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Windows 10 S review: My time with the new edition of Windows

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

Microsoft has finally unveiled Windows 10 S, a new edition of Windows 10 built with one specific purpose: to take on Google Chromebooks in the education market. Education is an important area for Microsoft, and with Windows 10 S (which likely stands for schools), the Redmond giant plans to take back the education industry by storm.

But Windows 10 S isn't just for schools and the education market. Considering Windows 10 S is Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS, you can expect to see it show up on more consumer-orientated devices too. Just like how you can buy cheap or expensive Chromebooks, you'll also be able to go out and buy cheap or expensive Windows 10 S machines as well.

Now, you're probably wondering why we even need to 'review' or go hands-on with a new edition of Windows 10 to begin with. I mean, for the most part they're generally all the same right? That's usually the case, yes. But, Windows 10 S is slightly different in one major way. It's locked to the Windows Store, meaning apps from outside the Store simply won't install on Windows 10 S.

I've been using Windows 10 S (which when I first started using it, was called Windows 10 Cloud during development. Not that it matters, it's the same thing still) for around about a month now, so I feel I've been able to get pretty familiar with the limitations.

This limitation will likely be a pretty big deal for many Windows users. Luckily, most people probably won't encounter Windows 10 S in their daily lives, as this new edition of Windows 10 is aimed mostly at competing with Chromebooks. If you're not a fan of the Chromebook idea, you're likely not going to be very interested in Windows 10 S, and that's perfectly fine. Microsoft won't be forcing it onto you.

It's not what it sounds like

There's a common misconception with this new edition of Windows 10. Many are looking at it as some kind of "lite" version of Windows, as it being locked to the Windows Store means you can't install apps like Google Chrome or Adobe Premiere Pro. While true, Windows 10 S is absolutely not a "lite" version of Windows in any way, shape or form. It looks and behaves just like any normal version of Windows 10.

Windows 10 S can still run your traditional Windows apps and programs, as long as they're available in the Windows Store. That means if Google decides to put Chrome in the Windows Store, devices running Windows 10 S will be able to install it and use it. The only limitation on Windows 10 S is that you can't install the same apps from outside the Store. It simply doesn't let you.

What happens if you try? You get a friendly popup telling you that this specific edition of Windows 10 is designed to help you stay safe, and that means limiting you to the Windows Store for apps and games. How does this make you safer? Well, Microsoft screens all apps that are submitted to the Windows Store, ensuring for the most part that they're safe for use.

If you try and install an app from outside the Store that's actually already available in the Store, the blocked app popup will actually link you to the Store where you can download the same app. Then, the app will install just fine. I've installed many popular Windows programs, including Evernote, Tweeten, Slack and more. They all work just fine on Windows 10 S.

What's more, Microsoft is bringing the full version of Microsoft Office to the Windows Store too. This means you'll be able to take advantage of the powerful Word, PowerPoint and Excel programs, as well as other Office Suite apps, all on your Windows 10 S device. This is most beneficial, especially for the target audience that Microsoft is aiming Windows 10 S devices at.

Now, admittedly there's still a plethora of programs missing from the Windows Store. Programs such as most of Adobe's Creative Cloud suite, Chrome, Firefox, XSplit, and many more. But if you're someone who needs to use those kinds of programs, you're likely not going to be looking at devices that come pre-loaded with Windows 10 S to begin with.

Remember, Windows 10 S is for people who like Chromebooks. It's for lightweight devices where the user spends most of their time in a web browser. That's all Chrome OS is, a glorified web browser. Windows 10 S brings the power of Windows to that same market, where the user can take advantage of things like the full version of Office, Cortana, OneDrive and more.

So let's talk about my usage. I'm what one might consider a light power user. I'm not using three monitors with thousands of keyboard shortcuts, but I do require a few powerful programs that aren't currently available in the Store. I'm often using XSplit and Premier Pro for video producing. So immediately, Windows 10 S is not for me. Or isn't it?

I didn't install Windows 10 S on my main desktop, because that'd be silly. Windows 10 S isn't for that, so why would I put it there? As I've mentioned already, Windows 10 S is designed for devices like Chromebooks. So, instead of putting it on my machine where I expect to be using programs from outside the Store, I put it on my Surface 3 and HP Stream 11 devices instead.

This is where Windows 10 S makes the most sense, on devices where you're likely not going to need any programs from outside the Store. I don't use my Surface 3 to edit videos with Premiere Pro, I use it to browse the web, check email and watch movies. Windows 10 S, on my Surface 3, has been nothing but a pleasure to use. It's fast, lightweight, and secure.

What's more, since you can't install rogue Win32 programs from outside the Store, battery life should be slightly better too. So, I've been using Windows 10 S on devices where I know my usage scenario won't require me to be downloading apps from outside the Store, and on those devices, Windows 10 S has felt exactly like any other edition of Windows 10.

You can upgrade it

Most importantly, Microsoft doesn't actually limit you to Windows 10 S on a device that comes preloaded with it. If you really, really want to, you can go ahead and upgrade yourself to Windows 10 Pro, unlocking the ability to run programs from outside the Windows Store. This is excellent for devices like the Surface Laptop, a premium device, where users may want to take advantage of apps from outside the Store.

The upgrade isn't super expensive either. It'll only be $49.99 if you're a consumer, and free if you're a student. So Windows 10 S really isn't all that bad. In fact, I'd say it's better than normal Windows 10, depending on the device you're using it on of course. It's definitely more secure, as it can't run any install executables unless it came from the Store.

I'd definitely say Windows 10 S is a better OS for light web browsing compared to Chrome OS, because Windows 10 S comes with the added benefit of being Windows. It's still Windows 10, with all its Windows 10-ness, minus all the complicated Windows 10 fluff like CMD, Regedit and more. You just get Store apps, and the familiar Windows desktop, which I think is great for a huge chunk of "average" users.

And "average" users is exactly what this version of Windows 10 is targeting. Students in college, people who just use apps and browse the web, will benefit most from Windows 10 S. Now I know there will be people who disagree, and that's fine. But this is a version of Windows 10 that exists, and it exists to cater to that demographic. I've enjoyed my time with Windows 10 S on my Surface 3 and HP Stream x360.

Windows 10 S will be available on the new Surface Laptop, and hardware from 3rd party OEMs this year. Stay tuned to Windows Central for more.

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.

204 Comments
  • Out of interest, what file browser does it have? The Windows 10 Explorer.exe process is a Win32 program...
  • The fact is that it is still full blown Windows.. Other apps are just blocked, but it is still fully capable.... With that said, nobody said that it couldn't run Win32 apps, rather that the consumer couldn't install them with this version... That doesn't mean that MS, and it's partners can't....... 😲😲
  • so....HP can still install McAfee ?
  • Let's ask ourselves, why not?... I'm sure whenever you go into the store to "upgrade" to pro, it just "patch" the OS, unlocking certain elements.
  • When you are only running apps from the store, what is the point of installing a 3rd party antivirus software?
  • Lets see... scan your e-mails for malware and dodgy links, check your Office documents for devious macros, check web sites you visit for infected ads, ...  There are plenty of vectors for malicious code to get on your computer besides bad applications.
  • Defender is adequate for that. Anyway, virus are still PE executable so unless the attack vector is a buffer overrun in a sandboxed app, it can't execute.
  • Defender adequate?  That made me laugh.  
  • Man, I've used defender for years, and have never had a problem. It's not the best, but does the job adequately enough for probably 90% of users (don't quote me on figures). 
  • The Defender in Win 10 is based on the cloud-based Advanced Threat Respond technology (can't remember the name) used in Office 365. If you're thinking of the one in Win7 or before, that's an older tech, which scores poorly on AV ratings. The new one in Win10 has a 95-96% detection rate. I will give you one nugget to laugh about though. ;) Removal rate is still far better with commercial software like Norton, Trendmicro & Karpersky.
  • Dude chill... These antivirus companies fill up your head that they are the final stop for the redemption. I think the windows OS or Linux have a lot of tightened security within themselves. I never require anything except the windows Defender. Moreover, the browsers today have become too vigilant. Gone are the days of Wibdows xp dear...
  • Simple. No Win32 program execution apart from the store means you will not have to worry about malware even if they are in your e-mail or on the web. For everything else, there is Windows Defender.
  • I wouldn't be so sure. Even with Store apps, it's still possible for virus to inflitrate your PC even it's combined with other attack vectors. Need I remind you that in the past 4 years, we have seen more than 10 instances of Android apps being infected and at least 3 or 4 cases in IOS.
  • McAfee couldn't get their ant-virus to work on my computer. That could be because this on has an Evaluation copy on it, but it didn't work on my laptop either & that has Windows 10 Home on it, The other thing they and some other anti-virus sellers don't mention is, they say it works on Smart Phones. When I asked if it would about downloading it on my Lumia 650 & 950 they told me they are not Smart Phones. I wonder if Microsoft knows that? They did give me a refund though,
  • I get that but the point of these devices are lower power requirements. Having a load of Win32 processes running at startup won't do much to save power... as you say once OEMs start pre installing stuff the OS won't be that much more efficient than full Windows
  • But, that goes back to the questions, who says they will run a load of 32 processes at startup, and who says OEM'S will load them up with 32 applications??.... I'm just saying that the ones that are necessary, like the file system, and Edge, definitely are there.. That tells us that any pre installed 32 apps are a limited set, compared to Pro... It's a non issue. Battery test will prove if claims are true, or not. No need in "worrying" about how MS does it.
  • I'm hoping Win 10 S don't need to refresh its watchdog and performance monitoring as much. There is ALWAYS disk IO going on. Take a look at your Resource Monitor. Without Win32 programs running, it should have a quieter IO and reduce power.
  • It is "full" Windows 10 but with Win32 access blocked.
    Since MSFT is the one that created the Win32 file explorer in the first place, we can assume it's "Safe". LOL
    .
    Remember, it's got full Edge too!
    .
    And do note, this is upgradable to W10Pro for free this year and for $49 the next year.
  • It blocks apps when they try to run, so there is a white-list of various system apps.
    Also, a few months ago they already figured out how to get around the process that blocks unapproved apps from running. This won't be a problem.
  • This still doesn't make sense to me. In the education market, schools will "upgrade" in order to run all of the enterprise and security software and the "average" user would just want the "average" version of windows.
  • Think in terms of cost... And, it's a tricky little plan indeed.. You see, MS, and it's partners, are selling the idea that these machines are low cost, and you can upgrade them to Pro for free... It's reverse psychology, a smooth little marketing technic MS is using.. So, the average person is gonna think they are pulling a fast one on MS by buying a cheap machine, with total intent to upgrade it immediately.. Haha, well played consumer, bravo👏🏾.. Fact is that that's exactly what MS wants you to think you're doing, and they just actually heavily influenced your purchase😂😂... See, they will sell more machines by making you think you're getting something for nothing, than having you think you're just buying a chepo machine running full Windows... Hahahaha! Well played, MS! Well played, indeed! MARKETING IS KEY!
  • $2199 for 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, Core i7 ain't cheap, Rod.... 😜
    .
    Or you must be a rich kid. Lol.
  • I think he's referring to the cheaper devices that will be coming out from the OEM's.
  • I'm more interested in Win10S coming to larger laptops. I mean, if you want to update your laptop to Pro, considering consumer laptops rarely have a Pro option in store, you'd want to grab one with W10S over Home for the cheap upgrade to Pro (not the free update for students, but the cheap upgrade for everyone else). I could see this becoming a real option on the shelf.
  • Good point. Didn't think about that🤔🤔🤔🤔
  • You should be able to upgrade to Pro. Just go to System -> Change Product Key or Upgrade your edition.
  • see the $300 Acer Windows 10S version
  • Where in my comment did I mention cheap???... And, I'm really referring to the more affordable offerings. So😛😛😛😛😛😛😛😛.... And, I'm actually gonna be 40 next month😂😂.... Immature, I know, but y'all can't outsmart me!
  • upgrade for free until a limited time period.. and the Surface line aint cheap. I dont care about other OEMs like Acer.. Acer has plenty of laptops with full W10 for around 399, no need for this. Basically this is just an upgraded idea of RT and will end the same way as the RT did  
  • Nope. The prob. with RT was that it was locked to Store Only for good due to having the wrong CPU in it. This won't have the same issue as everyone can upgrade for cheap if needs increase (ignoring the 'free' student thing). In fact, for cheaper than Home. So why would a person wanting W10Pro on a consumer PC buy a Home version? It's just a more expensive route to the same end version of the OS, being Pro. Home then becomes useful for those who need W32 but know for sure they'll never need Pro. They can upgrade to Pro of course, but it'll cost more for no benefit.
  • Please... RT was Windows on ARM...
  • Then those schools obviously wouldn't be interested in Chromebooks, which is the market they're going after. Those schools that want full blown Windows have always had that option. Nothing changed for them today.
  • Windows 10 S is pretty much all i need for a travel device. I dont take real work with me when i travel, so office is all i need.
  • In that case, you need to look towards the offerings from HP, DELL, Acer, etc
    $999 for a travel device is a bit too much if you really travel a *lot*. $300-$500 is okay.
  • nah, I'm not in a position where I need to pinch pennies on a device. I want something interesting and premium to take on the road with me. This device fits that perfectly, especially with that battery life, overseas flights can be VERY long
  • me too, I want premium newness...Just like people still buy the new iPhone or new galaxy when they already have a perfectly functional phone (even last year model) still go out and replace that same working phone with the new premium version...SL pre-ordered...!!!
  • I'm assuming that you're referring to the newly annouced Surface Laptop?  Here is a simple comparison to HP and Dell's ultrabooks.  Dell XPS 13 - with i5, non-touch starts at $999. HP Elitebook Folio G1 - with Core M5, non touch starts at $1039.
  • welll, in this case you could buy a cheap tablet with Android on it, or you could buy a much cheaper made in china laptop with full W10 for as low as 299
  • how does one put it on the surface 3?
  • You can't. This comes pre-installed. And if you go from W10S to W10Pro, YOU CAN'T GO BACK.
    .
    That being said, I'm sure it's possible to hack your way back if required.
    .
    Not recommended.
  • You can easily go back in the settings, where you can tell Windows to only install apps from the store. Anybody on the Creators Update can do that.
  • Just make sure you cover the screen of your Surface 3 to protect it, then the Surface laptop should balance right on top just fine.
  • Why would you want to?
  • It is already on Surface 3. There is no difference other than being limited to the store until it is unlocked. You will see no benefit.
  • This is incorrect information. Surface 3 is running windows 10 home not windows 10s (windows 10s hasn't been officially released yet and the surface 3 came out 2 years ago) . And there will absolutely be a few benefits to doing this: fewer resource-hungry processes running in the background resulting in better performance (especially if you have the 2GB RAM surface 3), less chance of viruses because of being locked to the curated applications in the Windows Store, and a more direct upgrade path to windows 10 pro if you find you need to run applications external to the windows store, or need to join an AD domain. There are also downsides to installing windows10s in place of windows 10 home, most notably the inability to run non-windows store applications (bye bye chrome), and being locked to one search provider (bing).   
  • Windows 10 is Windows 10. There might be some small differences like being able to set defaults, but they are basically the same. If you want to restrict any Windows 10 device to the app store, the setting is in Apps & Features for any device on the Creators Update. There will be minimal differences at that point.
  • There's a setting in W10 to "only install sw from the Store", that'll essentially give you W10 S. Make sure you start from a clean slate, then enable that setting, walla...
  • Or install the non-store apps you need and then lock it down.  I'm wondering if this setting in Creators update affect all user accounts on the machine or just the one where the setting is done...
  • Seeing that surface 3 is a x86 processor, and if you now how to re-image a laptop, then you could install it on your surface 3 just fine. I'll be putting it on my little dell venue8pro as soon as the image is available.
  • You do whatever you can with your so called Panduit's and genius tech gurus, remember only one thing that your future belongs to mobile devices only.
  • AR devices.
  • This could be a segue to mobile.....
  • And there was me thinking laptops were mobile devices.....
  • So why do you need a whole new OS verison when there is an option in Settings in the current version that can restrict you to apps from the Store only? Or did everyone conveniently forget this feature that was touted during the review of the Creators update? Not seeing the logic in buying a restricted OS to later have to pay for an upgrade when the same capability is present in current versions of the OS.
  • Price. Cheaper for manufacturers I guess. Also, W10S is a cheaper consumer route to Pro, so unless you know you'll never need Pro why would a person buy Home?
  • This OS version is targeting at the education sector, obviously the big factor is the cost.
  • As every article on this has stated, to compete with Chromebooks. People would ask themselves why do i need a pc with a full blown OS when all I use it for is basic school/work and web...then buy a cheap Chromebook. Now they can consider a price comparable Win10S device, with the prospect of upgrading to the full OS if their usage changes.
  • I always have a twisted view of school work because being in  programming my school work implied development with development tools, so I never really saw homework as Word/Excel things :-)
  • Also don't forget the extra battery life and quick startup time. That is from what MS said and not tested yet but if it is true, I would love that extra battery life.
  • It must be better in performance... It wont be running all those resources which is made for win32 and the security.
  • Does Windows 10 have a switch to turn it into Windows 10S?
  • haha!! yes
    it does have one in settings ;)
  • Technically yes, there is a switch in the settings that can limit Win10 Pro to the Windows Store 
  • Will I see performance improvement on my AMD A4 netbook if I switch it Windows 10S? (Although, now that I think of it, that's no use, because I'm planning it to use as sort of remote controle for Netflix via Chromecast, but it needs Chrome for that. Never mind.)
  • The switch is in Windows 10 Home as well.
  • The switch does not lower the cost.
  • Yeah windows 10s has this turned on but the switch is really rusty you cant turn it off. Haha
  • Wonder if this was written before event? The specs of the laptop that runs it is far from it just using cloud/web based products. The only Chromebook comparisons I see are IT support/maintenance and battery life etc.
    When only using store apps, windows performance and security are guaranteed.
  • Cool article. But can I ask you for that sick looking wallpaper? :O
  • While I have no plans at this point to use it myself, I still think it's a great idea designed for just a certain niche corner of the market - and I think it will be at least fairly successful. If nothing else, it'll make that space a whole lot more interesting, and if they're worried about losing the kids to Google when they grow up, this is as good a strategy as any to combat that! So yeah! Bravo, Windows 10 S! Perhaps we'll buy the kiddo an "S-book" or whatever the heck they're gonna be calling these things! :-) Cheers!
  • The concept makes sense, in theory. I like having an easily accessible version of Windows to promote app usage, but the only way people will be happy with the OS is if they aren't constantly reminded by the shortcomings of the app marketplace. It's a catch-22, potentially just like it was on mobile or RT. I hope my concern is proven to be unfounded. Also, you can't really say that it's not a "light" version if one of its main features is that it can be upgraded to the "full" version. Just saying.
  • It's targeted at schools but I see a big market in enterprise here. Students and workers want snappy Windows PCs with full Office apps. School and enterprise IT administrators want to be able to tightly lock down what apps can be installed. Microsoft just created an incentive for itself to dramatically improve the quality and quantity of Windows Store apps and head off consumer complaints about Windows 10 S. I'm positive about this for now!  
  • Get alot of schools and businesses using it, and apps will come. Not everthing, but maybe enought to get a small wave with some momentum.
  • Sorry, but the apps need to be there first.  School districts aren't going to switch to windows devices until their software tools are available in the store first.  Also, if the current number of Windows 10 users isn't large enough to attract developers, adding schools won't change things.  Microsoft has been down this road before.
  • It is still a full version.  The store packaged Win32 apps still require the Win32 layer be present to run.
  • Is it possible to run PowerShell on this OS?
  • Literally windows 10 with the option to install additional programs from outside the store behind a paywall. If you can do it on a clean install of 10, you can do it on 10 S.
  • While Windows 10 S is primarily being portrayed as a competitor to Chrome OS and geared toward the education market, I actually see it as having an interesting place in an enterprise role, potentially. If a company can ensure its own internal apps and any other required productivity apps are available via the marketplace, it might be more secure, easier to manage, and more restrictive for employees (in a good way for administrators). I would not have said this had devices been limited to Chromebook-like specs, however. So the Surface Laptop with an i5 or i7 processor might actually be good for enterprise.
  • This also bring all the OEMs on board, with competitions the products offered will only get better or cheaper, Google will be losing their pie very soon.
  • If you hv time, watch the launch. Intune for schools will be launched in June and provisioning of laptops can be done using a thumbdrive, instead of over LAN. So yeah, it may come to Enterprise market in future.
  • Does no-one see the convergence with Windows 10 Mobile????
  • I do. And I see it as a possibly good way to get app momentum. First school and business apps that may be useful generally by the public at large, then enough of a user base to encourage others - for example Babbel, a language app, would be good for students, it's on WP 8 but not in the Windows 10 store. It does not work well on my Surface RT. It is on Android, which is why I just bought an Android tablet.
  • I thot noone will bring it up! :) Yes, now we're just waiting for CShell.  
  • I didn't install Windows 10 S on my main desktop, because that'd be silly. Windows 10 S isn't for that, so why would I put it there?
    For easy management or something like a kiosk. There are reasons. Simplified workstation once office is here for instance :).
  • he was referring to 'his' main desktop. He uses it for photo/videos editing and other stuff which is not possible on 10 S. That is why he called it silly. For others (and I feel vast majority) it is not the case and they may want to have W10 S on their main PCs
  • Anything less then full on Windows is just not Windows.  Not being able to install software outside the store will kill the idea almost as soon as it get's advertised.  Most lab and schools I've been at already have Windows desktop PCs with either Windows Pro or Home edition.  An OEM copy can be had online for as little as $69 (single copy) and far less if you're a school administrator building out 25 or 50 machines so what's the point of a stripped down version? Once a tech company starts chasing its competitors and stops leading them, serious trouble is on the horizon.
  • It's full Windows except that software outside Windows Store can't be installed may be appealling to many schools and labs. I think it comes down to whether a school or lab requires custom Win32 bit applications and if the developer of it is willing to make a UWP version of it and put it in the Windows Store or not. 
  • The custome Win32 app does not have to be converted to a UWP app.  Just use Centential tool and put it in the Windows store as is.
  • @ianberg "software outside Windows Store can't be installed may be appealling to many schools and labs" Of course, the problem is that there is nothing in the Windows Store that people WANT TO INSTALL. As an educator I can tell you that the only two types of software students run on Windows are Win32 or Chrome-based. Teachers and students have found the bulk of their solutions in HTML5 software. This is unlikely to change since this is platform agnostic. You can run these solutions on Android, iOS, Mac OS X or Windows, as long as you have an HTML5 capable browser on the desktop or app on your mobile device. In this environment there is no room for Microsoft to come up with a proprietary app system that locks out the competition. Had Windows 10 been out in 2006 when Apple came out with their first iPhone they may have succeeded with this approach. But, Microsoft is now trying a wrong-headed strategy a full 11 years too late. To Microsoft's credit, mid to high end hardware from 2006 would've had the capability to run a slightly streamlined version of Windows 10. But, money isn't going to be made running Windows 10 on old hardware. Money is going to be made providing services to people on iOS and Android. Though, Microsoft has seen that and has targetted Android with its apps (of course, Apple is shrewdly keeping Microsoft on a very short leash on iOS, just like it's keeping Google on a short leash... they have just enough freedom that iOS users get access to Google and Microsoft services, but, not enough freedom that Google or Microsoft can EVER actually replace things like the email client or the web browser (and, thus search engine) with their own services).
  • Do you know how smart kids are these days? You give a kid an managed Android device and they will root it in 10 minutes. The point of Win 10 S is to allow as little hackable surface as possible. And if it's hacked, you can potentially re-provision the device back to factory condition using a USB stick. ALL labs and school already have Home or Pro because there was NO Win 10 S before. Duh! ;D The point is for the whole school to buy 1000 cheap laptops at $200-300 + around 50+ devices with Win 10 Pro to manage the rest. That is the market Chromebook has penetrated. Also, the idea is for the baseline models to be Core m/i CPU rather than the ATOM/Pentium/Celeron that some Chromebooks have.
  • "Do you know how smart kids are these days? You give a kid an managed Android device and they will root it in 10 minutes." You've evidently not used ChromeBooks--they are next to unhackable if they're managed devices. This contrasts sharply with Windows machines which can be compromised within seconds with a live USB. "The point is for the whole school to buy 1000 cheap laptops at $200-300 + around 50+ devices with Win 10 Pro to manage the rest. That is the market Chromebook has penetrated. Also, the idea is for the baseline models to be Core m/i CPU rather than the ATOM/Pentium/Celeron that some Chromebooks have." I'm not sure what point Windows 10 Pro has? Any school district of any size will be running Window 10 Enterprise. Only the smallest of schools will be running Windows 10 Pro, and, at that point, you're better off with ChromeBooks anyway because of the simple management tools that Google offers. School districts are already heavily managed environments. Switching to Windows 10 S is going to do NOTHING to change that! It certainly won't change the hardware required to run Windows 10! Windows is in trouble and a Windows 10 Lite is not going to change that. The problem has to do with the internet. It's Internet Explorer's failure and Chrome's SUCCESS that are causing Microsoft's current woes in education. When Microsoft "won" the browser war in the early 2000's it got complacent. That complacency allowed Google the competitive room to build a browser for the purpose of making its search engine the default. That strategy succeeded. Since then Google saw an opportunity to pluck Microsoft's golden goose, Microsoft Office. Microsoft again sat back and lazily relied on its market dominance. How could a web-based service possibly compete with the Cadillac of office suites? Well, now we've seen a stunning and rapid displacement of Microsoft's Office in schools by Google's Apps for Education. Only a few years ago ChromeBooks were non-existent.
  • Oh Crap! I just realised I'm talking about Android when replying about a Chromebook thread! LOL!!! Alright, just remember my original reply was based on Android. Yes, I have not used a Chromebook. My experience with it is what I read. I assume a Chromebook is practically a Chrome Browser with a Boot Loader that can run apps. Win10Pro has servers built-in and it has more tools to manage a Windows environment compared to Home edition. It can act as an ad-hoc administator for a Workgroup. You don't need a Server license for that. Half the PCs on my Home Network are running Pro, the other half are Home. I'm not familiar with the situation where you're from but in Singapore, schools typically don't use Enterprise edition. This is to allow departments to manage the PCs themselves. My point is, with S, it's much harder for kids to hack the PCs they're running on if they can't get to CMD or PowerShell even with elevated privilege. Over here, Chromebooks are not very popular because we still have plenty of older hardware. I'm sure it's true where you're from. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Schools won't simply throw away perfectly good printers if they can continue to use Win 10 S. It is true Chrome is currently the most popular browser but here, there're still many schools using Win XP/7 and the next logical step up is Win 10 Home or S if it means the computer labs are easier to maintain. I have educators here who trailed Chromebook and when back to Windows because of Office. Also, most people here are familiar with Windows, so if something goes wrong, there are many people you can ask. :)
  • @Eric Tay: Your description of PC management is a very expensive one. Windows 10 Pro to manage other computers? That's an ad hoc solution. Enterprise is far better and no more expensive for schools. What you spend in up front purchase costs, you save on labour. Of course, I'm talking about a school that's big enough to hire dedicated IT staff. Having departments be responsible for their own IT is a recipe for inefficiency and extra costs. As for old hardware--this is not the target market for Windows 10 S and using "perfectly good printers" is also expensive. Singapore will have similar economics (sadly your politics are profoundly different) to a limited extent to Canada so there are substantial hidden costs to maintaining old hardware. Old hardware costs a lot more to operate in terms of electricity (and, I imagine that in Singapore you electricity is crazy expensive). It also requires much more human intervention (and, you have to pay humans). If you have old labs, you're better off with a Chrome OS like NeverWare CloudReady. That is an OS that allows old hardware to be used. The beauty of CloudReady is that, if anything goes wrong, all you have to do is take your memory key and re-install the OS. Twenty minutes later and the system is done. With ChromeBooks the management is simpler. Unless there are hardware problems they don't go down. For what you describe (no professional IT department) ChromeBooks are a far better choice than Windows (of any descripition). All you need is a network connection and a way for users to be authorized. That could take the form of Google doing the authorization or you using your existing system to do single sign on. As for "tech support", aside from ensuring that there's network access with internet, there is no tech support on ChromeBooks. They truly are next to uncrackable if they're managed (the firmware won't even allow you to boot into dev mode without explicit permission from Google's servers which is what's required to install a Linux or boot a live USB).
  • I think they launched Win10S too early. IMO they should've waited for Windows 10 on ARM and (that'll drastically drop the price tag) and even waited for the whole Control Panel to be moved to the Settings app, and then they should've bought the UWP file explorer and removed that powershell, cmd and all that junk and that also means it would've come with Project Neon out of the box and thus increasing the hype about 200%!!! This could've made Windows 10 S cleaner and light.
  • Did you just said "Windows should have waited.." Please don't put these ideas in their head of those lazy bums. As much as they relish to wait till the humanity perishes, you should cheer upon their this one time its a premature *********** from Windows.
  • if it's going to schools, running the VisualStudioCode app through the Centennial converter needs doing. Using Minecraft to teach students about programming isn't good enough.
  • I also want Visual Studio and SQL Server Developer ran through the Centennial converter.
  • Is MS Paint in the store?
  • I find it strange that apparently I am the only one here woh doesn't buy new computers. I bought a slightly damaged Dell e 6320 i7 with 8 Gb of DDR3, no HDD and no charger, but the battery was in great shape. I paid $8 at a college surplus store. I got a used 320Gb drive for $20 and from the state surplus store I got the charger for $5 It had a COA for 7 pro so I installed that and upgraded to windows 10. Not too shabby for $33. I paid a little extra for my Lenovo t420 with the extended life battery, it cost me $13 plus the labor and $25 for the charger and drive.
  • I doubt your kid will appreciate it and bring that to school ;p
  • I don't understand the part about it be full blown Windows if I can only run apps from the Store? That's Windows RT. Can someone explain this if I'm missing something?
  • There is a Centennial converter tool Microsoft have that developers can use that will package a Win32 app so that it can be installed from the Windows store unchanged.  Evernote used the Centennial tool to package it's Wind32 app for the Windows store and deleted it's UWP version of Evernote.
  • slbailey1 wrote "Evernote used the Centennial tool to package it's Wind32 app for the Windows store and deleted it's UWP version of Evernote." A terrible decision (by Microsoft) ... which is the opposite of what Microsoft needs to happen. It's terrible news for the UWP store if developers are taking Win32 apps and re-packaging them while killing off UWP projects. It means the Centennial tool maintains the Win32 status quo and eliminates the imperative to develop for UWP. The Windows Store may gain existing applications, but, the cost will be that it fails to gain any NEW applications. While compatibility with legacy software is an thorn in Microsoft's side, Microsoft is making a BIG mistake by allowing developers to continue developing for it Win32 platform. People still running Windows 7 are not making developers (including Microsoft) much money. Windows 10 is good enough that the vast majority of users can migrate to Windows 10 if forced to. Apple has demonstrated a few times in its existence that it can shift its entire user base from one architecture to another and still make good money. It had to offer compelling reasons for the switch (its selling features were speed or stability). It did offer a compatibility environment, but, usually that was dropped (architecture or OS changes... 1993 and 68K to PPC (speed), 2000 and Mac OS to Unix/Mac OS X (stability), and most recently, 2006, PPC to Intel (lower cost, & increased speed)). The compatibility layers were usually abandoned, but, it took a while. 7 years for 68K code to truly disappear. 7 years for Mac OS to disappear. The switch from PPC to Intel, however, happened very rapidly. Each time Apple successfully completed the transition and kept its users' loyalty. Microsoft has a different relationship with customers. It does not have customer loyalty--it has customer lock-in. To that end, its experience with legacy support may be different. So, it might be informative to look at what happened to BlackBerry's PlayBook (an iPad competitor). The BlackBerry PlayBook had a small, but fairly active app store. It was missing many key apps (like Skype) but it was functional for a few things (much like Windows Store now). To boost flagging interest in the store, BlackBerry added compatibility with apks (you could see them as a legacy app, in a way). As soon as that happened, the store lost its committed developers and all the store got was repackaged Android apps. Yes, it increased selection, but that was offset by the fact that its developer community imploded. Plus, I just installed Evernote from the Windows Store. It really is a Win32 application wrapped in sheep's clothing. Its interface is not at all set up to take advantage of touch, for example. And, the wrapping seems to add bloat. The Win32 installer is 97 MB while the Windows Store version is three times larger. My prediction is that Centennial will be a tool that Microsoft regrets. It will take away the necessity for developers to bother with UWP. Why write for UWP when you could write for Win32, have your software run on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 and be present in the Windows Store? Centennial may increase the number of applications in the Windows Store, but, it won't actually grow the Windows Store with new apps. And, I suspect it will act as a deterrent to the development of UWP apps. I suspect Microsoft has more to learn from the BlackBerry cautionary tale than from the Apple success.
  • For Apple... "[t]he compatibility layers were usually abandoned, but, it took a while. 7 years for 68K code to truly disappear. 7 years for Mac OS to disappear. The switch from PPC to Intel, however, happened very rapidly." One thing to point out is that Apple's new platforms offered truly compelling reasons to switch: 1993: 68K to PPC was much faster at the same price point. It was worth it for developers to re-compile code for PPC. 2000: Mac OS X quickly became much more stable than Mac OS and it offered other goodies like much more robust multi-tasking. For some programs, Mac OS was faster than Mac OS X (e.g. I always ran Photoshop in Mac OS 9), but, the stability consideration and multi-tasking won out pretty quickly. Again, developers were rewarded with a much better result and happier customers if they switched to Mac OS X. 2006: Switching from PPC to Intel didn't offer immediate speed benefits, but, it was do or die since Apple didn't provide much of a bridging period. That was enough to spur developers on (and, it also forced some of the smallest players to abandon the Mac market altogether, but, given Apple's rip-roaring success I don't think it was a bad move). Windows UWP/Windows Store does not offer the same compelling reason. Stability? Win32 is pretty stable. Speed? Win32 is not profoundly slower than UWP. Cost? Increased development costs for UWP because you have to retrain developers. All in all, I don't see a compelling case for UWP to be made if a bridging technology like Centennial is available. In this case, Microsoft needs to adopt Apple's 2006 approach--do or die. If you want to be part of Windows 10 in the future you need to come to a native UWP/Windows Store. None of this compatibility environment nonsense that will simply allow Win32 code to live on in perpetuity without forcing developers to enter the 21st century. Yeah, sure, legacy developers and users of legacy software will rejoice, but, the cost will be to the platform as a whole. It will take a lot longer for UWP/Windows Store to become viable if legacy software is allowed to co-exist with UWP/Windows Store software.
  • Not sure what the definition of full blown Windows is, but very similar to RT, the restriction is just artifcial and not missing functionality in the OS.
  • Win RT runs on ARM CPU. That's the diff.
  • Soo if it's still FULL windows 10, the only change they made is BLOCK applications from running? that's silly... Just use regular windows 10 on those devices...
  • Funny that you are surprised. Thats the very same artificial restriction they put on Windows RT, despite Windows RT was as FULL Windows as any other Windows version.
  • Win RT runs on ARM CPU.
  • It would have been smart had the price been more in the lower range because I think the reason for this  and why they are targetting students, is simply to create demand for apps by users but in order fr devs to bring their apps/software to the store, there needs to be a user base for it.  If this strategy does succeed for MS, then essentially, the Windows Store will be gaining a lot of big apps, which in turn could be benefitial when they decide to release the Surface Phone running  Windows 10 S.  Students are also the ones who use a lot of the social media and gaming apps that we currently don't have in the Windows Store, so if students do buy into this, then hopefully we'll start seeing the apps we want in the app store. So yes, this is a push by MS to grow the Windows store and get people to actually start using it in order for their UWP strategy to work.
  • Zac! Can't help feeling you overspent when you got your Surface 3 to "browse the web, check email and watch movies."
  • This is a painful mistake. Chrome doesnt have artificial limitations to it, its just designed to be a lite fast OS. This is just Windows 10 with a massive limitation. Who the hell wants that? Rather than being a new way of doing things, like chromeOS, this is just the same way of doing things, but worse.
  • Chromebook can't print to regular printers in school unless the printer support CloudPrint or has an app. It can't 3D print to every 3D printer on the planet, only certain models. You can't tether a VR headset to it. You can't use it to develop for other platforms without going through an interpreter which needs an active Internet connection. And if 1000 students are actively online, guess how fast the internet is gonna be. Chrome OS is its biggest limitation. The online nature of these thin-client platform requires a huge amount of bandwidth which the WiFi infrastructure may or may not be able to handle. Even if the Wifi can handle the load, how about the Internet connection to the ISP. This is why most schools and companies still prefer to download the app and use offline. There is no online lag and browser lag.
  • Eric Tay, you seem to post interesting stuff. Are you a teacher? Printing? Huh? Why would you PRINT? Much of what teachers now do is done entirely on-line. Assignments are submitted on-line and returned on-line. There's no paper copy required. Plus, in a school environment printers are already NETWORKED anyway. Having CloudPrint around is no inconvenience since school computers are already networked to the hilt. Only some 3D printers can accept print jobs from ChromeBooks. Okay, so the school buys those printers. Problem solved. As for the "thick client" nature of Windows, you've evidently never tried to use Windows on an overloaded school network. Windows is as much a thin client as are ChromeBooks. In fact, on our network, ChromeBooks are substantially more RESPONSIVE than are their tethered desktop Windows 10 counterparts. Larger schools likely have NETWORKED student directories. That means the Windows PCs are all reliant on a network connection that is MUCH LESS FORGIVING for latency than is an internet connection. And, ChromeBooks are not exactly thin clients anymore. Many of the "apps" are off-line capable, and, the entire Google Apps suite is off-line capable. Sheets, docs and slide decks are all edited off-line and synced when there's connectivity. And, the workflow of Windows desktop users mimics that of the ChromeBooks users. The number 1, 2 and 3 uses for a Windows desktop is to RUN GOOGLE CHROME! Occasionally there are other tools being used on a desktop (like Microsoft Office), but, the bulk of work happens in Google Chrome. The one thing that Initernet Explorer is actually good for is running legacy websites that use legacy plugins. Of course, these plugins are rife with security holes or inefficiencies which is why Google Chrome no longer runs them :).
  • Actually, Eric Tay, you just forced me to articulate something that is quite important: ChromeBooks are much more capable of off-line work than are Windows 10 PCs! Yes, really. Let me restate that. By default, ChromeBooks are more capable of handling an internet outage than Windows 10 PCs. ChromeBooks can sync Google drive files off-line. And, the entire Google Apps suite works off-line (it's not exactly your father's thin client from the 1990's). This means that ChromeBooks can work offline. Obviously, Chrome can be configured to do the same thin on a WIndows PC BUT, you're still running CHROME. I suppose Microsoft's OneDrive can do that too, but, then you're right back to the initial problem of having to have a full fledged Microsoft Office suite AND you need more expensive and more managed hardware to run MS Office. Plus, who even knows how to use OneDrive (over the past many years I've only once encountered a student who used OneDrive and that's because their parent worked for Microsoft ;)?
  • PS Just to be clear, I really dislike ChromeBooks. If I had to buy one with my OWN money for my OWN use, I would NEVER buy one. However, if I were to be asked to make a purchase decision at work for STUDENT use, and I could get 2 ChromeBooks for the price of one COMPARABLE build quality Windows laptop I would buy the multiple ChromeBooks in a HEARTBEAT. Of course, that's not our story since our Windows PCs are managed (we have close to 100000 PCs on our district's WAN) and, though much more expensive, the Windows PC hardware tends to be more robust (industrial strength HP EliteBooks, Dell mental tanks, HP ProBooks vs. flimsy Acer ChromeBooks). But, the few times we've had consumer grade Windows PC crap, the ChromeBooks won handily. In schools build quality and ease of management are compelling arguments. Students do not treat devices with respect. They have to take a beating and keep on ticking. Management has to be super simple. ChromeBooks offer a good way to manage things, especially in schools where the IT department tends to be a fraction of that in commercial settings (our IT dept's budget is a tenth of what a private industry would spend on IT... goes to show that public sector can be much, much more efficient than private sector where transparency is non-existent and cost is not object).
  • Build quality. Come to think of it. Unless it's built like a tank, a Microsoft laptop running WIndows 10 S is not going to take eduction by storm. And, without an app store with apps to sell these devices, school districts aren't going to buy laptops running Windows 10 S. Microsoft's window to fend off Google in education is closing fast, and, unless they can figure out how to attract developers to the UWP/Windows Store they're going to find that the window has closed forever.
  • Woh! That's a lot of info! :D Now I have to split my Edge in 2 to reply. I'm a part-time IT consultant and network administrator. I've been playing with Windows since DOS. I used to developer on Assembly, C/C++/C# & VB. I make my own PCs and upgrade laptops most people thot are not upgradable. ;) Why would Win 10 fare worse offline? Especially if Win 10 S allow everything to run offline and be provisioned with a USB stick? By default OneDrive runs offline. And you can access OneDrive via File Explorer, OneDrive app and thru any browser. I am managing Windows PCs on heavily congested WiFi. Windows is very patient. It can print and access files over network shares when our Ipads time out. IE11 is also the prefer browser at our Enterprise portal due to legacy issues and the ability to Print individual iFrames. NO other browsers can do that, not even Edge. As shown in the Keynote, full MS Office is coming to the Store and it seems to be free for education. So yah, offline again. You can even run it without a link to OneDrive so all files are offline. In Singapore, I heard many kids prefer Windows laptop because it's as cheap as Chromebook and cheaper than Macbook but you still get full Windows and kids will find ways to get Office without paying. ;) I see Acer and Asus have Win 10 S laptops that are rugged and costs USD200-300 so this is how Microsoft is targetting Chromebook. But giving Win 10 S away for free. :) Definitely agree kids will trash these devices or hack them for the fun of it, to proof they can do it. That's why I did when I was using our Unix System V systems 20+ years ago. LOL... Of course, the Win3.11 systems didn't stand a chance. But we always recover the system (when possible) because those PC/workstations in school were limited. If ours go down, it's hard to find a free terminal. Good old days. So I understand your concerns but I've watched the Keynote and I think MS has got most fronts covered.
  • Woah. I just wrote a thesis. The crux of my argument is that, without a robust Windows Store Windows 10 Lite/S simply is going to be irrelevant. I also argue that the conditions are not right for Microsoft to convince enough developers that it's worth developing for the Windows Store because the competitors (Google and Apple) are working very hard to retain their lead in the mobile devices sphere. And, I've not even touched upon the threat posed by Facebook!!! Browser Market Share I didn't realise just how moribund Microsoft's presence on modern devices was until I looked at browser data by region. In the wealthiest regions you can see a heavy Apple presence. For example, North America is dominated by iPhones and Mac OS X (i.e. Safari). Europe has never been a huge Apple market but even there the iPhone (Safari) has a substantial market share (an order of magnitude greater than Edge). In both of these very profitable markets Edge and Internet Explorer are non-existent. Google's browser and Apple are splitting the web search pie. This is a major impediment to any long term plans for Microsoft, even in education since Microsoft is a US-centric company (not as much as Apple, but close). ChromeBook simplicity vs. Window 10 LITE As for going head-to-head with ChromeBooks--a Windows 10 Lite simply isn't going to make a lick of difference. Like I said, Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro and Home already boast all the same capabilities as Windows 10 S, and, they all offer the ability to DO MORE. There's nothing special about Windows 10 S other than that people will perceive it (rightly) as crippled. Microsoft sometimes has these "brilliant" ideas that turn out to be complete duds. Windows ME? Window Vista? Until you've actually tried ChromeBooks it's hard to understand their appeal. Yes, I would never buy one for my own use with my own money. But, I will gladly re-purpose an old laptop by installing CloudReady OS (i.e. Chrome OS) for free rather than installing Windows 10 which won't run as nicely. ChromeBooks "just work". There's NO maintenance. There's NO support. Teachers can trouble-shoot them. Kids understand how Chrome works since they use the browser all the time. Pretty much EVERY website works in Chrome now (Microsoft's OWN websites work better in Chrome than in Edge... most recently I ran into a situation whereby the info page for the Creators Update failed to load in Edge ON MULTIPLE COMPUTERS but loaded fine each time in Chrome... delicious). Fix infrastructure before overloading it And, if your network is so hobbled that it can't handle network traffic, I question the wisdom of adding more devices to it--Windows or not--until you take care of capacity problems FIRST. You first fix capacity problems before you overload your network. You don't do it the other way around. In professionally managed environments I see no room for Windows 10 S. Windows 10 Enterprise (which is what large educational customers run... the kind of customer Microsoft really needs to care about since they have the critical mass to make or break a company) it's trivial to turn Windows 10 Enterprise into WIndows 10 Lite by turning off Win32 support. Why UWP? No reason. Of course, teachers won't want UWP/Windows Store only because the applications they use are all Win32 or RUN THROUGH CHROME. There is NOTHING from UWP/Windows Store that I've seen so far in education. The $$$ dominant market sets the agenda The US, UK and Canada dominate in the English language application market which is also where most of the world's OS and app development happens. Look at the world's three major operating systems, iOS, Windows and Android. They all are developed by US companies for a US market first and for export second. This (US) market is affluent and diverse. It's also the world's largest single-language market. You have a respectable Mac presence, a HUGE iOS presence (as evidenced by browser share), and a substantial Android presence. In the last decade Windows is now perceived in many quarters as the operating system that runs on cheap hardware for people who cannot afford Macs. Android is the operating system for people who cannot afford iPhones. Developers have been freed from the shackles of platform-specific technologies This fragmented environment created the need for cross-platform solutions and the market has gladly responded. Write once, sell everywhere. This is the environment that developers had been waiting for. Now, they can develop their HTML 5 app once and repackage it for any operating system, either as a web app through Chrome on the desktop, or through dedicated apps for Android and iOS. Developers aren't going to flock back to a proprietary UWP/Windows Store where they're forced to play by Microsoft's rules again, especially since there IS NO MARKET for UWP apps. Who wants to be forced to develop for .NET when .NET only runs on Windows, a small mobile market? Apple Apple's approach has been my way or the highway. They've succeeded at that because their desktop presence, while never huge, has also been large enough to attract high value customers and high performing developers. Many of the great applications in Windows became hits first on Mac, and, only when Windows started attracting enough high value customers and hardware itself did the apps get ported to Windows (e.g. MICROSOFT Office, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). And, on the phone, Apple succeeded because they were the first out of the gate with a well designed smart phone, and, they continue to dominate that market by developing aggressively enough to stave off competition by Android. Google Google succeeded by offering cross-platform solutions that work great everywhere. And, their strategy on Windows has been--very shrewdly--to make Chrome THE go-to browser. They've also--very shrewdly--never created Google apps for UWP. They were forced to for iOS because that's the only way Apple was going to let them into the iOS ecosystem. That means they have to play by Apple's rules, not their own and it's kept them on a leash with Apple. Windows Apple succeeded with iOS because they created a market. They took BlackBerry's primitive messaging paradigm and had the technological know-how to create a whole new market (I'm not saying they invented smart devices but they single-handedly created the market). Google succeeded because they did search right, and, they saw an opportunity to fill the hole that Microsoft left when they stopped developing Internet Explorer. By making Chrome better than IE very quickly they were able to create momentum and control the default search engine people use. Launching Android before Microsoft could get a smartphone presence also allowed Google to be the second operating system in the mobile phone sphere--thus controlling the browser and search engine people use (it seems like every device category has room for roughly two major commercially viable operating systems... let's coin it Dunbar's law if it hasn't already been coined :-). Google playing by the rules On Windows the story is different. On WIn32, they're took over Microsoft's browser by playing by Microsoft's rules. Microsoft thought they'd won the browser wars and sat back. That gave both FireFox and Chrome room to grow and get better. There was a point where I used IE 5 because it was so much better than the competing Netscape browser of the day. Now, the only time I use IE is when there's a site that runs Java (and, I dread the experience because both IE 11 and Java are dead technologies). And, Google can completely ignore UWP because, well, NO ONE USES UWP. All I've ever used it for is to download the odd game. That's it. And, in that realm UWP is competing with Steam! Without a good UWP/Windows Store Windows 10 Lite/S simply is going to be another footnote in Microsoft's long line of much maligned* or failed operating system versions. Windows ME, Vista, 8! *Vista wasn't that bad an operating system but it did get a bad rap early on. Windows ME and 8, however, were complete and utter disasters.
  • Ed, you HAVE written a thesis! :D But your central argument is still very much focused in the western world, where HTML5 has already gained traction. The rest of the developing world has yet to catch up. So here comes the Asian perspective. ;) Also, what I've written is from Real-world experience from years as an IT consultant and as a father of 2 young kids. Did I mention I have been playing with a PC since 9yo. I first took apart my first PC-XT at 11yo. Chrome and to a lesser degree Safari has a huge head start over Edge. And there is a huge push for MS to start to deliver Edge via the Store, where it belongs to allow much faster update so all your Browser stuff are valid. Because it's the thin-client vs fat-client argument all over again. Even here in Singapore, Chrome is the predominate browser, even on IOS devices. Safari is just too slow. Edge (on Win8.1) on my Dell Venue 8 Pro is faster than Safari on Ipad mini 2. Edge is even faster now. As mentioned, Chromebook is too simple and hardware support is too sparse. Of the schools in Singapore that don't use Windows, the iPad is the next preferred device of choice due to the HUGE number of apps in the Store. And the new iPad (Wifi only) is not too much more expensive than a Chromebook. If the argument is wireless printing etc. Airprint is even more supported than other WiFi printing. Not every school can fully upgrade their WiFi with enough bandwidth or spend tons of $$$ on Internet connectivity, so even in Singapore where we have faster Internet connectivity than 97% of the world, you can and will have slow connections. With more bandwidth, the students will find more creative ways to use it. So for Primary schools or Grade 2-6 in USA, instead of Chromebook, schools use Ipads. Learning portals like KooBits, Marshall Cavendish Online are rich-media website that works well on any device. For secondary schools, most schools use Windows or Macs because their robotics or software development programs run much faster offline and kids know how to load Windows 10 on Macs so no worries there. You can see that this is a BYOD environment already and student at tertiary or Uni level are even more unlikely to use Chromebooks because whatever they can't do on their smartphones, they will do it on their PCs or Macs and not Chromebook, which is why Google discon the Pixel series. Chromebook can fulfill the simplest use cases. But most people in Singapore and Asia prefer to work in MS Office because that's what their employers will require you to have. As you move up the ranks, you are expected to have good skills in Excel's business oriented features including VBA for some people or Power BI or Access for simple data analyst. I don't think Google Spreadsheet can do all that. Sure, doing Scatch programming for youngster is fine using web-based system, as student moves towards more serious programming languages like C, Java, PHP, are there quality IDE on the Chromebook platform that can handle the compiling of code in a reasonable amount of time. I could quote more examples but I hope you see where I'm going with this. Chromebook with its simplicity and low-power requirement is great for the simplest use cases in Primary schools. But once you move to Secondary levels and above, the requirement is for students to learn the skills needed for a successful adult life, which means using what the industries are using, which are all fat-client because the issues of bandwidth will NEVER go away. So this bring me back to Win 10 S. The value proposition is simple. Acer/Asus/HP will sell you a competent PC with a crippled OS (since Windows Store has ONLY 600k apps) for the price of a Chromebook. It can be managed like a Chromebook or it can be BYOD. The choice is yours. If your school or enterprise requires Win32 programs, student can upgrade to Pro for free and businesses can upgrade by paying USD49 thru the Windows Store. The key is choice. For Chromebook, you have no choice because Chrome OS is not Android. You cannot switch up. It has a severely limited (currently) runtime which supports limited middleware like JScript, Adobe Shockware, etc. The perception that Windows devices are not desirable are gone since Surface Pro 3. HP/Dell/Lenovo all launched great Ultrabooks and hybrid and I'm seeing more and more in the wild compared to 2-3 years ago where most youngsters can be seen with Macbooks. These days I see more yuppies with Surface Pro and many people would admire my Surface 3 when they wouldn't even notice the Macs. And yes I get asked a lot about my Surface during meetings. I used to run a company developing ERP software and I have recommended a WMS system to a client recently. The notion that HTML5 and CSS taking over the Enterprise space is false. Web-based interface will NEVER be as fast as a program or app that runs on a device, especially when the workload is huge. Ever tried uploading tons of pictures or video to your website? It's bloody slow compared to an offline program that allows you to format your webpage with everything then upload it one shot. It gets worse when you have tons of users managing a warehouse and all of them calling the same data from the same server which has to fulfill all the SQL data and serve up the webpage. Serving webpages is SUPER inefficient from a bandwidth standpoint because each element on a webpage has a huge amount of HTML overhead. This is in contrast to programs which package all the data and sync with the server. Even if you enable QoS on your Enterprise router, it is NOT going to reduce all that HTML junk being sent over the airwave. And sending huge packets is much more efficient especially if you enable Jumbo frames of 9K for supported network and devices. Webpages wouldn't benefit from Jumbo frames. Microsoft has to rescind their browser advances due to one reason and one reason only. DoJ... nuff said. So yes, Win 10 S may not make sense to you RIGHT NOW(TM) ;) but this continual push for UWP HAS already made in-road, maybe you just haven't noticed it yet. I certainly have and as UWP gain in capability versus Win32, remember UWP is less than 4yo and Project NEON is here. I expect some exciting thing in a few days at BUILD 2017. *Win VISTA is HORRIBLE!!! Only the 64-bit version is usable on very high-end system. I was dual-booting Win XP Tablet and Vista 32-bit on a Fujitsu T4215 TabletPC before I upgraded its CPU. Stability is poor. It's slow as hell and I had 4GB onboard. The SP didn't help the slowness, just the stability. I'd agree Win ME was HORRIBLE too. Stability was atrocious even with update drivers. I stuck with Win98SE and upgraded to W2K due to improved stability and security. Win 8 was polarized. I love it on my upgraded Fujitsu T4215, Dell Venue 8 Pro and Asus Vivotab due to great stylus support but my main gaming/development desktop was not upgraded until Win 8.1. I know many people hate it because it was so unfamiliar BUT the few people who bought hybrids like the Lenovo Yoga loved it! They also loved it on their AIO PC, using Win 10 in Tablet/Full screen mode rather than desktop mode. Lastly Win 10 Home is SUPER light even compared to Win 7 Home. As mentioned my 10yo Fujitsu T4215 is running Win 10 Pro Insider Build. I have another 9yo T4220 and 9yo S6420 both running Win 10 Home CU currently. These are the machines 2 kids are using for their Primary education.
  • Hi Eric (good name :), missed your post Strange! I come at the issue from a different perspective, as an end user and as an educator. Google does have a much greater presence in North America, than elsewhere which partially explains why ChromeBooks have traction here. That said, they're growing at a substantially faster rate in east Asia than in English-speaking North America (which is already a substantial growth rate). As for the education software piece--I guess this is where I have the "inside scoop". Teachers are flocking to web-based solutions for a few reasons: management & cross-platform access. With the exception of MS Office, heavy duty video/photo editors and IDEs the days of computer-based software are over. I can't think of any widely used "exciting new edutech" that requires a desktop. There are certain logical exceptions. 3D printers and video require a desktop. At this point the cloud does not make a huge sense for either of those usage cases because of physical connection or sheer volume of data transfer required. But, again, people are going to be leery of software that will require single platform lock-in. The bulk of software development happens for the US market (even though the coding happens elsewhere in the world... like manufacturing, the "easy" stuff gets outsourced) where there is a vibrant ecosystem. Macs represent 10-15% of the desktop market. Mac users tend to spend more on software so are a disproportionately more valuable user. Similar story with iPhones and iPads, except, in those two cases, Apple dominates their respective markets in English-speaking North America. So, market diversity in the most valuable single market forces developers to take a cross-platform approach. Apps are dwarfed by on-line solutions in education. The education market is lucrative but small. For developers it makes sense to develop once for anyone. And, the beauty of Chrome (& Safari) is that anything developed for Chrome runs on ALL platforms. If you develop a UWP app you'll only be able to run it on WIndows 10 (not even 7 which a lot of schools are still on). In the long term Microsoft's software ecosystem will migrate to UWP. That's inevitable. But, Microsoft is not as important a player as it used to be. HTML5 has freed the web and is now freeing desktop users from single-platform lockin as well. Anyway, Windows 10 S is bad marketing. It's Windows Lite and Windows Lite never goes over well because people rightly perceive it as crippled. Why would someone NOT upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free? It's a better operating system than Windows 10 S. Claims of increased battery life ring hollow. If you can achieve better battery life in Windows 10 S you can also do the same in regular Windows 10. PS It's interesting to see how they've positioned it as Windows 10 S vs. Pro. Does that mean they're ditching Home? From my perspective I see little difference between Home and Pro. Pro's management features are overkill for a personal device. With the exception of BitLocker (which should be standard on all devices... Mac OS X offered easy-to-use, fast encryption to all users well over a decade ago).
  • Hey ED, I see where you're coming from. Remember I'm an IT consultant and I do factfinding for clients and their requirements. If they want minimum costs and fully web-based environment, either Chomebook or Win 10 S will fulfill a Primary school's requirement. There is no need for app, which at present, Windows Store is more robust. Chromebook only support a subset of Android's apps. Also, does Chromebook support Flash-based material? A lot of web-based education here and elsewhere are Flash-based. It's no secret that primary school educators are flocking to web-based. Koobits, MCOnline and many of Singapore's Ministry of Education's Mother-tongue (Chinese, Malay and Tamil) Flash-based programs are web-only. As mentioned, bandwidth is always a constrain. If you have less than 100 students accessing static webpages, that's fine. But if the whole school of a 1000 access the web, that's a different story. And it only take a few users to stream video to bring that network down. With Win 10 S and Intune and USB provisioning, MS is bringing that level of ease that Chromebook used to provide. And the best part is, Intune supports Windows, Apple and Android devices. With Windows 10 S and the free upgrade to Pro for Education laptops, development IDE and video editing are offline but those are for secondary students and above. ED, there are tons of developers in other countries doing local stuff which have no relevance to the American market and therefore don't appear there. I disagree that most development happens in North American. Instead, it's more accurate to say the main OSes in use today, Microsoft, Google and Apple's dev happen in North America. Microsoft Research has a huge facility in China doing hard-core stuff like AI and Chinese language translation there, which easily rival their North American counterpart. And the head of MS Research + many of their leadership are Chinese, Peter Lee, Jenette Wing & Harry Shum. If you look at a narrow sliver of the education market like Primary education, yes it does look like Google dominates, because Google currently dominates web-searches and browser market. However, once you look beyond that, from Secondary and beyond, one can quickly see that market looks markedly different. It starts to look in favour of Android and Windows. As mentioned multiple times and I think you still don't get Win 10 S. Win 10 S != Win RT or Win 10 Lite. WindowsCentral has published multiple articles on why it isn't and I've commented on this subject as well. Win 10 S is a controlled environment, which disable most of the Win32 plumbing and that leads to better security and battery life. Win 10 S doesn't have to do as much monitoring and memory management of the Win32 subsystem, making it closer to being a mobile OS. I expect the Resource Monitor in a Win 10 S system to be very quiet unlike a Win 10 system now. We'll know for sure when devices are reviewed in the near future. And I repeat, HTML5 and CSS cannot replace Apps and programs. Its latency is too high. Only with offline webapp can this latency be eliminated and that means it's no longer platform-agnostic. You're not an system or network administrator hence you cannot appreciate the advantages of Pro over Home. There are so many more ways you can control the behaviour of Windows in the Pro edition versus Home. Many of the troubleshooting tools are only available in the Pro edition. When things go wrong, the Pro Edition is more likely to recover quickly vs Home, where I have to download those same tools or copy the .exe from Pro edition. It would seem you want simplicity but hated its restrictions. You want the Chromebook platform to be able to do more. That is a common theme and you don't seem to understand why you don't feel comfortable in your current (computing) position. I have seen this conflict before and when I explain it to clients. Many of them stuck to their position of Ipads or Windows laptops. Either you don't know what you need or you're denying what you really feel. I have taken a brief look at Chromebook SDK and I've just finished watching some of the presentation of Microsoft BUILD 2017, a developer's conference where MS shows off abilities of the Windows platform that they're offering developers of all levels. The width and depth of Windows development is so vast, I'm getting lost with the amount of capability. But if there's one message that's loud and clear from Microsoft regarding the web, it's that Azure + AI and Mixed Reality is coming. Currently it's targetting businesses and Uni, but it's becoming easier to use and hence more pervasive. In the near future, the devices that even primary school kids use may not be a Chromebook or Win 10 S laptop. It may be a tethered HMD (head mounted device) to a PC device that allow 3D interactivity or it could be an Android device in a HMD to display a 3D environment.
  • Thank you for your thorough response. I'm going to try to keep my response brief (yeah, right). #1 Flash. You write both "I'm an IT consultant and I do factfinding for clients" and "does Chromebook support Flash-based material?" I'm a tad confused by the disconnect between the two statements. #2 Flash. Flash is dead. Have you noticed that pretty much every modern browser BLOCKS flash from running. Even Edge doesn't run Flash. Educational sites have largely transitioned away from Flash and Java to HTML5. It is only legacy material that is still Flash-based. PS to answer your question: yes Chrome and ChromeBooks do support Flash, but, only if you ask for it (just like Edge). #3 Web apps and bandwidth. You wrote: "HTML5 and CSS cannot replace Apps and programs. Its latency is too high." You are thinking as if this is 2007. In 2007 networks weren't robust enough to support Google Apps properly. Now, Google Apps (HTML 5) is robust enough to handle off-line access without a hiccough, AND, networks are that much better. And, all over the world, people are investing in massive network infrastructure upgrades. Bandwidth is growing by leaps and bounds. Already teachers and students largely do what they do on-line. Apps are typically little more than portals to an on-line service anyway. Windows Store isn't going to change that paradigm any time soon. It's going to jump on that same bandwagon (look at modern laptops, they are dropping ethernet ports because the assumption is that you have an always on wifi or 3G connection). #4 Strengths and Weaknesses No need to disparage my understanding of the state of computing. I've been around the block a few times and seen things come and go. I'm also in the unique position of being an educator who's got that depth and breadth of experience. Trust me when I say I do fully appreciate the weaknesses and strengths of ChromeBooks and the proposed management simplicity of Windows 10 S "Lite". As an educator who uses IT in the classroom and offers training to other teachers I experience the range of needs and limitations that are out there. #5 Pro vs. Enterprise vs. Lite And as someone who's worked in both a large institution and in smaller ones I see the difference between Pro and Enterprise. Managing a Windows 10 Pro network is typically inefficient because a small network like that is run by people who know just enough to be dangerous. Windows Lite is for those people. Of course "those people" don't make up a particularly large or lucrative market. My current organization's network runs on a shoestring budget (which is still a multi-million dollar operation), but, because we have professionals running the show it actually runs! #6 As for Lite: Microsoft itself is marketing 10 S with a free UPGRADE to Windows 10 Education or Windows 10 Pro. By offering the free upgrade Microsoft is positioning Windows 10 S as the lowest rung in its OS portfolio--thus, it's the least desirable of the OS versions. #7 Future... Don't get me wrong. I'd like to see Windows 10 S succeed. I accept that there's value to firewalling Win32 and its legacy from the rest of the OS. Apple frequently drops support for older architectures, and, the result is that macOS is a lean and modern OS that runs like a well oiled machine. Microsoft still supports architectures dating back three decades. #8 What reason will prevent schools from running Windows 10 S? Site and seat licenses. They have those license for rather expensive software (like Adobe CS, Read & Write Gold, and more). They can afford to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 because they own those licenses. A NEW license or subscription from thhe Windows Store for replacement software will cost. #9 Hardware Then, there's the hardware. Schools buy robust and/or cheap devices. They have to be tough and simple. The kind of whizz bang gadgetry that will make Windows 10 S interesting (e.g. VR, touch screen) is not suitable for schools because of its fragility. Windows 10 S on the type of hardware that schools can afford to buy they won't be able to showcase those technologies in a meaningful way. #10 The pièce de résistance Edge really is a mediocre browser. It can't compete with Chrome or FireFox. Today I decided to commit to reporting its flaws and I've already submitted two reports today alone (where Chrome actually worked and Edge failed) and I don't know if I'm going to continue. The reporting process is a little too onerous and it really doesn't look like they take feedback seriously (I looked at some of the most compelling feature requests or bug reports for various applications and they haven't corrected things or implemented things, TWO YEARS AFTER THE REQUESTS or reports were made). PS What's funny and sad is that Chrome is a better touchscreen browser on Windows 10 than Edge (even though it's a Win32 app). I guess it's because Google understands touch from their Android experience.
  • Windows Lite. The following is worth pulling out by itself. Microsoft is offering an UPGRADE to Windows 10 Pro or Education/Enterprise. They leave the impression in the buyer's mind that Windows 10 S is an inferior product. If it can be upgraded to something better, for free, it must mean that I'm a fool for not accepting the free upgrade?  
  • Final thoughts: #1 Lack of experience. I think a lot of people commenting on Windows 10 S's future in education lack experience as educators (i.e. the people implementing information technologies in the classroom) or have never spent much time (if any) with a ChromeBook. Personally, I am no fan of the ChromeBooks I have used because all the ChromeBooks I use are low-end devices and I'm used to large screens and heavy-duty CPUs for my Mac and Windows computers. That said, if I had to choose between runing Windows 10 or ChromeBooks on student computers, I would choose ChromeBooks 9 times out 10. Through their software they offer a simplicity that is astounding. Perhaps Windows 10 S will deliver on such a simplicity, but, if Windows 10 is anything to go by I am not going to hold my breath! #2 Trends in education A consistent trend in education has been towards the 'blended learning' or 'flipped' classroom. It's a model of education where the online world provides the simpler things (e.g. video tutorials in place of lessons), thus freeing up the physical world to provide more opportunities to solidify learning. The key in this is the online world. In this model of education apps are merely a portal an increasingly online world of resources. Unlike most educational technologies, this is not a passing fad. It's been picking up steam and research demonstrating its efficacy. Windows 10 S is a much needed addition to that mix, but, without a decent browser, Windows 10 S is not going to be tool of choice for educators. Schools are investing in infrastructure upgrades so the limitations of network access are becoming fewer. It's not a bad play, but, without a browser it's going to be limited in its appeal. It'll be another Windows ME/RT (plus, it even has a letter in its version number so it's got to be a flop ;).
  • I'm trying to keep the thread short as well ED! :D NOT happening! Anyway, let's conclude the thread. Chromebook does have a niche. I'm not denying that but it doesn't fit the wider education market. It's for very simple web-based education in Primary education and perhaps secondary school markets but once the student start with more complex tasks, Chromebook can't keep up, not even for the foreseeable future. When I talk to my teacher friends in early childcare education, most prefer ipads due to touch. Primary educators are fine with any platform since it's web-based interactivity and much is it is STILL in Flash, especially since Singapore and many Asian countries adopted Flash early and has a large body of Flash-based content. While it may be true that Chromebook is picking up in China, it may simply be a refresh cycle for some schools. Much of my Enterprise training course content are still in Flash and will continue to be in Flash, which is why we had to use the Puffin Flash browser for our staff using IOS devices. Oh and lastly, many of my teacher friends don't manage the devices at all because it's either Ipad or BYOD. We are going in circles now. I already mentioned Internet connection in many parts of Asia are faster than the rest of the world especially in Singapore. BUT, most people still prefer to use Apps because of the latency issue. And I have also explained as a developer the difference between an app and web-based HTML. See my respond above on why HTML will never be as fast as an app or program. In education where things are not time critical, yes, teachers and student may not feel the need for the webpages to be fast. BUT in the commercial world and higher level students, everyone values the immediate respond of an app or program. There is a big difference between latency and bandwidth. They are different when it comes to the responsiveness of an GUI. I'm glad that you understand how the Education and Enterprise market is different. Suffice to say, from secondary school levels onwards, students want either a Windows or Mac laptop so that they can manage their digital devices and do their homework. So once again Chromebook can only fulfill the needs of Primary levels. And the reason why Microsoft is entrenched in so many education niches is because they support arcane technology AND the latest stuff (like 3D) in the SAME OS. Noone has managed to pull this off. And I've already mentioned that for schools with a long history, they're not going to rip out all their Windows machine and go Chromebook. New school with new curicullum that is completely web-based will see the value, BUT as a father, I do not want my children to use fully digital media for their education. I still want physical books to form the basis of their education with maybe 1 hour a day of complementary online lessons to supplement what they're taught in school. Physical books help children to connect with people and things around them, and I believe it instill traditional human values. Win 10 S is not licensed based on seats. Win 10 S is sold WITH the device. If you are not interested in managing your Win 10 S devices, just use a USB to provision (reset) those devices. You only talk about license when you want remote management tools like InTune. As mentioned before, Asus and Acer provide cheap and rugged Win 10 S devices that are USD200+. Wherever Chromebook can fit, Win 10 S will too. I'd give you that the Chrome is a better browser than Edge since it's around much longer and Edge still doesn't handle drop-down control well in Touch scenario. However, Touch is not really in the equation when we talk about cheap devices. Chromebook exist because Netbooks with Win XP was a horrible experience. Google saw an opportunity and grabbed it. However, over the years, the pace of innovation hasn't been very fast and I suspect it's because Google is NOT allowed to grab data from children and students. Google is an Ad company now and marketing people's data is their Core business proposition. Without Ad revenues from Chromebooks, how long will it be before they pull the plug on Chrome OS? There is no clarity on this issue even now on whether Android will replace Chrome OS. And Android is Ad-supported. On the other hand, Win 10 S is a Win 10 Pro without full Win32 support. Edge isn't perfect and MS should REALLY use Windows Store to delivery updates but it's still 'only' 3-4 years old. However, like I said, where simplicity is concern, ipad seem to be preferred to Chromebook and ipad is Touch centric, which lends itself better to kinesthetic and visual learning. I'm could be wrong but I bet autistic and children with learning block learn better with Touch compared to keyboard/mouse where mental development is concern. Kids with psychomotor skill issues will likely benefit from both Touch + keyboard/mouse, although we Chinese like to use the chopstick to train our kids' psychomotor skills. ;) I definitely agree with you that online learning is important and my kids are using Edge browser to run their (Flash) web-based edu portals. What I'm questioning is whether there really is a need for Chromebook or Chrome OS in this future which is going to go full 3D and what Google is going to do to enhance Chrome OS? I know Android apps can exist in supported Chromebooks now but it seems like vendors except for Samsung has dropped Android tablets, leaving Chromebook in the hands of just a few makers. If Google decides to drop their support for ChromeBook, that eco-system could crash. This is unlike Microsoft, who is still supporting programs from the 1990s. Could that happen? No one knows. One things is for sure, IOS, Android & Chrome OS are adding more and more capabilities to their platform. With each iteration, they come closer and closer to Desktop OS with all its complexity and power requirement. The needs of Android has pushed Qualcomm to make an SoC that full Windows can run on. Imagine that! So to conclude. Chrome OS and Chromebook can fulfill light usage scenarios for young childrens, older folks and some individual or business owners who only need to do simple computing. It can work for educators like yourself and your organisation that is all in for Google services and has fantastic internet connection. However, once the workload goes up, where you need the speeds and the screen size of 12" and above, Chromebooks are not going to be good general purpose computers. If there is no or sporadic Internet connections, a full laptop with enough harddisk space will still work and you still have access to your work-data + email offline. And most people STILL prefer to have their data on device versus online because it's much faster to scroll through a local picture library compared to an online one. I'm sure all your arguments for the edu section in North America is true because you have the luxury of high Internet penetration. However, I have advised for clients who don't have that luxury in rural areas or mobile Internet is expensive. Mobile apps are a better fit for those scenarios, so I'm looking at it from a wider perspective.
  •   # 1 Microsoft is no charity. Let me repeat, Microsoft is no charity. If people don't have access to robust internet infrastructure, they're not high profit customers. Rural customers without an internet connection? That’s not Microsoft’s market. Europe (incl. UK), non-European Western English-speaking countries and Japan have the lion's share of the world's GDP. What happens in these markets determines what happens to Microsoft. India and China may have a third of the world's population and great growth potential, but, for a variety of reasons they aren't where Microsoft is going to succeed in the next decade. China is difficult because of government meddling and censorship. India’s economy is 25 years behind China's so too small for a company like Microsoft to care about (its entire economy is roughly equal to Canada’s and India has the headache of over 30 languages with more than 1 million native speakers each... few of which are spoken outside of India). #2 ChromeBooks are suited to senior elementary and secondary students The one place where you seem to think their use OK (young children) suggests that you don't understand their use patterns. They are ideally suited to students who can already read, write and type. Plus, like I’ve mentioned, ChromeBooks are actually better able to handle a flakey network infrastructure than Windows 7 & 10. The internet was designed to enable asynchronous communications. Windows network, OTOH, is designed to be used on much more controlled environments, synchronously. I’ve seen ChromeBooks chug right along when Windows computers on the same professionally managed network (no one trained using Flash videos) grind to a halt. Aside from video, heavy-duty photo editing and a few other niche activities, there is very little that cannot be done properly on a ChromeBook. Processing is off-loaded onto the cloud, or, done locally (through HTML 5 ;). And, for the niche activities you keep Windows and Mac computers or iPads around. #3 Future of development of ChromeBooks You looked at the SDK for Chrome OS? Google dropping ChromeBooks? So, if you looked at the SDK then you’ll know that Chrome OS is a Linux stripped down to run Google Chrome and a handful of other services that also run on Andoid. Nothing more. Nothing less. As long as Google is developing Chrome ChromeBooks will be current! Chrome OS is not a technological marvel that requires a lot of development resources! PS The problem with XP-based netbooks wasn't XP, it was their pitiful screen sizes. 8", 10" are simply too small for a desktop OS. The minimum comfortable size is 11.6" which is why that's such a popular size. Chrome OS happened to come out at the same time as 11.6" became affordable. #4 Old technologies Your comments keep suggesting that you’re thinking in terms of old technologies and of where networks and computers used to be. IT infrastructure is changing, and, it's changing fast. Windows 10 S is looking to the future. Computers now are already connected 24/7 in the developed world (where most of the profits come from). HTML5 has replace Flash in any company that wants ANY mobile presence. Developing in Flash completely shuts out mobile customers. "… why HTML will never be as fast as an app or program": computers are much faster now than they were even a few years ago. HTML5 is surprisingly efficient, and many "offline" apps for iOS, Android and UWP are written in HTML5! You don’t need to be on-line to use HTML5. All you need is a browser engine. Flash-based videos? HTML5 is not up to being used offline? People are developing in Flash? Latency is an issue? No internet connection? Really? If there’s no or a poor internet connection there’s very limited money to be earned. If an organization doesn’t have the money to invest in a good network, they definitely won’t have the money to invest in apps so Windows 10 S isn’t going to succeed on the strength of those customers. You do understand that Windows 10 is designed to have a 24/7 connection to the web. Everywhere I go I have wifi web access (unless I’m camping, but, even there I’ve got 3G service). That is now almost universally the experience in the developed world. "Much of my Enterprise training course content are still in Flash and will continue to be in Flash" Flash delivers your enterprise training videos? That suggests to me that they certainly won’t be applicable to Windows 10 S. Apple never allowed Flash to enter iOS for a variety of (good) reasons. Google tried it on Android and pulled the plug because it simply wasn’t suited to mobile devices (heavy use of energy, insecurity). Modern web browsers now disable it, unless specifically requested by the user. All of these factors are leading to the demise of Flash. Anyone still developing in Flash is wasting their time and money. HTML5 runs on ALL modern devices. Flash only runs on desktops, and, only IF YOU REALLY TRY. If you’re still coding in Flash or delivering content through Flash you are shutting out most of your market. And, if your market can be served by Flash, your market is not the market that Windows 10 S is for because your market is still running old technology. #5 Windows 10 S It’s an interesting idea, but, it’s being marketed the wrong way, at the wrong market, and Microsoft is making mistakes (e.g. Desktop Bridge reducing the need to make native UWP apps). By positioning Windows 10 Pro as an UPGRADE (a free one, at that) Microsoft is sending the message to its customers that Windows 10 S is INFERIOR. By trying to go head-to-head with the extraordinary simplicity of Google’s ChromeBooks WITHOUT a competitive browser they’re setting Windows 10 S up for failure. You can’t replace Chrome with apps. ChromeBooks succeed in education because they do what teachers and students need without any management required, whatsoever! For Windows 10 S to succeed in education, Edge needs to be as good as Chrome since it’s Chrome that’s made the ChromeBook a success (and, on a 7th generation i5 I can confidently say that Google Chrome is a more responsive, STABLE, and capable browser than Edge). For Windows 10 S to succeed outside of education Edge just needs to be OK but the UWP/Windows Store needs to be alive. Desktop Bridge is simply going to bring existing Win32 apps to the Windows Store, it's not going to get developers to write new apps from scratch for the UWP platform!
  • Microsoft is not a charity, but it's also not a money hungry corporation. So far, Microsoft has always been supportive of education. There are various hackathons and student outreach programs around the world including Singapore, India, China and even parts of Africa. Microsoft's technology has always been broad-based instead of geographically restricted. A piece of technology that works in USA, will work in other countries. Cortana even works in Singapore and it works better than Siri. The only exception is China's version of Cortana, XiaoBing or XiaoIce which only works within China due to the Great Firewall of China. Windows dominates the Chinese OS market as well, even if a lot of it was pirated, China is a market that is extremely important. Ditto to India to a lesser degree. You may measure countries by GDP but that matrix is too simplistic. I look at these markets and I see new ideas and new potential. As China middle-class grows more wealthy, paying USD99 that's built into their PC/laptop is not a big deal anymore. I can't say anything about Chromebooks network ability but I can tell you Windows Store apps are created with flaky network in mind. TCP/IP is async in natural, hence their resilience. The difference between traditional programs versus Modern apps is developers are trained to emphasize the use of failovers when the connection timeout so the app will not crash. So I honestly don't know what you mean when you say Windows 7-10 failover poorly where apps and OS is concerned. If you want to compare, please cite the program that fails in Windows and works on Chromebook. I would really like to know. Also, right at the end, I will discuss Chromebook's future. I'm wrong to say Google isn't supporting Chromebook, instead they're going all-in. However, the language is shifting to the Android side of things, which is why I missed in on the Chrome OS side of things. Your perspective in the edu sector while accurate in North America, is less so worldwide and certainly doesn't fit in the commercial sector. UWP is coming on strong and I will tell you why later in this reply. So we're still on topic about Chromebook vs Win 10 S. Whatever you can do online, offline is always better because your data is close to you. Offloading to the cloud just means more lag. The bigger the file, the longer the lag. If you think I live in the old world, you're mistaken. I studied these technology in school and was involved in some of the R&D. Every time new technology comes out, I jump on board. I have 4G LTE, Cable Internet AND symmetric gigabit Fibre Internet at home. I use 1gbps LAN and 802.11ac at home. My home Internet connection is configured to failover if something happens to either Internet connection, which has happened before and I hardly noticed. I HELPED my ISP troubleshoot issues with their IPv6 infrastructure. I have always found more ways to saturate that 1Gbps connection from my NAS/LAN to the Cloud. Much of my non-confidential data are replicated in the Cloud and Backup in my NAS and replicated again in devices that need that data. I use Windows Phone and IPad while my wife uses Android. I specialise in IP Networking & Telephony, doing R&D in that area when I was younger. I've dabbled with all manners of wireless tech like IrDA, BT, NFC, RFID, WiFi, Miracast. I was involved in planning a video P2P distribution network for a famous hotel chain for the whole of West Malaysia. So generally I know what I'm talking about when it comes to network. ;) I'm not worth much as a consultant otherwise. My point is simple. I don't deny that Chromebook has a place in the computing landscape. Let me define this niche in technology terms. Chromebook can only exist in an Internet saturated world where the user don't expect immediate access to large volume of data and can accept a large latency where an action on their computing device don't have a respond immediately. This is the world Google lives in because they can show you Ads and sell everything on what you do online. The problem is, is the experience enjoyable? Does it make people want to come back to use it more, or is it something that they HAD to use and dumped aside when they're done. Is the OS coherent in design with its apps. Can you customise it all you want? Is it easy to share information within the OS and apps? Is the GUI intuitive with support for multiple input like Touch/Voice/Ink to allow users with special needs? With a Windows machine, you don't have to choose. All of the rich capabilities are available online or offline. You can share information through USB, Bluetooth, WiFi Direct. Windows 10 is enjoyable to use. The new Fluent Design language will make Windows even prettier as we move towards a 3D GUI. Come September, there is no friction in using Android & IOS devices because the files or apps will handover to the PC and vice versa. AI in Windows will make routine or highly complex tasks effortless. See Microsoft Story Remix demo for this and I believe much of this can be achieved offline. ED, I can tell you researched a lot and I really respect your enthusiasm. It's the most stimulating chat online I've had in a long time. However, there are many things that Google get wrong. For example, Android runtime is based on Java (although for speed, Android itself is C), IOS runtime is based on Objective-C and UWP runtime is based on C#. NONE of it is HTML5. These platform only supports HTML5 web-app through their browser. The vast majority of the Apps that people actually use in these 3 eco-systems are compiled into Bytecode or Native code for much speed and battery life. You can tell if an app is a Web-app by looking at the UI. If it looks like the webpage, it's a Web-app. A web-app cannot do many of the things a normal app can because you ARE using the webpage. Web-apps are also much slower than compiled apps so the experience is not great. That millisecond difference in responsiveness cannot be seen but it can be felt across the app, which is why people overwhelmingly prefer apps to webpages. Web-apps' HTML5 codes are still interpreted by the browser engine which adds another layer of lag and battery usage. In the corporate world, people understand how important it is to have data on hand which is why our IT department FINALLY shipped our IOS Enterprise app with OFFLINE file browser support (for brochures, contracts, etc.) in addition to our OFFLINE Point of Sales & CRM for users of IPad. In the real-world, people want offline. We have been pestering them to give us better experiences for years. This, in spite of Singapore having affordable 150-300Mbps LTE connection island-wide and thousands of wireless hotspots everywhere. Even with tons of bandwidth, you see people easily gobble up that bandwidth by watching TV drama series on their smartphones. ;D Let's say we discount these streamers, in a shopping mall, the number of user per cell is so high, latency will start to creep in due to the sheer number of packets flying around. Smartphone penetration amongst local population is above 70% now. My mum who's 60+, never used a PC in her life has been using a Windows Phone for more than a year to Facebook and WhatsApp. Everyone is fighting for bandwidth, Telcos are rushing to push out 1gbps LTE. This is even more acute in 3rd-world countries or rural areas and Microsoft + Google + Facebook are aggressively pushing into these markets to enhance their lives. What's funny to me is just how out of touch Apple is with the rest of the world. Your first argument describe Apple, not Microsoft nor Google. Windows Phone, Android & even Chromebook were created to solve the computing needs of 3rd world countries. These places still use 10-20 year old technology like Flash. There are some places in the world that STILL use Win 98SE due to old hardware and programs. The money saved from planned obsolescence can be used to better pay teachers and educators. There is already a HUGE volume of Flash-based content and it speaks volumes that Apple and Google are allowing Flash browsers back onto their OS. Reason? Mobile CPU is powerful enough to run Flash without excessive battery drain and there is still a demand for Flash content especially in the education sector around here. Obviously, for customer facing webpages, HTML5/CSS/PHP are the predominantly tech use. This is what's happening in Asia. I think you misunderstood what Desktop Bridge really is and what it's meant to do. It actually converts your old Win32 programs into UWP Apps. You can add a few lines of code (AFTER conversion) for Cortana/Live Tiles integration and Windows will manage these converted programs just like an app written in XAML/C#. You can connect it to Azure and incorporate some AI by clicking on a few dialog boxes. It allowed developer like EverNote to port their app into the Windows Store much faster than writing from scratch, which is why they abandoned their UWP app. Same for the IOS Bridge. Too bad about the Android bridge. Moreover, Visual Studio 2017 (through the integrated Xamarin technology) is able to compile/debug/deploy Android AND IOS apps. Developers can leverage their existing code to target UWP, Android and IOS using .Net Standard. This makes it easy for consumers who can now continue their app experience using Cortana and TimeLine in Windows 10 between their laptop and Android and IOS devices. Which brings me to the final point. Google KNOWS that Chromebook isn't well received outside the edu section and their Android tablet isn't selling well because mobile apps and web-apps can't do serious work. So they concentrated on making Chrome OS run Android apps. THAT is what customer want. Chromebook recent surge in sales is related to this, not because people are suddenly enarmoured with ChromeBooks. People want Android apps on laptops, even if it isn't pretty. Google is hoping that by providing a laptop-ish environment and an Intel Core CPU, developers will start to build more power apps to take advantage of all the CPU cycles. And these Android apps will be running in a JVM in Chrome OS, not HTML5.
  • Can't edit, just a correction. Project Centennial repackage a Win32 app into a AppX so it works like UWP.
  • Thanks for the good discussion. I’m going to have to put an end to it because it’s taking too much time. That said, a few points: #1 We’re talking past each other. Education, education, education. The basic premise of this Windows 10 S discussion is education. What happens in the US is a harbinger of what happens elsewhere. Google making heavy inroads into Microsoft’s existing home territory in education in less than five years is major news. #2 Microsoft is a money hungry corporation, like every other one (including your own). If you think Microsoft somehow is a benign entity then you belong to the naïve fanboi contingent of users. Bringing access to developing nations may be a positive by-product, but, Microsoft will wisely kill projects if they’re costing them money and not doing anything to the bottom line. A corporation cannot engage in social development and lose money at the same time. That said, the bottom line is what drives Microsoft. 2/3s of the world’s population is worth less on Microsoft’s balance sheet than one developed market of a few dozen million people. Without that one developed market filling the bottom line, Microsoft could not engage with 2/3s of the world’s population. This is one of those harsh realities of life. As a percentage fewer humans may now live in abject poverty than ever before, but, that doesn’t mean people are profoundly more charitable than they used to be. #3 Education is where future eyeballs come from. It’s not evidence of a benign Microsoft. This is something that all manufacturers and developers do. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus. They’ve all engaged with educational discounts and educational software. Why? Because this is how you shape future buying patterns. Some have theorized that iOS’s success is due to such exposure. Just to be clear, I don’t buy the argument that iOS’s success is due to such exposure, just pointing out that that’s what people have theorized. #4 Desktop Bridge is potentially a mistake You write: “It allowed developer like EverNote to port their app into the Windows Store much faster than writing from scratch, which is why they abandoned their UWP app. Same for the IOS Bridge. Too bad about the Android bridge.” In a separate post I noted Apple’s successes and BlackBerry’s failures. You may not be familiar with these stories so here they are. Background #1: Apple successfully managed operating system and architecture transitions. In less than 12 years made profound changes to their core Mac platform not once, not twice but three times. It changed architectures twice. This required a full recompile and partial rewrite of many applications. The interface did not change. Once it changed operating systems, from Mac OS to Mac OS X/Unix. This resulted in slight interface changes, but, a complete change in operating system. Not only did programs have to be recompiled but they sometimes had to be completely rewritten for Mac OS X. Apple provided bridging technologies for each scenario, but, what ultimately led to Apple’s success is that each change offered something compelling: an increase in speed or stability. Apple also has extraordinary brand loyalty. Users know what to expect and were prepared to put up with the headaches for profound changes. The end result is that macOS/Mac OS X is a lean, modern operating system. Microsoft does not have the same brand loyalty (few brands do). It has brand lock-in, but, with iOS and Android completely DOMINATING an entire sphere of computing (that Microsoft has tried to but failed to enter), many, even ardent Microsoft promoters now see that they’re not locked-in to Microsoft and that other computing platforms are viable. This is a threat to Microsoft’s bottom line. Background #2: BlackBerry had a tablet OS and tablet called the PlayBook. It was released soon after Apple released the iPad. A vibrant but underserved app store evolved. It was missing many key apps from other platforms. There was a community of devoted (and profitable) developers for the platform. Towards the end of its existence, BlackBerry added the ability to run .apk files from Android. This dramatically expanded the number of apps that PlayBook users could use, however, what it did was stop any and all development on native PlayBook apps. Why develop for the PlayBook and take advantage of its unique features when you can simply write once for Android and port? Take away: Microsoft is facing an Alice in Wonderland choice. Do they follow Apple’s lead or BlackBerry’s lead? EverNote is the perfect example of why I think they’re risking a BlackBerry outcome. What incentive does EverNote now have to bring a UWP/Windows Store app into existence? If they can simply continue developing with their existing code base why would they bother spending resources on a UWP/Windows Store native application? Yes, others will bring their Win32 apps to the Windows Store, but, they’ll still be Win32 apps. That has not changed! They won’t be using the new APIs. And, they won’t be using the new interfaces. While a bridging technology can smooth things over, I think Microsoft is making a mistake by adding a second bridging technology. Windows 10 itself is the bridge. It can run both UWP and Win32. By moving Win32 to the Windows Store you’re artificially increasing the number of programs, but, you’re not actually increasing the number of native Windows Store apps. And, as long as Microsoft has this absolutely terrible reputation for privacy violations (every aspect of Windows 10 is designed to collect personal data), Windows 7 and 8.1 will remain popular choices amongst those who still have money to spend so developers will keep writing their Win32 apps for those users. #5 Conclusion. This has gone on long enough. Interesting chatting with you but I do need to call it a day.
  • A point I forgot to make: If Microsoft's bridging technology is going to work it needs a compelling reason to get people to eventually give up on the bridging technology and move to UWP. I don't think there is anything compelling. Newer CPUs, GPUs and SoCs have done amazing things to battery life. Even with Windows 10 running Win32 there are laptops out there wtih stunning battery life on very small devices. Extra battery life is not going to matter much. A day's work is a day's work. You still need to recharge at the end of the day. Security is already pretty good if you run decent anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and install only reputable programs. Security is not going to be a selling feature. Microsoft Windows has (a now undeserved) reputation for poor security so marketing it is only going to make people cynical. Ultimately, Microsoft needs to kill the Desktop Bridge technology. It's going to allow developers to be lazy without actually growing the Windows Store. But, Microsoft has been chasing its competitors in the past decade so I'm not exactly surprised that they're continuing to chase their competitors.
  • Yeah, let's conclude. I haven't done any work today. LOL #1 yes, Win 10 S is a respond to Chromebook, but only because Chrome OS is going to support Android apps now. Google had a chance because the market was unsure about Windows 8 Metro interface. That to me is the real issue. Users are unfamiliar with Metro. 5 years is a long time in the tech industry. #2 Let me rephrase that, MS has been punished for being a monopoly so they're more careful and is a better corporate citizen. The fact that they released a patch for Win XP for WannaCry when they have no legal liability gives me confidence they'll do the right thing when required, not when compelled by a lawsuit. Microsoft has shown that they can invest in pie in the sky technology through MS Research and hold on to their idea for far longer than even Alphabet. Xbox, Xbox Live, TabletPC, Windows Mobile, Hololens all did things ahead of their time and all lost money, yet MS persisted with even crazier iterations like Courier, Surface, Zune. Besides IBM, Microsoft is the only other IT firm that stick to an idea and does hard-core Research to make it work. Google usually drops off an idea after 3-5 years. You can say I'm a fan of Microsoft, but to be honest, I'm a fan of who works at Microsoft. #3 Agree. Apple sells due to Steve Jobs and his Reality Distortion Field. #4 Background 1 Agree. MacOS managed those transitions very well. However, even back then, those 2-3% of MacOS users are already fans. They know why it's needed so they endured while the WHOLE eco-system moved with them. Steve Jobs, the Company, the users and their vendors (including Microsoft). ;) #4 Background 2. Disagree. BlackBerry was/is an Enterprise Telephony service provider. They targeted a very niche market to begin with. When they started out, I called their product a glorified 2-way pager. Microsoft is different because they're in almost all industries, sectors and countries. They are also NOT allowing APK to run in Windows. Project Centennial run thru my old program and bam it's in the Windows Store. If I wanted to beautify my app, I just change my WinForm to XAML. If I wanted a nicer file picker, I change my Common Dialog to FilePicker, those are rather simple edits that DOES NOT change the logic of my original programs. That's why EverNote did this. They will continue to change their code to make it look better on Win 10 by incorporating XAML and other tech BUT they can reuse the same code to target Windows 7 and release it in Windows Store for 8/10. More IMPORTANTLY, if devs wants to target Xbox One, Hololens and IoT, they need to stripped out all the Win32 code that requires Full Trust. It's not a very hard thing to do to move my code to UWP but the bridges allow me to do it at my pace. The other 2 bridges take your actual source-code and converts them wholesale to UWP, replacing Google and Apple services with Microsoft's! You can then edit the source-code in Visual Studio, enhance with Cortana/Live Tiles/AI and deploy to Store. That's the main difference and makes devs invested in UWP. Candy Crush was converted this way. Hope I have cleared your doubts regarding UWP.
  • Would Windows 10 S work on my old Surface 1?
  • I Believe that Microsoft in Mobile Section goes from Bad to Worst. I Believe that should Step Up - Step Front and not Step Back Every Time as the Last 10 Years. 2 Years Now and specific since 2015 I am waiting to see the "NEW" Microsoft Surface Future Phone and still doesnt see anything Yet. Windows 10 Cloud or Windows S should have way more Functions and Abilities and not more limits and more problems. :(
  • Resuming: is a regular windows 10 capable of doing anything but blocked. Good job Microsoft!
  • Microsoft has published a table comparing some of the differences among the Home, Pro, and S versions.  It's pretty clear (and I think MS mentions it somewhere) that W10S is essentially W10 Pro with the store requirement, and a few other restrictions.  When you look at Home vs W10 S  vs W 10 Pro in their comparison table, this fairly jumps out at you. Probably explains why the in store upgrade from S to Pro is only $49.
  • Is that edition better than 'w10 Home'?
  • This is absolutely ridiculous, completely useless. If an institution wants to block certain features of windows in-house to keep their studentsor employees "safe", they can already do that, and it is much more tailored to their needs. For average consumers, this is annoying, and confusing. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that your average consumer is stupid and ignorant. People already couldn't understand the difference between the Surface RT and the Surface Pro when those came out. I'm already expecting the comments like "I can't install x or y on my computer, Microsoft is ****!!!" from people who are dumb as rocks. This is a useless waste of resources for Microsoft and, additionally, an immense risk they are taking vis-à-vis competition authorities, because as a graduate economics student who focuses on platform markets, I can tell you that a dominant firm such as Microsoft controlling who can or not publish apps on their platform for consumers via the store might ruffle some feathers depending on how far this goes. That being said, I expect this version of Windows to be dead in a year or so anyway.
  • Developers warned this would happen, it'll be the death of Windows.
  • "Considering Windows 10 S is Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS"
    What happened to Windows 10 on ARM?
  • First Windows 10 ARM PC coming in the fourth quarter.
  • I think now it shoudl be pretty apparant. It will be windows 10 S on ARM. So basically it will be a proper windows 10 OS, minus the option of installing software programs. Given the current state of windows 10 store, that looks like a stupid idea. However, if 10S gets popular in 'normal' laptops, MS might be hoping that more developers woudl want to put their apps on the store. That is a gamble, but it is the only attempt MS has made recently to focus on its store. It is a little late in the day and probably not enough. But it still is an attempt nonetheless.
  • So, what again is the advantage over Chrome books?
  • Several. Top three in my view being: 1) its running a proper OS instead of a web-borwser. It will have windows 10 which in itself is crucial if you plan to move files between your other PCs fro work etc. 2) It will have full fledged MS office, rather than google docs etc. 3) will be faster, far mroe fluid, have better battery back up vis-a-vis chromebooks 
  • so this is their second attempt at getting surface rt to the public and I thought it was all about one interface for all. kinda goes against the universal ui a little and its p[ast plans to run all its software across all devices, Kinda a big step backwards in my book. Microsft cant compete with google,they don't have a mobile phone(todays popular device of choice, its that simple. a cheap laptop with a cut down version of windows without win32 support just rings rt in my book, anyway my nearly 3 year old Lumia 930 is no longer supported by microsoft so I'm wondering how long the surface laptop will be., Another reboot in 2-3 yeares maybe. Yeh I'm pesemistic but I think that's been earnet by microsoft at this time.
  • Still as ling as new tabs on edge don't open to my default home page or gestures beta speakerphone option isn't anywhere to be seen it really doesn't mater, android won me over in 2017 because microsoft pushed me there.
  • How does Windows 10S compare to Windows 10 IoT Enterprise?
  • "That means if Google decides to put Chrome in the Windows Store" I haven't laughed this hard in a while...
  • Interesting there is no talk of upgrading to Windows 10 Home, just Pro. Are they starting a phase out of "Home" in favor of "S", geared to consumers and locked to the Store? In which case the first iteration of Windows on Arm could technically be Windows S on Arm for all intents and purposes.
  • After seeing the comparision chart between Windows 10 S, Home, and Pro, I see no use for Home. The upgrade price from Windows 10 S to Pro is only $49!
  • I presume Windows 10 S is more Pro-like than Home-like because, being intended for use in curated environments like academic institutions, it'll need to support network and device management features say, like, Azure Active Directory.  Not what Home Edition was intended for.
  • Good point, it must include some Pro-like stuff under the hood for ease of administration and deployment as they demonstrated at the event.
  • The reason is that Home and Pro use two different cores in the back-end. MS had the choice of developing S over either of the cores. It chose Pro (better choice in my view). And that is why only compatibility is with Pro, unless one wants to do complete re-install to Home. Moving from S to pro simply is a matter of openign a gate to allow third party software to be installed and everything else remains the same. That also answers the question why there is no option of going back to S. Once you have installed programs, you have. Going back means uninstalling all those and then closing the gate to ban them. Why on earth will anyone want to do it? Just reformat the system and install S again if you want.
  • Cool, thanks for the insight. That makes a lot of sense now.
  • i would buy one of these for my wife but she would throw it at me and ask for an ipad
  • The idea is fine, if the store was infact full of apps. It really isn't though.
  • Abolutely. In my view this an attempt (very feable though) to get some apps on the store. MS 'hopes' that this category will gain popularity and that will compell developers to put their apps in windows store. Long Long Shot...
  • "Remember, Windows 10 S is for people who like Chromebooks. It's for lightweight devices where the user spends most of their time in a web browser." Zac, how do you see the powerful Surface Laptops in this equation?
  • I keep asking myself the same. Why would I spend 999$ on a laptop to be limited to a pathetic App Store and a browser? Obviously I would spend the other 49 to unlock it...so again the point between windows 10 S and the new Surface Laptop is...? I see none.
  • You are looking at it the wrong way. Windows 10S is the Chromebook competitor. The Surface Laptop with Windows 10S is a premium device to be managed best by IT departments. For "ordinary consumers" like you and me, Windows 10 Pro makes more sense, I agree. But buy a Surface Laptop now, and you can upgrade for free to Windows 10 Pro till the end of the year
  • "..Windows 10 S (which likely stands for schools).."
    I would guess it stands for 'safe' or 'secure', as it only allows safe Windows store instalations
  • In practice it actually stands of Store. That is the only difference
  • Windows for noobs. Should have had this edition available when I refurbished this old laptop for my mom...
  • Hey Zac, it's still bs "That means if Google decides to put Chrome in the Windows Store, devices running Windows 10 S will be able to install it and use it. " Google nor any other can't release their browser on Windows Store if it doesn't use Edge's browser engine!
  • Isn't that the same as Chrome on IOS?
  • Windows 10S now sounds like an interesting skew. I like the prospect of improved battery and security. But when the hype dust settles after today I'm curious where things will really stand. I'm still ambivalent as to the market value of this skew. At the end of the day I think common sense will still be to upgrade to windows 10 pro.
    I would have liked to see Microsoft be more transparent about stories on educational instutions and how they tackle the legacy vs UWP conumdrum and see how Xamarin is helping to make that effort easier with a perspective of overhead costs to support that. I think that would give me a better insight and understanding and trust in the relevance for going for windows 10 S, and the skew would then feel less as a gimmicky investment, perhaps worth considering: doing more with less. Curious to see this year how UWP will progress.
  • Thank you for the good review and the humor: “Windows 10 S is a better OS for light web browsing compared to Chrome OS". You made my day! An OS which cannot run Chrome is BETTER for light web browsing? Good one. I guess you’re right, if you focus on the word light. Edge is acceptable for LIGHT web browsing. Who knows, perhaps it could be even the best if you define the word light correctly? The reason people have a ChromeBook is because of CHROME. It’s the reigning heavyweight champion of browsers. And, through it you can access 95% of what 90% of the population uses a computer for. Web browsing. Word processing. Email. IM. And, in education, they're great because they have no support headaches in terms of software installation and incompatibility. Besides, the economics of Windows 10 Lite just don’t compute. There are PLENTY of CHEAP Windows 10 Home laptops at the same price point as ChromeBooks. What’s a slimmed down version of Windows 10 Home going to do that Windows 10 Home can’t? Absolutely nothing. Edge is not a reason to use Windows. It’s a mediocre browser competing against established players WHO ARE BETTER. If you’re going to beat BETTER you need to be best in class. Not winner of the consolation prize.
  • Chrome is a bloatware at this point. It's the most resource hungry browser of them all. Trick with Chrome is that they want it to be more than a browser, more like a platform for web and cloud services. And it's a great data mining machine.
  • How is this different from other versions besides not being able to install third party Win32 programs? I can recreate this on my Stream 8 or any other device running the Creator Update through Settings. And I actually have done that on my Stream.
  • This is what win RT should have been. I think MS got it right this time, as they are aiming directly at Chromebook market.
  • Yeah let's make a $1,000.00 overpriced laptop and lock it to our sucky store. I know what the "S" in Windows 10 S stands for --- STUPID!
  • It's such a bad idea, they'll be scuttling this into the dustbin by 2019.
  • I cant help but feel they're lining up windows 10 S for a hybrid ultra mobile device... This will be the OS for Surface Phone - you heard it here first! 😉
  • I just realized that S is the letter between R and T. It made me laugh. Lol.
  • Am I going to be able to install Windows 10 S in my Surface 2 - RT ?? can't see that information nowhere
  • This is going to be about as successful as windows mobile. There are so few quality apps available on the windows 10 store.
  • What I heard in the demo, was that it was faster to login, and easy to resume, and easy to deploy via the new tool. I'd like to have heard more about the speed.
  • I hope this goes better than Windows RT.  Althouth it was locked to ARM processors, the Windows Store was pretty much the only place for programs.  We all saw how that worked out.
  • It's not for you if all you can see is the "limitation" of the OS. I think the general consumers would be able to live by just having Microsoft suite of products: Office, Outlook, Edge, Skype, Defender etc which 10S guarantees.
  • Am I the only one seeing this? Or people have pointed it out already? Either ways I think MS is aiming to shoot two targets with this version of Windows 10, and both are great for me. 1) provide windows 10 in the hands on light users (and I believe more than 90% are in that category). If we list down what all apps/porgrams are not available, I don't think we will find much which is critical to us 'light' users. We can play games, watch videos, play songs, do all of social media phto hsaring stuff etc. and browse the net (though only through Edge, but its OK). Only thing which I may not like is that Bing is default search engine and I canot change that. regardless of the improvements it has made in recent years, it still fades in comparison to google. But besides not having 'preffered' serch provider or browser, there is not much to crib about. Even without that we can browse and search internet (go to google.com if we really need google search). If this results in devices getting cheaper and more battery efficient, I am sure a lot of people will want to have it. Second target is moreimportant to me, though it still a bit of long shot. MS might thnk of this as a way to get companies liek Google and Apple to actually build apps on windows store. If this category gets popular they might get forced to do it. If and when that happens, it will be great news for us windows fans. Hope MS succeeds in both departments. If so, the good days might just plan a return to the windows ecosystem.
  • What many commenters don't know is, full Windows 10 has a lot of background tasks running every second. Open Resource Monitor to see what I mean. Many of these tasks and services are used to support Windows as a business machine, working in a workgroup or AD, or even just standalone. All these stuff consume battery. If a big chunk of Windows background tasks can be switched off since Windows Store Apps don't require all these monitoring, in theory, Win 10 S can save a huge amount of battery during idling, making it act more like a Mobile OS, like IOS. Removing the ability to run Win32 means a lot of the security and watchdog functions can be switched off. I see this as a progression of Windows becoming more mobile. At present, IOS has the best standby/idling battery usage I know and Windows 10 is the worst. Android... depends on the OEM. In order for full Windows to become a mobile OS, its idling battery usage has to improve 10 folds, without resorting to Hibernation. This is the point Panos made when he open the lid on the Surface laptop.
  • How about printer, scanner drivers and other peripherals?  I know Windows has built-in drivers but it is not full featured.  Are those coming in the Store too?
  • 10 S will supoprt all the existing windows 10 drivers
  • "Windows 10 S can still run your traditional Windows apps and programs, as long as they're available in the Windows Store." NO. Say it like it is. You CAN NOT run your traditional Windows apps and programs, UNLESS they're available in the Windows Store.
  • Can somebody explain how this is different from the RT bullshit that they tried to feed us back then? It sounds to me like they haven't learned much from that fiasco.
  • Yeah, this is basically RT mixed with the Netbook fad from almost a decade ago.
  • Having had a few hours to digest this well written article I see Windows 10 S as being a COMPLETE FAILURE in the education market if they're going to compete with ChromeBooks on price, or put Edge up against Chrome. A school gets ChromeBooks because of three things: price, price and price. Oh, insanely simple device management is not a bad selling feature either since it saves on operating costs. Plus, Chrome allows teachers to do 95% of what it is they need to use technology in the classroom. Edge is nowhere near as capable a browser as Chrome and Google does not make it easy to use Edge without getting a non-stop stream of reminders to switch to Chrome (and, to be honest, the quality of the experience ON THE SAME DEVICE is distinctly better on Chrome anyway... and, not by design but because Edge is designed as a media consumption browser rather than a productivity browser). As for what other advantages Windows 10 S offers? Absolutely NONE. The SOLE selling feature of Windows 10 over any other OS is that it can run Win32 apps. Strip that out of the equation and you are left with an OS that's limited to running apps from a crippled app store. UWP/Windows Store apps are a LIABILITY, not a plus. They are mediocre in design, unsupported compared to their iOS and Android peers and the selection is non-existent. Bringing "real" versions of Word and Excel to UWP isn't going to change the fact that UWP simply is not suited to desktop applications.
  • Trying to edit post so it will be accepted... looks like it thinks I"m trying to post an ad... Apologies if it doesn't make sense. As soon as you introduce "real" Office into the mix, you increase the price of Windows 10 S! On price, Windows 10 S cannot compete with ChromeBooks. The ONLY thing a ChromeBook has to do run is Chrome--a better browser than Edge to begin with. That's it! This means that comparably spec'd devices will DO A BETTER JOB with Chrome OS than with Windows 10. Or, a lower spec'd device (i.e. CHEAPER) will do a comparable job to a more expensive Windows 10 S device. ChromeBook/Google Apps for Education is platform agnostic. Students and teachers alike can user WHATEVER device and operating system they want. Change to UWP/Windows Store and you lose that freedom. When Microsoft's Windows OS was the dominant OS, schools could get away with running an operating system and software that did not work on the other OSes. Microsoft's Windows is now in the uncomfortable position of being a minority OS. 99.9% of students use a NON MICROSOFT operating system for the bulk of their computing needs. Microsoft is not going away any time soon (luckily, because I am heavily _____ in certain aspects of the OS now), but, they have completely lost the dominance they once had. In a few years, Microsoft's presence as the dominant OS will be gone. iOS and Android have captured the workflow of 99.9% of today's teenagers, and, as those of us in the working world realize, teenagers eventually become adults with greater ____flows. And, they're going to be spending it on devices that integrate with their iOS and Android workflows, not their Microsoft workflow.
  • Now Iam using Windows 10, Can i Upgrade it
  • the only problem is: Apps. and don't start telling the Store has enough apps, because it's obvious it does not have!
  • Try this Make a list of all the apps you use then check the store. Saying that the store has no apps when your clearly going off no evidence to support your statement is just misleading.
  • Microsoft are looking to pull off an interesting trick: Break into the cheap Chromebook market using Windows 10 S while at the same time, bundle it with a premium, Ultrabook hardware package.  And it might just work.  However, looking at the Windows 10 S offerings coming from the major OEMs, it's a more confusing array of existing models along with 2-in-1s and refrshed, muted specs. Not sure people will understand what they're getting (like they did back when Netbooks were really popular.)
  • Microsoft are looking to pull off an interesting trick: Break into the cheap Chromebook / Education market using Windows 10 S while at the same time, bundle it with a premium, Ultrabook hardware package, taking on the MB Pro / Air.  And it might just work.  However, looking at the Windows 10 S offerings coming from the major OEMs, it's a more confusing array of existing models along with 2-in-1s and refrshed, muted specs. Not sure people will understand what they're getting (like they did back when Netbooks were really popular.)
  • What's new for Windows 10 after Creaters Update, they did not annouce any?
  • With mediocre app support in the windows store, people will be driven to web apps.
    Which is a real pain, because Edge doesn't support pinning websites to your task bar or start screen like IE did. Once Edge has better support for pinning, then this will become more comfortable to use.
  • I'm guessing the real reason is to encourage/force developers to make Store versions of their programs, so that when the next iteration of mobile Windows comes out (probably Redstone 3 this autumn - where we'll see the same Windows 10 codebase running on Intel/Snapdragon) there'll be a lot more major apps that'll run on it.
  • Who's going to buy one of these, if your only browser of choice is Edge? Yuck.
  • Yet you have Ad-vlock for edge
  • That is all great. What I really want to know is, can I install it right now on a Windows 8.1. tablet that has already been upgraded to Windows 10 and suffers?  How can I get this version?
    Will it run on Atom processors? 
  • Windows 10S is full Windows 10. There will be no performance gain from 10S.
  • It's interesting from the comments how much distrust there is with win10s.  From what I understand it is not winrt. If you don't like it or if it does not suit your needs...maybe you shouldn't get it. Just a thought...
  • It's just another freakin' windows 8 RT!!! All the way down to the cheesy abbreviations!
  • According to the windows 10 S already installed on your surface 3, can you install WSL (AKA bash on ubuntu on windows) on windows 10 S? I can't find any information about this at this time.
  • All is desire in an OS is NO peeping by "Big Brother" , I really do not care about anything Big Brother is concerned about, and never will. Just give me an OS and leave me alone, update the stupid thing, or install and AI stream which picks up uodates based on use. That's my perfect OS, not into apps, just the basics and I'm good, is that too much to ask of any of these so-called OS developers ?