, what they really need to do is introduce this new OS Zac describes (all UWP/no Win32, etc.) and brand it something other than Windows.  Windows has too many legacy connotations...it has too many expectations for what it "is".  If MS wants a footprint in the education and ground-floor consumer side of things they could easily do it as this article describes.  And, they could avoid a ton of chafe and drama and confusion if they simply chose to brand it something other than Windows.
  • I was thinking the same thing. As a general purpose OS Windows means different things to different people. Programmers expects "Windows" to be able to run Visual Studio, SQL Server and IIS, Office workers expect it to run Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Word and gamers expect it to run everything on their Steam library. They got Xbox right, people don't expect it to run PC games or apps despite having the "Microsoft" brand behind. Maybe that's the reason why Chrome OS is not Android and is not called as such and why the iPhone is called like that and not "MacPhone"  and iOS is not called OSX Mobile. I get the One Core and UWP thing, but the XBox One is proof enough the Windows brand isn't necessary to advertise a product which has the Windows Core and can run UWP apps.
      Microsoft should give different names for the Windows "flavor" for different family of devices. With the weight and expectation to "be Windows" lifted, comes the liberty to adapt to each of the form factors. Think like Linux and their distros. 
  • Call me crazy, but what kids need is less GUI and more command line.
  • "casual users who do nothing but surf the internet" I think thats what our phones are for (web, youtube, snapchat, fb, insta). In few years, most people won't want to carry a laptop. They will be just carrying their phones. You go home and dock that thing. Apple will figure that out first before Microsoft does (with more/better apps). And if I was in high school or college, I would want full winsows. That's me.
  • MS already figured this out with Windows Phone and Continuum, but as usual they pisched it up the wall. Nadellaaaaa!!!
  • Nadella don't care about windows and Terry myerson have no idea and leadership.
    I worry Terry myerson will make windows be like Internet explorer.
  • Hmmmm.... So, if Edge was better (or at least all you needed in a browser)... Wouldn't Windows 10s be what you were looking for?
  • Zac I don't think I agree with you on this one. Maybe 10 or more years back (like the Vista days?), this would have been valid, but now, hardware is generally mature and affordable enough to handle even the so called 'bloated' windows. I'm sure you have an SSD in all your Windows machines right? How long does it take to cold boot? 5 seconds, 8 seconds? Seriously, any average Windows machine with an i5 and decent SSD and at least 4GB or RAM is pretty darn fast. Heck even the average Android flagship phone is packing 4GB+ of RAM these days. I don't remember when last I've been disturbed by 'slow' performance on any of my Windows 10 devices (all core i5 and above and equipped with SSDs of course). Seriously, Windows lite has no purpose, because the performance 'benefits' will be marginal, and probably not noticeable on any decent hardware (which is really affordable these days, just get some el cheapo core i5+ laptop/desktop and slap an SSD into it). Windows 10 Pro all the way, the hardware is now capable.
  • I agree with you. I think even cheaper modern hardware is plenty fast enough for Windows 10 S. And that's only going to improve with each generation of new hardware.
  • If high-end Surface Laptop doesn't come with Windows S by default, I would totally agree that Windows S should be a much lightweighted version for low-end PC.
  • It seems like you are describing what Windows RT was attempting to be? I agree though, I have an HP Stream 7 and it just can't run Windows 10 without incredible lag, I don't even power it on anymore as the experience is painful. 
  • That's a fair point.  RT failed because there were no apps, and in a lot of cases, there still aren't.  How would this Windows 10 Lite succeed where WinRT failed?  That's a good question for Zac.
  • It is like Windows RT but I think compared to the time of Windows RT, the app situation is much better especially with windows on ARM coming and centennial bridged apps in the store. 
  • MS had a light weight o/s like chrome, actually MS had a few of them but they killed them all.....
  • So Microsoft Needs another windows RT to combat Chrome Os . No one needs A dumbed down windows. It will never be able to compete against IOS or android. People just need cheap Surface pro alternatives.
  • There are already a ton of dirt cheap Surface Pro alternatives.
  • And what are those. I am using a cube mix plus chinese tab because all others are ******* expensive.
  • What do you consider "expensive"?
  • I am on board with this idea.  For one thing, it would light a fire under Microsoft to make good UWP apps possible.  Edge might be a fast, compatible browser, but user-interface wise and integration-wise, it is like 8 years behind modern browsers.  It's awful.  Is that because of limitations in the UWP platform?  Or limitations in Microsoft's commitment to giving edge a compelling user interface?  We would find out, I guess.  And we need an Edge running on Android phones and iOS phones so that my bookmarks are universally shared.  Chrome does such a nice job with this that I doubt Edge will ever catch up.  
  • So... Windows RT? They had this, and nobody wanted it. So instead of trying to flog a cut-down OS that nobody wants, they came back with a different cut-down OS to see if they could do better.
  • Execpt of course, that Windows RT was not cut down at all. There is significant difference in between a "disabled feature" and "cut down".
  • Windows RT was not cut down in the slightest. It was full Windows, compiled for ARM.
  • So why do the EXACT SAME THING over again?
  • @Steve Adams. The difference here is OneCore, slow transition of APIs, the ability of apps to dynamically adjust to appropriate screen sizes. Windows RT was in essence windows 8 (over simplification here) where apps didn't not scale well and the initial releases of Windows 8 Store apps they all would launch full screen. There are so many differences to a UWP only windows device and Windows RT.
  • But for "chromebook" applications,  the apps really don't need to scale.  All the apps are made for desktop,  and thats what chrome books are.  So,  really...what he is talking about is RT AGAIN.  and it will not fly....again!
  • I know a couple of people who went to phone-only setup for most of their life, relying on a laptop only when they need to compose some documents etc. and I kind of understand them. OEMs keep showing 5400 RPM HDDs into cheap laptops, which I don't think is acceptable at all. And that's probably what most people buy because "omg this pc has a lot of storage" (and also, it's hard to find a cheap laptop from the big guys with a small SSD on-board). These things are damn slow and Windows is not really built for casuals, too much stuff you can accidentally switch on/off. That's not something Windows 10 S can fix, really. So I side with Zac on this one.
  • No MS needs to get a handle on all of the temp space usage so they can have a usable install on small SSDs. That's why chromeOS is fast. They aren't using old school hard drives. If you can make a usable 64GB ssd windows laptop then it would just as fast as chrome more or less. I remember when I first got my SurfaceRT 32GB and then run Windows update and have a full drive and unusable machine. It's way better now but still seriously problematic.trying to compete with a machine with different performance specs.like these low powered chromebooks whose only advantage is the ssd.