Windows 10 S can succeed because 'normal' people aren't PC geeks — and that's OK

One of the toughest things to balance on a site dedicated to Windows and its related products is how to target content. While professionals and enthusiasts tend to be the most articulate and knowledgeable, they can also be myopic, especially compared to "regular" consumers.

This is why I'm grateful that my close friends and family barely understand the things I know or care about professionally. Geeking out over innovative design languages, Windows 10 on ARM, and software "bridges" is not normal. I get that, and I hope you do too.

I bring this up because if you're reading this article, itching to comment, you're likely in the one-percent: a Windows enthusiast, aficionado, maybe even an expert. I regularly concede that many people in our audience have proficiencies where I lack serious credibility. That's what's so fun about this place — the sharing of knowledge and viewpoints.

This preamble is necessary because the world is mostly made up of people who are not Windows enthusiasts, experts, or even what I would describe as fans. They're just regular people who need to send an email, browse the web, play a game, or watch a movie.

In recent articles, we wrote about Windows 10 S and Surface Laptop there is a perceptible blowback from the "pros," which was expected. Why would anyone want this?, readers wrote. You can't even download Steam! they said.

These same people are aware that Apple has sold millions of pseudo-PCs in the form of iPads. With kludgy keyboard covers and iOS phone apps, I see people all the time on planes, media events, and cafes trying to make the iPad into something it's not: a PC replacement.

Now Microsoft comes on the scene with an x64 PC that can still run Win32 apps (and soon even iTunes from the Store) and suddenly people aren't ready for such a thing. Even though we live in a world where 80 percent of the smartphone market belongs to Android – arguably not the world's friendliest OS – Windows 10 S is suddenly too complicated or confusing. I don't get it.

Windows 10 S has real challenges

None of this is to suggest that Microsoft is going to have an easy sell with Windows 10 S. In that regard, I agree with Windows Central writer Jason Ward's recent article spotlighting consumer education as an invaluable piece of Microsoft's potential success here.

Microsoft is already confronting this, but in typical marketing methods they are focusing on the positives for Surface Laptop, such as "streamlined for security" and "performance made personal." Don't expect Redmond's creation to be sold as "the gorgeous laptop that can't run McAfee Antivirus and WinX DVD Ripper!" (Oddly enough, for some of us this is a selling point ... )

That is the right approach, too. There are benefits to running an OS with no background tasks, or thousands of registry entries (Microsoft called out the fact that Visual Studio creates 750,000 registry entries as one egregious and ironic example).

The benefits of all-day battery life, lack of "PC rot," and consistent OS performance for the life of the device provide valuable marketing incentive.

The same reason that people love Windows — being able to install any app, no matter how bad or destructive — is the same reason why consumers gravitated towards Apple for years. Even those who stayed with Windows did so not out of devotion, but because they had to for work.

Microsoft does not want you to just deal with Windows; the company wants you to love it. That's a tall order but a noble one.

You can't critique the Windows 10 S and Surface Laptop gambit without offering an alternative to this ongoing problem that Microsoft faces. The old Win32 system is just that — old. It's not built for the Windows Mixed Reality and Fluent Design world we are rapidly moving towards. You can't get the cool, futuristic stuff tethered to yesteryear.

For those who can't find all their apps in the Windows Store – and at least for 2017 that will be many of you – the problem fixes itself with a free unlock to Windows 10 Pro. After all, Windows 10 S is essentially Windows 10 Pro with some hidden locks.

Customers won't have to return devices, seek online help, or bother relatives. Instead, they will click a button and go on with their life.

You're the solution

This all comes back to you.

Our regular Windows Central readers fall into two camps: those who see value in the Windows 10 S and the strict Universal-Windows-Platform (UWP) future, and those who want an old-school experience on new hardware. Both are legitimate positions.

If you need that one desktop app that is not in the Windows Store, there is no amount of haranguing about "future computing paradigms" that will change that fact. So, go "Pro" and don't look back. Let Microsoft prove that the Windows Store is good enough. That is its job, and we all expect the company to make it self-evident. It hasn't done that yet, so let's watch what happens and keep up the pressure. Getting Apple iTunes and Spotify in the Windows Store are great first steps, but there needs to be much more.

For others, do what you always do: spread knowledge. That is what tech enthusiasts excel at.

I see real value in a Windows-10-S future for consumers. To drill the point home, I plan to keep my Surface Laptop "S-only" not out of spite, but because that's how I use laptops these days.

Will Windows 10 S succeed? Not on day one, but it has to start somewhere. There will be pain points, but make no mistake about it: the old world of Win32 desktop applications, inadequate security, and bad battery life is on notice. Getting to that new world of siloed, secure, and efficient UWP apps is going to be a long process with speed bumps, but let's embrace that future and not live in the past.

Finally, I encourage all of you to talk to "regular" people. Ask them what OS version their phone or PC runs. Inquire if they know the benefits of ARM versus x86 processing. If they don't have answers or their eyes glaze over, they're normal. Talk to them, find out how they use their devices, what apps they use and their habits.

I suspect you'll learn a lot about how the world works, and it's not as complicated as you think.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Offcourse it succeeds. 'Not normal' people will switch to Windows 10 Pro for free. The Surface laptop is a on paper better device than a Macbook and cheaper (but still expensive) and the Surface laptop is a very nice looking device...
  • i dont think so W10S is limited to the store... thats the one and only problem and both geek and non geek will have problems with it which will lead to the same disaster as the RT was. Non geek will be: Can I install CHROME?? No?? Bye. ... geeks will be: Can I run CAD/Adobe on it? No? Bye. Microsoft needs to lower the price for W10S laptops/tablets or just forget about it  
  • The price is already extremely low. And, no, the Laptop is not cheap. But it's also not at all typical of what a 10S computer will look like.
  • These are speculative assumptions. While Chrome accounts for 51% of the browser market Edge/IE make up the rest (Firefox and Opera are blips). I think you're over-estimating it's importance. Regardless, S and the Store-only approach needs to start somewhere. If you try to wait until the perfect day, you'll be waiting for ever. It's time to rip the band-aid off.
  • Yeah I think iTunes is a far far more important addition to the store than Chrome would be.  Chrome is easily replaceable, iTunes is not.  For the power user who needs some obscure extensions only available on Chrome right now, Chrome may be critical. But for the average user, Chrome is probably used more out of habit, accident, Goggle's incessant advertising, or because someone put it on their computer for them, rather than any real need. 
  • If anything is missing, might as well get a laptop with full Windows for less, which will be the opinion of the vast majority. Forcing people to do things that they don't want to when there are alternatives only works for Apple.
  • @Paul Kinslow, while the Surface Laptop is not iexpensive, other Windows 10 S laptops are the least expensive options availale. This is because the license from MS for putting Windows 10 S on a system is lower than for putting Windows 10 Home on the same system (possibly free, not clear). There is certainly no "focing people to do things they don't want." This is a new option to get a new laptop with a fuzzy keyboard or other new cheaper Windows systems than have ever been available before.
  • I agree with the point that chrome is used accidently most of the time by a normal user. My brother is the real example... He was used to of it... But my system do not have chrome, i am using edge since anniversary update and when he get to use my system... He is just using edge and never complained about it... I am sure if chrome would have been installed.. He surely would have been using chrome. That's by accident not by choice.
  • Now it will be fun to see these Google prompts: Use Chrome! on a system running Windows 10S where users can't install it :D
  • I'm pretty sure Chrome will be present in the Windows Store if a large prosent of users are using Windows 10 S. Google will not go miss on all this marked, and to make Chrome a Store app is not difficult. For us that read Windows Central and magazines like this it will be a blessing. Just install Windows 10 S on the computer to your xxxx (replace xxx with mother, wife, grandparents, neighbour of whatever you need to support) and you don't have to spend time to resolve their PC-problems again.
  • Putting Chrome on the store would be easy if Microsoft wanted to go easy on Google, but given how Google has never had the same courtesy towards them, that's highly unlikely to happen.
    As things are, Google would have to use EdgeHTML and that's definitely not an easy proposition.
  • @Carlos, Google does use the Safari rendering engine to put "Chrome" on iOS devices. It still feels and acts like Chrome. If Windows 10 S takes off at all, I think we actually will see Chrome in the Store. Getting iTunes there is a real coup, because it makes it harder for Google to justify not doing Chrome.
  • I agree except with your market share numbers.  Firefox is hardly a "blip" at 11.8% (NetMarketShare) or 14.53% (StatCounter).  In fact, StatCounter has Firefox with more market share than IE and Edge combined.  If anything, the 3-5% each company is reporting would make Edge the blip.
  • Does Firefox still exist ?
  • Yes, it deos and works quite well for me
  • @Max Omni, seems to depend heavily on the data source and whether or not you include mobile or other platforms. I didn't see any (including the view I found on StatCounter) where Firefox had more than both IE and Edge combined, but I did see some where it had more than either. In others I saw it ranked as less than IE, but still more than Edge. In pretty much all, Edge appears to be the growth browser right now. @venetasoft, I'm posting this in Firefox right now. :-). It has the best tools for viewing sites with news articles available via RSS feed, because my bookmark for Windows Central is always an up-to-date drop down list of the most recent 30 articles. No other browser offers that. Even the extensions for Chrome that attempt to do that don't come close what Firefox offers natively. Edge is my main browser for most other stuff. I also use Opera a fair amount, thanks to good reviews here on Windows Central.
  • Desktop (since we were talking about a desktop OS): Firefox: 14.53%, IE: 9%, Edge: 3.71% But including Mobile, Tablet, and Console it's still true: Firefox 6.3%, IE: 3.89%, Edge: 1.71% Incidentally, "Other" clocks in at more than Edge (4.13% and 1.81% respectively) in both reports, making Edge, almost by definition, a "blip".  That said, I have heard that StatCounter data may not be as reliable as NetMarketShare so I don't put too much faith in what says beyond trends, and I agree that Edge seems to be the growth leader at the moment but one can't honestly say that it "make[s] up the rest [of the market]" and Firefox is a blip. Firefox and the open web FTW! ;-)
  • I found most of your W10S related articles disagreeable, but I liked this one. Many good and valid points. The only technical error here is the repeated mention of battery life improvements with W10S. That is overselling it. W10S, by itself, does absolutely nothing to improve battery life over W10 Pro. Zilch. Nada. However, real UWP apps are limited in some ways to make them more battery friendly. So, using only real UWP apps could result in better battery life compared to the same device with a mix of Win32 and UWP software. Obviously, W10 Pro users can also limit themselves to real UWP apps and get the same battery life improvement. Oh yeah, and this applies only to real UWP apps. Win32 software distributed through the store (via Centennial) can do whatever it wants in terms of power usage (no limitations), so just limiting yourself to the store won't guarantee you're not installing a battery hog. This is another good reason why it's a bad idea to call everything in the store UWP software. The differences between real UWP software and Win32 software with an appx wrapper are still gigantic!
  • No. Way less overhead with registry and other items not running in the background. So battery life can and should improve.
  • Why does there need to be any wound for any band-aid? Microsoft could get around 100% of the confusion with Windows 10 S by doing what Apple does on macOS for free - an in-OS toggle for installing applications outside of the App Store. Has Microsoft come out and said anything about the OS install size being smaller? Does Windows 10 S include all of the capabilities of Windows 10 Pro, except they're just hidden from the user? Microsoft adds fuel to their fire by demoing and speaking highly of Windows 10 and Win32 apps on ARM at the same time they're selling a $1000 laptop without the ability to install the world's most popular web browser, or Steam, or Origin, or any legacy emulators...
  • You already paid for the macOS when you purchase the machine, in the same essence, Windows 10 Pro does have the toggle for you to switch between the ability to install store only apps or any apps. Windows 10S on the other hand is a low cost and probably free OS for the OEMs to build some low cost models targetting the education sector. The models demoed by the other OEMs are in the range of $200. This was possible because of the Windows 10S because of the price point. The Surface Laptop is a premium niche product that target a group of people where the OEMs normally do not want to risk in, people that more emphasize in the aesthetic but have no use of the full power and higher price of the Surface Book or Tablet. 
  • I only come to this site for the Rubino slamdowns...
  • Time to start covering the OEM 10 S devices Not enough horsepower to run Pro on some
  • And what percentage of the 49% is Edge? My guess is that the first thing people do with a new MS machine is open whatever browser they find first and download Chrome. Even MS acknowledges it is one of the top two installed apps. The other being iTunes. Why do they download and use Chrome? Because all their friends tell them too, and that's how they've always done it. So they can't load Chrome, now what. Oh well I've heard IE has gotten a lot better. What? I can't use that either?  You said yourself that they're just regular people who need to send an email (probably in a browser), browse the web (definately in a browser), play a game, or watch a movie (often in a browser). So now they are forced to use Edge, which 'everybody knows sucks', because their Chrome running friends told them so.  No problem though, because you can just upgrade to Pro...for free...for a while. What does that do to the adoption rate of S? Consider I'm a guy that has intentionally run my Surface 3 since I got it as what would eventually be called S. No legacy apps on it that didn't come with it, like File Explorer, Word Pad, IE. I'm using the Mobile version of Office (most of which is now hidden, before the Centennial version of Office 2016 is available), and I do my best to only use Edge. Even tonight though, I couldn't order apizza from Dominos. Edge refused to acknowledge button presses. Opened in IE and it worked fine. For the most part Edge works just fine. There are still enough of these little irritants, that it being the only option is not going to hack it for 'regular' people, and will piss them off.  Those pissed off people are they ones that will be posting about S, not the 1000 times as many who will like it. Yea MS has to embark on a huge education/marketing effort. Hope it is better than the one the did for Win 8. .  
  • "Edge refused to acknowledge button presses. Opened in IE and it worked fine. ". That does not necessarily mean the Dominos website is correctly developed / written... I see a lot of badly written websites that might work on Chrome but that does not mean the programming is as it should be....
  • Chrome only has this high market share because it is the default browser on Android. And there are now over 2 billion Android devices out there. Normal peolpe love to use defaults. So I think normal people will use Edge when they see that Chrome is not in the Store.
  • @pineapple, didnt read the article..
  • I agree, first thing I do with a new laptop is install chrome.
    Been doing that for over six years and not stopping soon.
    If you're forcing me to use IE then you'll get the side eye from me. 😒
  • It's called Edge. And honestly, switching is not that hard. I switched from Chrome to Opera and use Edge more on laptops than either.
  • Concur. I mostly use Edge on my SP4. Every once in a while I'll come across a site that doesn't play nice and I'll have to switch over to Chrome, but for the most part, Edge is pretty solid.
  • I'd use Edge if Microsoft ported it to Android so I could sync all my history and stuff, but with mobile pretty much dried up for Microsoft and the only cross platform browsers being Firefox, Chrome or Opera on Android, you're losing a lot of interoperability between mobile and desktop in this sense. It's this that makes it hard for me, otherwise I'd be there. Come on MS, port Edge if you can so I can use something different.
  • I'd use Edge if Microsoft ported it to Android so I could sync all my history and stuff
    Yeah that is one of the problem points for Edge.  How do they solve that?  You could use Pocket or some other 3rd party favs/reading list sync utilities.  But that is not quite as fluid.  They could put Edge on iOS/Android (but not trivial, they'd have to seperate out the rendering engine).  Maybe they could use the MS Graph and/or Cortana and have that sync up everything across all browsers.  But all those options would have to overcome the tyranny of the default, which is a difficult hump to get the average user over. 
  • I love this site, on one hand people will be angry that MS is making their computers more phone like and in the same comments section one would always comment how they wouldn't use X program because of phone sync.
  • It's like different people are commenting! 😱
  • Rather, its that MS has to cater to such a diverse group of individuals and is incapable of pleasing everyone.
  • Opera will do synicing.  Maybe you could do something in MS Flow?
  • @chaz_uk, just use LastPass or some other password sync option. Those blow away the in-browser password savers and work across all browsers. You can now sync your bookmarks/favorites across browsers too with XMarks and the Edge-IE built-in sync. OK, so that won't work with Windows 10 S, because there may not be any IE included (do we know if IE will be missing?), but Xmarks has promised that an Edge version is coming very soon.
  • Daily Edge user here - still think that limitation to only rendering/JS engine for store apps (yes same as on iOS) should have exceptions for real browsers and applied after review when x32 apps are ported. Users will be happy that they can use their favorite browser - one of main apps for current time
    As daily user I see problems and slowdowns (especially on different media content sites, and lets be honest - Windows Central website without Ads blocker).
    Another case - Slack app (Desktop) in Windows Store. Initially it is Electron app with Blink(Chromium)/V8 under the hood, and doesn't look like it was rewritten to EdgeHTML/Chakra. Will it be removed from store?
  • Edge is a fine browser, but it has a definite extension-gap compared to Chrome. Now, most 'normal' user never install extensions (with maybe the exception op ABP), so in line with the article that will not matter that much. There is however a big problem: Chromecast in combination with Netflix. This combo is used by a lot of 'normal' users and is only supported in Windows through Chrome. This is already the reason I personally never use the otherwise fine Netflix UWP-app. It's a big plus voor iPads and Android tablets over Windows S.
  • Edge is excellent but still keep Chrome for those annoying little things that a Microsoft browser won't let you do
  • What are those? Just curious....
  • One is DirectTV Now service. Does not work on Edge
  • I think about my friends and relatives that have no idea what a browser is, for them use edge or chrome make no difference at all.
  • In my experience, Edge is better for touch-heavy users on laptops and 2-in-1s, which is me 80% of the time. It also integrates better with Windows 10 than Chrome (e.g. Pin to Start). So I have adopted Edge as my primary browser, while still using Chrome in a few cases where it offers advantages over Edge (e.g. drag/drop shortcuts to desktop). But I suspect Edge and Chrome will, over time, become more and more alike, to the point most users won't care which they use.
  • Ive been removing Chrome for the past 2, its a horribly bloated resource hog anymore... Firefox, Edge, and Opera are ALL much better options right now
  • So do you plan on buying a new 10S laptop and keeping it locked to the Store?  Regardless, you missed the message in the article. How many iOS users ran their iPhones/iPads for years without Chrome?  Did that bother them?
  • I was using Edge exclusively until the creators update removed favorite syncing for domain joined the first thing i do now is install chrome.
  • Edge is WAY better than any of the others,  Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera.....whatever...Edge is faster,  has more features and is more user friendly than the rest!
  • Chrome is **** compared to Edge.
  • What I can sense here is "habit" not the requirement. You can get use to of edge in few days... Not a big deal. Its very very fine unless or untill you have some specific requirements....
  • IMHO Chrome is the worst browser written ever. I'd rather die than use Chrome....
  • This seems more like a routine than a preference at that point.  Chrome never gets installed on my PCs anymore, as there are far better alternatives.  Switching from Chrome to Opera is one of the easiest moves to make.  It is browser after all, not a bank.  
  • If I ever bought hardware with Win10S I'd have to unlock Pro immediately, as I do love Chrome since it's honestly the best fit for my Google Centric usecase. That is why Win 10S may succeed because you aren't trapped forever without Chrome, you have a choice to escape the lockdown. The more I use Edge with Cortana it's fairly bareable having said that, I'm gonna forever default to Chrome whenever possible. As the Google Productivity suite and other webpages just perform better within Chrome. Having said this, I'll still recommend 10S to a lot of my less techie friends as it will cut down on a lot of their issues. Reducing the need for me to help them with their problems.
  • most normal people don't bother with things like Adobe products. Most people won't dump their computer just because Chrome is not on there. If the overall experience is spectacular normal people get over things. Again the thought of CAD/Adobe means these geeks know to upgrade to Pro which will be free.
  • geeks will be: Can I run CAD/Adobe on it? Not yet. How? Upgrade to pro not later than this year.
  • geeks buy pro version. They know what they need
  • Actually right now, a geek might want the Surface laptop, because it is nice hardware, and they essentially get Pro with it (free upgrade). That may actually be a reasonable option as getting Pro loaded on a device usually increases the price a bit, over home at least.
  • I don't think that chrome is so essential. If someone tries Windows 10 S, they will try Edge, and if they find it to be good, they won't miss chrome. And I think, Edge is becoming better all the time.
    Someday, my little brother told me what happened in his school, on the cumputing class. The teacher said, that they should open chrome, and go to a webpage. My brother opened Edge, and went to the site. When the teacher saw it, he yelled at him, saying "close that crap, and open chrome". My little brother laughed a bit, opened chrome, and when the teacher went back, he also went back to Edge. And since that, almost all the kids "rebel" with using Edge 😀 So the big problem here is googles aggressive marketing, making even teachers to force the kids to use their browser. As Jason Ward once said, "google wants our children" 😁 And if MS wants to succeed, they need to prevent it.
  • Most nongeeks use Chrome because it gets installed with something else and everytime you bring up Google without it, but since S is defaulted to Bing it won't be as big a deal.
  • Aside from maybe (maybe) K-12 installations, nobody really needs Windows 10 S... nor are they asking for it. The few times Microsoft has offered a store-based version of Windows (RT and Windows Phone 7, 8 & 10), it has failed. There are no apps... and none of the appeal or "real" Windows. Microsoft would be better served not to call it "Windows" at all... because it is not. Rebrand it... and lower expectations, and maybe consumers will find a use for it... but I doubt it.
  • So what you're essentialy saying is that they should first make the Store, fill it with 3rd party apps and then and only then start to market the Store to general public? And how exactly do you expect that to happen?
  • If just for the sake of running Chrome, will many people want to pay $49 to switching to 10S?  (I'm talking about the long run, after 31 Dec 2017 without free switching).  I don't think there will be many people doing this.  They will just try using Edge, and to their surprise, Edge is not that bad.
  • Yes lol, normal people use CAD and photoshop, and really really care about their browser. Did you read the article brah?
  • Why so much hate, this guy is right, it will fail to geeks and non geeks, like wp7 did. Microsoft is digging its own grave
  • OEM will build good, low price laptop with Windows 10 S. For OEM, it’s a no brainer. OS is cheaper for them and IF Microsoft Store is a failure, the user will all go pro. No user would be left behind like RT’s user.
  • I really don't get all of the down votes that this comment is getting. I would rather go back to Vista than use Windows 10S. The fact of the matter is that pretty much none of the software that I already own would run on Windows 10S as it's not available in the Windows store, and pretty much none of it will ever be, so it's totally useless to me.
  • W10S will definitely succeed but it may not depend on the Surface Laptop.  In fact, MS should install W10S on all the Surface models and let users to decide whether they need to upgrade to W10 Pro.  OEMs should all do the same.  80% of the W10 users are probably the 'normal' people and will stay with W10S.  Security will become an increasingly important issue in the coming years.  Unless they absolutely have to use Win32 apps (non-store apps), they will most likely stay with W10S.  This will help Windows Store to expand greatly either by encouraging UWP app development or by generating heavy traffic on the Desktop Bridge.  The Surface mobile device may come sooner.
  • "OEMs should all do the same.  80% of the W10 users are probably the 'normal' people and will stay with W10S." agree that 80% users are "normal" users who mostly need only browser+office aps.  But sadly most of them would be misled by tech bloggers / experienced friends that Windows Store does not offer the apps they need.  I hope MS can send the clear message "10S is exacty what you NEED" to these normal people.  They must do the marketing right this time.
  • Nobody will buy this. Windows S is for schools. They buy the Windows S and let students use it. I can't find a reason a student will buy this for privat use.
  • If students grow up with Windows 10S, they will definitely continue using it.  Education sector is the primary push for 10S.  The critical mass for success is exactly the students market.
  • Well that is a grand level of speculation. Let's take a look at a use case: Graphic Designer, Web Developer, e-learning developer, really anything can be used. They will need a PC running Windows 10 Pro.  Perfect, they have it. Be it a deskop, or laptop is irrelevant right now.   Now, they want a PC that they, or anybody else in family/household can use for simple web browsing, streaming, simple gaming.  An essential brain drain PC.  Do I need pro on this?  Not even slightly. I have a desktop, and laptop both with Windows 10 Pro, however, my wife is in the market for a new PC. She needs to be able to create word documents, stream shows/movies, browse the web, and use a few apps here and there.  We're getting her a Windows 10 S laptop.  There are a lot of options coming out, and because I don't have to worry about anyone downloading programs that can cause issues down the road, it should, in theory run better, for longer. 
  • Exactly, and IF Microsoft Store is a failure, the user can upgrade to pro! It’s a perfect bet. No risk of being left behind like windows RT.
  • agreed,  the surface laptop is way more functional than a crapple macbook.  I just wish they offered the high end versions in the colors!
  • I'm 100% in SUPPORT of 10S, a great idea and well beyond time MS joined the 21st century in offering greatly improved security, I will happily buy S because of the upgrade path. Having said that, the nay sayers do have one valid point.
    Windows is Windows BECAUSE of it's free and open nature. Locking it down in a similar way to Apple and Google in some ways makes it's very existence invalid. Why use windows if you can't use it as windows, you may as well buy a -shudders- chrome book !
    Granted, S has the option to upgrade but all of a sudden "S" by nature is very limited and is very much like a WINDOWS PHONE !
    A quality product but an orphan because it has no apps!!!
  • MS has offered 21st century security for quite some time. S just helps to reduce the effect of the biggest security threat to Windows, the nut on the keyboard.   I get so tired of hearing 'no apps'. There are plenty of apps, and to a large extent most of what regular people need to do is covered. Certainly there are some professional verticle apps that aren't going to be covered, Project, Visio, Photoshop (there is Photoshop Essentials), Acrobat (the authoring version, got readers. You can print to pdf from many things for which it makes sense). All of Office is, and there are options for the other things for amatuer/casual use that likely doesn't depend on file sharing/collaboration in a proprietary format. I'll tell you I have a Surface 3 that has no non-store apps on it and it serves my personal use briliantly. I couldn't use it for work, because I work in Access most of the time. If I was just doing a database for myself though, there is actually a decent looking relational DB app in the store.. Heck, there are project managers that do gantt charts and everything too.  Even technical vector drawing apps similar to Visio. There are apps. 
  • Please! More advertising about the surface laptop (new one, with other OEM brands), Store, OS security, battery life (with the streamline os),etc on tv or other media. Microsoft historically lack of advertisement.
  • Macbooks can run macos,linux and is not the contender all the macbooks (exept air) has the usb-c So, only oem windows can compete between them with each others,and i think, even if this is an rethinking RT its the start for something greater to come. Developers and companies will start to make apps for it...hey Apple just announced that itunes app is coming so... And lets not forget, this windows 10S devices are for all of us, for those who wants some cheap ones, and for those who want some nice built devices like surface laptop
  • "Normal" people don't necessarily like Windows enough to bother browsing through it's app store or even know it has one.
    Otherwise the store would have been much more successful than it is now, almost two years after W10 launch. Not to mention the years in which the W8/WRT store was launched.
    Most don't even know IG is in the app store, for example. Because they don't care to even open it.
    When they go to install Oovoo via setup.msi or whatever the **** normies use they're going to be pissed that W10S won't let them.
    But we'll see.
  • Some of that is historical and habit. My GF does exactly that...almost never touches the store. So the question is: How to change that? I mean, let's be honest, the Windows Store and that model is here to stay. That's done and done. So, how do you migrate/flow people into this new app paradigm instead of going to Bing/Google and searching for apps? Well, semi-forcing them is one way. Are there any others? Like, this is what I'm after: If people aren't using Store on PC - a legit observation - then what is the solution to solve that and change behavior? Simply pointing out the current status is not a solution nor particularly insightful. Saying "well, people do this now, therefore it will never change" skips a lot of history in technology.
  • Hope Microsoft puts Windows 10 S on the next Surface Pro, with free unlock to Win 10 Pro for the life of the device there would be no problem. It would get attention from the enterprise and help Microsoft push the store and focus on better performance, battery life and security, the last one quite important these days..
  • I'd be shocked if they didn't ship all future Surface devices with S by default (with a free optional upgrade to Pro of course). 
  • The reason you buy something with "Pro" in the title is because you expect it to be a "Pro" device. A "Pro" device should come with the "Pro" Operating System...
  • Exactly! Just like the iPad "pro"
  • So, because the stupid toyPad XL (which is lower in customer satisfaction) came with a batardized OS, then the Surface Pro line should stoop down to its level and come with anaother bastardized OS? That ridiculous to say the least...
  • If a free upgrade was offered to everyone, problem solved!
  • Like, this is what I'm after: If people aren't using Store on PC - a legit observation - then what is the solution to solve that and change behavior?
    Improving the Store would be a step. Now, I admit that I haven't browsed it in a few months, but there were hardly any improvements when I last did.
  • I think the solution is not to "force" the Store onto users, but make Windows 10 more intelligent at recognizing when the Store can be useful and suggesting it in a discrete and helpful manner. Like the message when you try to install a Win32 app on 10S, but more integrated. Use Cortana if you need to. Make sure people know when they search for iTunes in the Google search bar that it's there in the Store. Have Cortana pop up in the corner real quick.
  • Yep I think that would need to be part of it. Of course then you'd get the B&M crowd vocally complaining and claiming it's "advertising" in Windows.  They should make the "warn before installing non-store apps" the default option, but they may need to wait until iTunes, Spotify and maybe a couple other high profile apps are in the store first, so that it can actually point them to the app in the store more often than not.    
  • He'll no, train wreck right there!
    Cortana only works in the US, "S" is a worldwide launch.
  • So it's ok for Google and Apple to lock you to only the store, but not Microsoft?! Tech enthusiasts are such hypocrites. We hate MS for having a poor store yet ***** about the lack of apps. Windows users are stuck in the past and unwilling to have it update, but actively embrace Apple and Google. People are so weird
  • People will just see this "suggestion," and call it an ad and circlejerk over it. So "suggestions" aren't a solution for some people.
  • Gotta ask, then, Daniel.  About your GF, what software does she run?  How often is she installing stuff?  If she's anything like my wife, then she has a set of apps that I installed when she got her system, and doesn't consider new software, ever.
  • and whatever I try, I cannot get her to use the store apps that do the same thing, just because they look and behave slightly different, sigh :-(
  • Same thing for my wife. I install the apps, set up the sign ins, arrange the tiles and she never installs anything new. Ever. Never Ever. I'll tell her about something she should install, probably already has the service on her phone, Enpass for example, and I have to follow up with her week after week. Did you install X....did you update Y? I am so glad that Microsoft has automatic updates and more. Normal people would have their apps and Windows version exactly the same since the first week they powered on their device for the first time.    
  • Yup, sounds like my story.  I had to set her phone to install automatic app updates, or else she would never update anything.  Just updated her Windows laptop for the first time in three months, only because I scared her with WannaCry. Personally, I love the granular management of knowing when something is updated.  So, I disable automatic app updates and check for them regularly.  Weekends are slow days for updates.  Weekdays, when I get 20+ updates, are happy days. So I agree, automatic OS updates and app updates are good for the regular user.  I just wish Windows could do what MacOS does, and re-open apps and files upon a reboot.  Maybe Store apps will be better at saving their state on close, so they can do that easier.
  • I think you miss the easy way for Microsoft. Stop Spying on people and track them all over the "STORE", do not give Backdoors to ASN without reciprocal clause on "BUGS"!
  • I think you got "Microsoft" confused with "Google" and "Facebook" there.  If you are concerned about privacy, Windows is not a problem, but you better stay off the web.  
  • All **** always flies in the face of MS. G, FB or A do it, it's fine. MS does it, hell no, MS IS EVIL!!!111oneoneeleven
    We have a local site that reports tech stuff. They are pretty much a one man company and the guy does it very selectively. His news are always facts combined with opinions. As he's very anti-MS and pro-Linux, his coverage of MS and Windows is negative while anything Linux related is good and fluffy. There are pros and cons to everything yet people cherry pick like crazy.
  • You change it by making the store a better experience than a browser or Win32. Forcing people isn't the right way to do it. That just creates contempt. Right now the store is a very poor experience. There are few useful apps available and the ones it does have are not very attractive at all. I don't know what it is with the flat black background and weird grid layout with horizontal scrolling, but they appear to be unfinished to me. Not inviting at all. Microsoft needs to make it a great experience so users come naturally. Gimmicks aren't the answer.
  • The store doesn't have a black background on PC. 
  • Skype, normies use skype. If a normal persons goes to download something like skype, websites will start to list a store link. So they'll find their software the same way, via websites, and wind up in the store. Exact same as people find android or ios apps from a store link. The very fact that everyone is using the exact same model on every other device they use, hardly makes it a difficult transition. 
  • Lol
    I thought GF meant Grand Father, then you going on about "her" had me confused for a minute.
  • I am a Normal guy with Normal earnings 😜
  • Honestly the vast majority of people can easily survive on Windows 10 S, and now with the recent security breaches its the best time Microsoft could ever put out an OS that has added security in mind. They need to launch a MASSIVE ad campaign in the coming weeks explaining the security and performance benefits that come with 10S and hopefully some mid range hardware to go with it.
  • Yep, they will need to advertise like crazy.  I remember a stat about how Apple spends more on advertising than MS & Google combined (or something like that). Plus all the wireless carriers advertise for Apple as well.  Yeah and Apple products "sell themselves" LOL.  Anyway MS needs more advertising to educate the consumer, but it needs to be good and effective ads, and MS does not have a good track record with that.  
  • Microsoft and a large marketing campaign...has hell frozen over?
  • Microsoft and an effective marketing campaign!
  • Totally agree with the article.
  • Great stuff. What Microsoft SHOULD do to both ease the transition and make it all more intuitive is to drop Windows 10 Home edition. With only S and Pro, everything makes a whole lot more sense.
  • Dropping Home could be the next phase, but I would think MS would want some more high profile apps in the Store first. iTunes and Spotify aren't due until later this year; there is still the question over Chrome and if MS will ever allow that on the Store. Frankly, if Microsoft can get the 10 biggest PC apps in the Store that would cover 90 percent of average consumers. iTunes, Spotify, Chrome, Adobe apps...struggling to come up with more, but you get the idea. In theory, this problem is easy to solve as the number of "classic" apps needed to reach that breaking point is very small. There are no new "classic" apps these days, just updated old ones.
  • Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if it is planned as a next step - perhaps with the launch of new Surface hardware with Windows 10 S (as another commenter noted). If you want Win32 applications, go through the upgrade process. Just pushing in this direction will get Adobe, Mozilla, and others (though likely not Google?) create Store apps, first through bridge, then through full UWP adoption. ...And then the Surface Phone will save us all. ;-)
  • Why wouldn't MS allow Chrome in the Store?
  • They would allow Chrome in the store, but there are restrictions on the rendering engine used for apps in the store - any app that rendors web content must use the Edge rendering engine. This is the same as the iOS app store, and Chrome on iOS is just the Chrome UI on top of Safari's rendering engine; same would have to apply for Chrome in the Windows app store.  That restriction is not arbitrary, it's to maintain security along with system performance and stability.  It wouldn't be an issue if web browsers just displayed static HTML content, but today's web browsers are application platforms, almost an OS unto themselves. They allow installation of applications (extensions), and download, interpret, and run applications, just like an OS.  Whenever you run some web app, that's not all on the server, much of it is client code running in your browser. The browser downloads, "installs," and runs the code, really just like if you installed an app on Windows, but it all happens behind the scense w/out surfacing any of it to the user.  
  • That was an excellent explanation.  I didn't realise the MS Store had a rendering engine limitation.  I can see how that could limit both Chrome and Firefox from making its way in.
  • Same limitation applies to any browser on IOS where they need to use safari
  • Microsoft would, but why would Google release it there? They probably won't until many users are limited to using Store apps, just like they've been ignoring WP.
  • yeah, Microsoft biggest problem here is google. Apple is fine with iTunes. Google is not, and they will push hard to delegitimize S with many users. They will encourage people who want chrome and other google applications to buy android, not get saddled with a "broken" S system.   I'm not sure Microsoft can overcome this barrier. Google is the biggest threat to Windows in general, and S in particular. I use the store, and I'm a pro user who espouses, for years, the consumer advantages of UWP.  I'm not sure it is a winnable battle for ms, and I think the focus on android support for most things shows they largely agree. 
  • MSFT should just break Google .exe's whenever they try install them on Windows or navigate to any Google site. They could blame it on some NSA hacking tool that got stolen.
  • You think Microsoft should upset Windows users? Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. That could easily backfire, especially if it came out in the news that Microsoft was sabotaging​ competitors.
  • Lol, a man after my own heart. Sadly I don't see MS doing this but it would be great fun while it lasted. Google's gotten a free ride long enough.
  • I can see your point.  Microsoft, although still the leader in desktop operating systems, has to be aware that Windows is not a requirement for many consumers.  If a user wants a desktop/laptop, Windows is a choice.  If a consumer only cares about getting online, Android, Chromebooks, iOS, or Windows are all options. So for 10S to be the leading choice, they need to make it desirable.  And until consumers choose to go with Windows, and 10S is the leading choice, then Google and others will see no reason to support it.
  • In the desktop market, apple is the real threat. They look like the most likely to make a hybrid OS that sells, they have a 10% PC marketshare, and they are working actively on AI and AR. Google kind seems like its content, not hungry, their chromeOS seems unlikely to ever have real desktop market penetration, and I suspect apple's making an alternative search using AI. I'm not entirely sure they have their eye on the ball. 
  • Because edge is locked to bing, is why. If they don't put chrome in there, every kid in highschool using windows s, is another person getting used to not using google search. 
  • you can change Bing to google in Edge's setting.
  • Yes, this would be 100% the best option, Windows 10 Home lacks a lot of back end features that 10S has and Home is only used by OEMs to mitigate the cost that ould be required to sell everything with Home preinstalled. Windows 10 S would be such a better solution for those devices
  • All Microsoft have to do is give Windows 10 S free to hardware manufacturers, which I believe it already happened, soon you will see most of new PC will come preload with 10S only, and it will force developers to make apps for the store.
  • S should be Home imo, with always an option to "unlock it".
  • No, because Home is less capable than S, which is why the upgrade from Home to Pro is more expensive than the upgrade from S to Pro ... Home needs to die
  • Another thing to note is that most people, including normal non techie folks use Google Chrome. Some people even confuse Chrome with the "Internet" like people thought IE was the internet back in the day. I remember being in the former Times Square MS store at Surface RT launch and all I heard was people asking about using Google CHrome cuz that's what they use at home in their Windows PC....if only Google would make an UWP app even if it uses the Edge engine because branding matters these days
  • Yeah, agree that Chrome is a big deal. Microsoft is in a weird position on that one. If you allow Chrome you undermined Edge and it's security/efficiency stuff (assuming Google would even want it in the Store). If you don't put it in there many will be turned off. I think only market research will answer this e.g. do people switch from S to Pro because of Chrome? Or do most adjust to Edge? I'm not really sure on that. History tells us it will be the former, but who knows.
  • I don't think the majority of Chrome users are diehards or even knowledgeable about browsers. Basically, Chrome took off because Google services were popular and Google spent years upon years of intrusive banner ads on all of their sites (and countless third-party sites too) cajoling users to download Chrome, they bundled Chrome in with a smorgasbord of other software, and the few diehard Chrome aficionados out there took the liberty of intstalling it on their relatives' PCs and telling them to use it instead. Just like this article notes that Windows Central users are the 1% who probably need W10 Pro instead of S, I think most Chrome users don't know that much about Chrome or use its extensions.
  • Every time I open Gmail or Youtube on Edge, the site asks me to install Chrome.. Pfft, not happening
  • I'd suggest that MSFT needs to make Edge light years faster and lighter than Chrome then it will all fix itself.
  • Edge already is faster and lighter than Chrome, and it has a lot of unique features Chrome lacks.
  • Steam and Visual Studio are big deals too, one of which is Microsoft's product and there are people who need portability and Visual Studio and yes they can get that if they upgrade from S to Pro but my point is it would be better for MS to put it in the Store or am I missing something? 
  • When you use Visual Studio, you really need to go Pro. Visual Studio Code would be a better fit for the Store.
  • My wife is a normal user. Although she has used Chrome and Firefox, she pretty much uses whatever is the default browser.  When a browser no longer is working for her, I suggest another browser. I added that part because I wanted to show that she does know about the alternatives. It's just that she really doesn't care. My gut feeling is that unless Edge is terrible at or doesn't do what normal users want to do, they are going to use Edge.  They normally don't open up 50 tabs like we do.
  • The answer to Chrome (or lack of it) on W10S is very simple.
    MS must invest heavily into Edge and try to match/better ALL Chrome features.
    Marketing is key as well.
    Everyone should know about Edge. No excuses here!
  • Edge already is better if the only extension you use is Adblocker
  • Edge is missing some polish in it's animations and transitions, but it's getting those improvements in the next update anyways
  • Unfortunately my experience with Edge has been the opposite. Most of the time it is noticeably (sometimes painfully) slow. I can open the same website in Chrome and it flies. I am running a few Edge extensions which may be the problem (I haven't tested) but I'm very close to doing something I never thought I'd do, and that's set Chrome as my default browser. I REALLY don't want to, so if there are any ideas out there I'm happy to hijack this thread ;)
  • Fork open source Chromium browser for it's UI, convert it to use Edge internals and bridge to Store. That should be close enough :) Google might not like it but what can they do? Integral "disturbing ad blocker" in Edge could also be possible. Block known "bad" ads, including "Install Google Chrome" :D Edge also needs better ad-block plugins and Ghostery - wait, that is already available...
  • Adguard is good, came recently. 
  • Meh, I doubt most users actually care about chrome, they just use it. Edge is so user freindly compared to chrome, I think users will have a breif moment of "where is this", and then just keep on going. Especially tech saavy kids, they'll just keep trucking. 
  • Difference between Windows and any other OS is that x86 is what makes Windows the platform it is. Without those programs Windows has very little appeal to a user who has all their needs met in their respective platform's app store or the pro gamer or developer. So with few modern apps and fewer x86 programs like Chrome for even less tech savvy users what is supposed to be the appeal of Windows 10 S?
  • Windows 10 S is x86 though and runs Win32 apps. The real question is what new "classic" apps are on the market? There's like maybe 5-10 that are "must-haves" for regular users. Get those in the Store and the problem is solved. The appeal of S was explained by Microsoft and this article: Faster OS, no PC rot, better battery life, and improved security. How are those not legit selling points to average consumers?
  • Same reason the Windows store hasn't been a selling point to date: lack of apps. And claiming there are only 5-10 must have x86 programs for regular users is a stretch, that can't account for every users usage and is an unreasonable assumption considering we're talking about up to a potential billion users. And that all ignores the elephant in the room, google and all their apps and services that are in use by the majority of computer and mobile users and won't be fully available on 10 S. That's going to be the deciding factor, not promises we have seen before.
  • I think they are not targeting all the people. They know a lot of people need pro, but they also know that most of them would be fine with S, like the article says. Then(years later), when a lot of people will have windows S and the store will be more accessed, big classic app wil show up in the store making also the pro users to switch. I use only UWP apps currently(I need apps outside of the store just for development stuff), and I can think about a lot of people I know for which Windows S would be perfect.
  • I think we sabotage Microsoft and impose what WE want onto the normal users and then wonder why Microsoft fails time after time. I don't think Windows Central does that.  Grandma simply doesn't need Windows 10 Pro. Ten-year-old Jonny doesn't need Pro unless he is going into Computer Science or something.  I agree with you, Daniel.
  • Those people don't need Windows at all if they aren't running Win32. Why should they get a W10S machine instead of an iPad or Chromebook?
  • I agree about iPads and Chromebooks to a degree. BUT developers are encouraged to bring their Win32 applications to the Store.
  • Chromebook doesn't have itunes, is dependant on network access, doesn't support touch screen. iPad doesn't handle multi-tasking well, doesn't have fully featured browsers, doesn't come in a laptop form, and doesn't have interopability with android devices.  Neither have good peripheral support. There are everyday reasons why people would pick s. 
  • Totally agreed! I'm still wondering why other people still don't get it.
  • I think most casual users actually use windows because its familiar. It's a fair adjustment changing OSes. Some people don't even like changing revisions of the same OS. New platforms, such as a hybrid OS like Windows (or the iphone when it was released) alway have fewer apps. We are literally two years in ish, its early. Someone is always willing to take a leap of faith, even while others stand on the sidelines skeptical. 
  • @theefman Microsoft know that x86 application is a must now, but they also know that less new x86 app are in development. Most developer are working on iOS, android and web development. If Microsoft do nothing to bring app in the store, windows OS will die. New software development on windows need to be in the store for Windows to survive.
  • U r underestimating normal users. They do have need to install exes, coz as it stands Windows store is far from being able to cater to majority. I mentioned this else where on this site as well that it maybecome a pr disaster n best way to avoid that is to not call them laptops, call them litebooks or s(ecure) books
  • please don't use text speak it hurts my eyes
  • They mostly don't need to install exes, however, Microsoft has totally failed at explaining to normal users coming from Windows 7 what the store and apps are. I have recent examples of a person with Netflix pinned to Start still opening Chrome going to to watch movies. This is the same reason people download programs / .exe, it's a habit and they don't know that their PC is now more similar to their iPhone in that regard.
  • What you re referring to is most normal people don't think that they can search the Internet without Google even when they do search with Bing in edges browser but think it Google.
  • Hey pal, most normal people don't even know the difference between the browsers all they care is the search engine and most of them? Don't even know any one else has a search engine beside Google.
  • Yes, "Google it" has become a thing even in a place like India. I personally Bing it
  • But if they used another search engine they probably wouldn't notice lol
  • What exes do most normal usrs need to install? Please name a few. Everyone else is free ot join in. I use AutoCAD so In am not a potential user of Win 10S, but many others in my family would do just fine.
  • I absolutely agree, anyone who is able to survive on a smart phone will more or less be able to survive on windows 10 s, with minor education of what the OS is capable of
  • Lets start with basic - how abt exes that allow ppl to connect their internet dongles. I almost missed it until another gentleman here pointed out that constant and unlimited internet is still not a thing everywhere. I hated w10 for being a data hog and had to upgrade my 10gb a month connection to 100gb a month. Ppl still have applications installed via usb drives.
  • Every smartphone that exists has teethering or hotspot. Everyone has a smartphone. Why would anyone use a dongle?
  • So far, 3 out of 4 W10 devices that I use have exhibited serious issues after one update or another (and 2 out of 4 are no longer running W10 because of it). Maybe I'm an outlier, but to me it feels like MS still has quite a way to go with making W10 stable, before trying to tackle the casual market.
  • For every one of you, I'd wager that there are literally thousands who've had no such experiences, myself amongst them.  So yes, my guess is that you're an outlier. 
  • It must be you. I have about 20 different systems running Windows 10, and none have had serious issues with updates or upgrades.  This includes modern devices (released in the past 2 years) and old devices (8+ years old), 32-bit, 64-bit, and phones.
  • I have had my brother face issues after an update, and searching multiple forums shows it's not that uncommon... But the solutions was relatively simple if tedious. Roll-back to the previous version in safe mode, things start to work, update again. The roll back feature is a lifesaver
  • Rolled back to 8.1, things started to work again. Ubuntu has also been working.
  • Btw this wannacry disaster is perfect time for ms to sing abt w10s but then I cud imagine the press crying out that ms accepts w10pro is not secure
  • 100% agree with this article...a colleague of mine recently was notified that the onstar app for his windows phone was being retired, annoyed he asked me about it and i confirmed. He knows nothing about w10m, windows on arm, bridges, 950s, 950xls, app gaps, developer interest,xamarin, retrenchment, snapdragons, microsoft marketing, market share percentage of ios vs android vs windows phone, ARM, or BUILD....he just knows his windows 8 phone has an app he uses daily that he can no longer use. aka...a normal user.
  • Hang on. You know somebody who uses a Windows Phone?
  • I know about 20-30 of them in person.
    Well, in my country, we have a Facebook group for Lumia users with 30000+ member.
  • dan is a great writer.  Windows s is going to be a nice gateway to generating revenue for pro.  I don't like that dan keeps defending the sLaptop; it is BS.  Idk if he is getting some money under the table or what. it appeals to very few microsoft users, not at all to Apple users (video editing), even tho there are plenty of video editing programs on windows..  Apple users are apple users.  PC fan, with money, want extra productivity or graphics.  Microsoft consumers want value.  I don't even see the value in the sLaptop... softkeyboard... pretty metal frame.. I think microsoft should have pushed way harder for app support before releasing Windows S.  There still isn't enough support in the store; it took like 5 years to get Candy Cush, there still is no bank apps (they come and go), Nokia had to beg to get Instagram..  Apple and Google can pull this move, not yet for Microsoft; it should be avalible but not forced on to us.
  • "I think microsoft should have pushed way harder for app support before releasing Windows S." I think you have the sequence backwards. Windows 10 S is exactly that. By making a version of Windows available cheaper than ever before (possibly free) to OEMs, there will be new, cheaper Windows systems than have ever been available to user before. Cheap systems hit the mass market, where the high-end systems many of us prefer get more press, they don't achieve the same sales volumes. So with a large volume of users with Store-only versions of Windows, and now an easy path to port their existing apps to Store apps, many Windows devs will make their apps available via the Store. That's the whole point of Windows 10 S.
  • I agree that "Apple has sold millions of pseudo-PCs in the form of iPads. With kludgy keyboard covers and iOS phone apps, I see people all the time on planes, media events, and cafes trying to make the iPad into something it's not: a PC replacement." Even though I agree with you. The thing I see with Windows 10s is trying to do the same by keeping it locked down to the store. Its not a going to be a PC replacement even though it is a real Pc. Microsoft has to do something now to get the Windows store up to scratch. But I cant see them doing it. They tried with mobile. And Windows 10 on ARM seems to contradict what they are doing with Windows 10s . Demo they showed on ARM was to go on line and download things not in the store. Hope this makes sense. ( English second language.)
  • Great article with very valid points.  I actually checked the number of Win32 applications that are runnig on my Surface Pro 4 and outside of Office 365 the only Win32 app I have is VLC which has a UWP app (but does not play VOB DVD files).  I think I am going to keep my Surface Laptop or Surface Book 2 with 10 S. My only question is can you joint Windows 10 S to a network domain.  I hope the answer is yes.
  • Yes, It's made for school so yes
  • Thanks for the information.. I am definitely going to keep it installed on my next Surface device. 
  • For a lot of people I know, their phones are Apple, Samsung, LG, etc.  Not iOS, Android or other.  They know them by brand, not by OS.  So asking if they got an Android phone, they answer Samsung so I know it's Android (and the one customized version I hate most).  Except one friend who's probably the only guy who bought a Samsung Windows Phone...
  • Hey, I loved the Focus during the WP7 days.
  • Hey, I bought an ATIV-S. It was a great phone, except for that camera bug thing.
  • Then how WinXP or Win7 were so popular among those 'normal' people?
  • That's what came on their computer...
  • To most normal users, computers are black boxes. If the box performs the function they expsect thety are happy. they say "If it ain't broke don't fix it". Most of the participant here are not normal users. They will want Win 10 Pro on many of their computers. They are creaters tha tlike and want progress. Theyy atre perfectly happy to say, "If it ain't Broke, break it! Then fix it better!"
  • IMO, there seems to be a rush to judgement without context.  Even if 10 S is the future, it's not the future now.  While 10 S will be available for general consumers, the current purpose of 10 S is to fight Chromebooks and to give Windows a stronger foothold in schools.  The question isn't whether the mass market needs .exe but whether students do.  I'd wager that most of what school IT and administrators want is available in the Windows Store (well, Office and iTunes are on the way).  And Edge, despite its flaws, is more than acceptable.  So the complaints about 10 S just seem premature to me, especially since we still have a few years before it can gain solid footing inside the school system.
  • Office is a proprietary application that isn't easily accessible. I am not sure that is what schools are looking for. Microsoft didn't really address what makes Chromebooks great for education. They are easy to manage and students get their own ID so they can log into any device and have the same experience. Windows doesn't give them that.
  • I'm honestly not sure what you mean when you say same experience.  I have a Windows 10 desktop and tablet.  Between the two I can automatically sync my theme, bookmarks, Office files, contacts, emails, and music.  I could disconnect my desktop and use my tablet without missing a beat.  That's pretty awesome, IMO.
  • Some things are so backwards when it comes app ecosystems. The pressure should be applied to the companies that don't have apps on the Windows store not the Windows store having to gather apps.
  • The thing to keep in mind is that it's not as simple as the audience being broken down to experts and non-experts. It's a range. You've got your IT professional/Microsoft MVP type who could never live with Windows 10 S. They need Pro. You then have your somewhat educated person who could figure out how to go out and download/install an app like Chrome and set it as their default browser. W10S might work for them. You then have your completely uneducated audience who know enough to check their mail and maybe write a Word document. They would benefit greatly from W10S. For example, I seriously want to install W10S on my grandmother's computer. She doesn't need more than Store apps. You then have people scattered all throughout these 3 positions and how well W10S would work for them on a particular machine (example: Windows RT was great for my Surface. I couldn't have run it on my desktop). Microsoft does have some education work ahead of them. They also need to keep building the Windows Store. Given the issues we've seen in the past, this is where their biggest challenge lies.
  • lets repeat the same mistakes we did with rt and give people laptops with windows where your software wont always work unless its in app form. terrible idea. Heres a better idea, support your products longer than 3 years.
  • I still get constant updates for my RT... take you ignorant FUD eslewhere
  • Whoa! You still use an RT device?! You are a very patient man!
  • Ii use mine too.   As long as you know that support is done,  just like windows 10 moible,  you can do basic tasks.  I use mine for my camping device.  Netflix, browse the web and basic editing of photos.
  • I'm an IT professional for ten years resolving issues on Windows Servers and clients OS and I agree 100%. I hope Microsoft will make clear to regular users what app can and cannot run on Windows 10S and explain that if they want they can upgrade to Pro. I would force OEM to add a sticker on all PC presented on shelves to clearly explain it. No marketing words but a simple table with couple of apps as example.
  • That would be for the best, as informing a potential buyer of a product from the start is the wisest course of action for a company.
  • lets repeat the same mistakes we did with rt and give people laptops with windows where your software wont always work unless its in app form. terrible idea. Heres a better idea, support your products longer than 3 years. there is a serious lack off apps so who would anyone recommend a customer buy into windows s. that's the whole reason the mobile phone failed, not enough apps.
  • I completely agree with the part that says W10S is good on paper but a disappointment in practice. And my reason is this: the store being the only place of downloading and installing apps....not forgetting the requirement to have a ms account when doing so is not what either the 'normal' or 'pro' users are ready for. Assuming that everyone has and will always have a good and always on internet connectivity is just plain wrong. Most people​ especially from the places I have been to including the IT supports I have met or worked with normally transfer .exe of .msi programme through removable drives and use this to install in new PC's because of not so good internet connectivities and it's also quicker to respawn a PC in case anything happens. Be it a normal or Pro user, not everyone is going to easily accept the new arrangement that is coming with W10S. Even if all the apps are in the store, means for every PC someone has they have to redownload and install the same app compared to just having one setup file that can be transferred from one PC to another by copying. No one is ready for this especially if they come from places where internet is expensive or slow
  • A lot would help if MS would put their own tools to the Store like Visual Studio or at least VS Code. Wouldn't complain about Centennial Steam too, but then I don't really see how would you install any games xD
  • I agree in principle that MS needs to dogfood Windows 10S and prove it with their own apps. I am not sure that Visiual studio and the like are good candidiates. There will be programs that will make more sense as exes and full featured authoring tools will be requied to create and update them. That is OK.
  • It's all very well but the Surface Laptop is just another device that Panos and his team have got very, very wrong. Early Surface devices were poor both on design and build quality. Surface RT was a car crash. The Surface Book has questionable specs and design options. In the end only the Surface Pro 4 and the new Surface Studio have that desired 'WOW' factor. I know Surface is supposed to lead the way but it is just far too expensive for what it is... and if it is leading the way, the lack of Type-C is just stupid as a simple adapter would have accommodated older devices. I was so hopeful of finding a device that made me want to rush out and buy one... This is not it... and I am gutted. You can't even say that there are other devices from other manufacturers because there aren't... and there won't be any time soon and what does come will be Ultrabook prices so no change there. I really just don't see the point of this device. I'd go buy the Pro 4 but it is so old now that I just can't justify it without a Kaby refresh.
  • I don't really care about down votes, it is still my opinion... What I find pathetic is that people will down vote obviously because they disagree but then can't be bothered to engage in a rational and intelligent manner. Forums used to be for intelligent conversations... Those days are long gone.
  • People down vote you because you are not talking about Windows 10 S, but the design and build quality.  Stay on topic and your opinion will make some sense.
  • Yes it is your opinion.  But it should be prett obvious why people are not engaing.
  • I will now continue on the off topic items.: Surface Laptop is a totally different subject than Windows 10S, the subject of this thread. Surface is intended to be overpriced so that OEMS can compete on price. Surface Laptop is less an aspiration device than a cool factor Apple competitor. I think that the team missed out when they did not provide a productive way to use a pen, like a 360 degree hinge of at least folding flat .
  • It's off topic.
  • P.S.
    The Reply and Edit functions are broken and go to a webpage text editor.
  • Turn your adblock off and it works fine
  • You are indeed correct, now I know.
    It is stupid to intentionally break your website to try to force turning adblockers off though.
    Another reason to leave WC I guess if the adverts in the podcasts weren't ebough already.
  • " Another reason to leave WC I guess " To point out the obvious, if youre using an adblocker while here... nobody would care, youre already contributing nothing, so you leaving is a complete non factor on anything
  • @five-one-three, while you are of course correct that not watching ads means not helping WC pay for these articles, WC is also the most brutal site I visit with ads. My main desktop can handle them (6th gen Core i7 with 48GB RAM), but my tablet and laptop can't if I try to open more than 1 or 2 tabs (plus a few other regular apps -- Outlook, Excel, Word, OneNote, Skype and/or Skype for Business). They just choke, CPU pegs, RAM is full. With an adblocker, no problems at all. WC has unfortunately become nearly unusuable without an adblocker, and now, apparently by design, read-only if using an ad-blocker. I say that as a huge fan of WindowsCentral, the writers, and these discussions. It seems there should be a middle ground -- if WC is going to make the site read-only for anyone using an adblocker, then at least reduce the amount of advertising so that a weak-to-modest PC can still handle it with a half dozen tabs open. Or let us reduce the number of ads by clicking on some from time-to-time to generate click-through revenue. Or limit ads to clean HTML.
  • Bye
  • problem with edge is new tabs don't open to my default home page, that's a issue for me that makes edge unusable, forget that dragging a tab to the top of your monitor and letting go doesn't result in that same tab opening full screen, both these issues work fine in opera, firefox,ie and chrome, why is it edge that couldn't get these very simple things right, its been out 2 years now. I can hope between the varying oses, they all have good and bad things but edge is simply unusable to me cause these 2 things show my multi tabing and multi browsing down too much. Its like 2 extra clicks per page and thjats not good enough for me.
  • reple to someones comment about the browsers but editor broken
  • Its not broken, you need to turn off your adblocker
  • Why that a solution
  • Simply the adblocker broke the web page.
  • Website owners are deathly afraid of ad-blockers.
  • I would argue why seperate the user into 2 opposite groups : pro and normal, and have a very cleary boundary that no group can go beyond? As a pro user, you can't get any benefit from "S", e.g., prolonged battery life, safety, and as a normal users, you can't do anything a pro user want to do: even playing a game from Steam, or bought on disc, unless you pay to upgrade (after this year), and lost all the benifits like prolonged battery life and safety. I mean the concept of 2 disctint groups itself is bad. Do you thing iphone is only for normal user and pro can't use it as it's a toy? Do you think MacOS is a pro system that no normal user use it? Same for Google products, both pro and normal users can use any of their products, but Win 10 Pro and S are clearly targeted for different users. Just like you can't say a person is purely a good gay or bad gay, you can't easily say an user is pro or normal either. Pro may want to have some casual usage while normal user may occasionally need more. In this case the system will be in trouble.
  • List six pro apps on android. Or six AAA non-freemium games on iOS. You MIGHT be able to do it with effort, but the excerise should demonstrate to you that these oses are largely targeted towards casual users. 
  • I call it the Reed Richards effect... 😅
  • Excellent article, Daniel.
  • I would love a thin, cheaper windows 10s tablet I can use for work
  • It's either Windows 10 S with the store lock, or it's Windows 10 Pro that can run Win32 apps - it can't be both. Saying that "it's an x64 pc that can run Win32 apps" is wrong. Once it's upgraded to Pro it's no longer S
  • Um... there are Win32 apps in the Windows Store... So, why cant it be locked to the store AND run Win32 apps, that makes absolutely no sense.
  • Please don't mislead the audience. When you cannot install Chrome and other production applications that are NOT in the Windows Store, then it is close to useless. It is not for normal people, it is for people who only want to browse and maybe write an essay. Nothing more.
  • Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Facebook, Spotify/Pandora/iTunes/Groove, Office, Internet, Email ... this is what most people use their computers for... Windows 10S literally does ALL of that, it is far from "useless"
  • Everything you mentioned except Office is better in the browser. Chrome browser. There is almost no reason to use the Windows store today. The apps are either terrible or non-existent. Microsoft needs to fix the store. Not use gimmicks in an attempt to force people into it. That can only backfire.
  • So myopic.
  • It baffles me how many people want the Windows Store to fail.
  • You know what normal people do? Use Chrome. You know what they can't do? Install it on Windows 10 S. I find it amusing that you and Jason and Zac purposefully pretend this isn't a problem even though Chrome is the World's most used web browser on Windows and the most used web browser on mobile.
    People know their phone browser is also available on their PC. And they want it there. But it isn't. And it won't be. But you (plural) act as if that problem isn't there.
    Not to mention you keep bringing up Apple as if they had any relevance in the PC or smartphone market worldwide. They don't. They sit below 20% market share on both platforms and so the people going there are a minority. Specially on personal computers where macOS sits below 15%. Well that and you also like to point to the "free upgrade" to Pro... Which will likely only happen on the Surface Laptop and even there will be over by the end of the year. Windows 10 S has no future until that problem is solved. And curiously, once again, like the late Windows Phone before it, it will depend on Microsoft's ability to reach out to Google and get them to partner with them... Which judging by the fact that Google absolutely ignored the existence of Windows or PCs in today's I/O keynote, will probably not happen anytime soon.
  • Also in terms of website compatibility, Edge is still nowhere close to Chrome or FF. Heck, even VSTS has problems in Edge.
  • If you want Chrome, get a Chromebook/ Chrome OS. Voila. problem solved. Mercedes does not put BMW engines in their cars, it is as simple as that. An OS is not different. You cannot go to a car store and claim I want the new Mustang with a Toyota engine. MS is right to keep Chrome out of their Win 10 S.
  • You have no idea what a Chromebook is, do you? Also, your analogy is not only deeply stupid - because cars aren't open platforms like Windows is - but the petty mentality behind it will only ensure Windows dies. Because if you think people will prefer to use inferior offerings like Edge and Bing to switch to a Chromebook where they lose Windows programs but have Chrome and the apps they bought from their phone... You're in for a terrible surprise.
  • Sure I do know what a Chromebook is. Windows 10 S is not intended to be an open platform. Primary target users are in education. There is nothing inferior in Edge and Bing. If you do want to use Chrome then do not buy Win 10 S.
    B.t.w. here in Europe Chromebooks are as Omni-present as windows Phones.
  • I find it amusing too that you completely ignore the Window 10S is mainly targetting the education sector, Surface Laptop is a niche premium product targetting the niche group of people, it is not what Windows 10S meant for. The OEMs can push out sub $200 devices thanks to the Windows 10S, it makes absolutely no sense to put the Pro version that cost a third of the device. The store only apps restriction also add another huge benefit in the security area, you will no longer need to worry about things like the ransomware, Wannacry, saving another sum from the security softwares.  
  • Just because "normal" users don't install .exe's every day, it doesn't mean they don't need them. There is almost always 1 or 2 exe's some one needs to get themselves going on a Windows machine. Microsoft really needs to get 3rd party dev support for UWP Desktop apps going. Until that happens, Windows 10S isn't really any bette than Windows RT. I'm just being realistic.  
  • " There is almost always 1 or 2 exe's some one needs to get themselves going on a Windows machine. " Which would be what? I have a laptop i bout when 10 first launched and still dont have a single .exe on it
  • Eh ? It will NEVER succeed as long as top tier/common application non geek users uses are absent from the store . That means - Chrome, Google search and old win32 software that some users are used to (try moving a non geek from Windows Live Mail).
  • Geeks are geeks, they don't want to or can't change with the times. Give Microsoft time and they will update their store with what the average person wants. The whiner's who are whining about Windows 10S haven't even bought or are using Windows 10S yet. They are just whining for whining's sake. I for one quit using Google Chrome and Firefox. I found they were screwing things up. And I didn't find them any faster then Windows Edge. The Windows Store has plenty of apps that a person can use if they look hard enough.
  • Actually, no, the average person won't wait - that's why the Windows on ARM failed. People returned the ARM Surface in droves because they couldn't install the apps they wanted to. Generally it's geeks who are more patient (mostly because it's not their only device).
  • the windows strore have got nothing I need and the software I do use is not in the store, so I would be stumped.    
  • I'm amazed the blunders on most of the people who comment here. "They need Chrome to succeed"... No, chrome just has a habit of being installed through clever marketing and annoying self-ads. "people will want the non store software"... Hmm, average person, app store vs. Install disc (where is my disc drive) or finding a website and downloading. Even gamers have been appified (steam).
  • I'm more of an average user, and I really avoid downloading software from the net... It's the fear of what might come with it, no matter how official it looks. Store-verified stuff makes it so much safer, or at least you'd feel more secure.
  • I don't think it's a source issue, it's an availability issue. People will have no problems going to the store (and, I think, they will get over even having to buy a new version), but they will have a problem if they can't install the app they want to use because it's not in the store.  
  • Good article
  • Totally agreed, Daniel!
  • It is also up to developers to help the windows store, and I don't mean by only adding apps. For example when you go to they should show a bar on top saying "get the windows 10 app". Skype sends you to the store if your computer has windows 10. Send people to the store when they download office etc. 
  • For me Chrome is huge.  My work keeps our computers locked down pretty tight.  So I have the option of using Chrome and IE 11.  Naturally I use Chrome so I can sync my tabs/extensions between my home computer and my work computer.   I feel like this is something that gets missed by a lot of tech blogs because they BYOD but I think most computing time by consumers is done on their work computer.  Which are typically locked down by the IS department so we are stuck with whatever services or apps they allow on the system.   
  • "These same people are aware that Apple has sold millions of pseudo-PCs in the form of iPads" - Ýes!
  • Is Microsoft Apple? Did Windows become ubiquitous by being a walled garden? Normal people have been using Windows in a specific way for decades. The iPad doesn't have that legacy. As yesterday's article articulated, Microsoft needs to make sure they are getting the correct messaging out to every person who buys a W10S machine. It is a very real risk that a normal user will get one of these machines home and be upset when they can't use it the same way they have been using Windows for decades. Being limited to the Windows store removes the biggest advantage that Windows has. At that point, won't ChromeOS or iPad be simpler and just as effective?
  • It seems to me that Microsoft is simply to do more or less what Apple has done (MacOS and iOS).  Microsoft is trying to do is give the computer the ability to run both for those of us who need to. I think it would benefit the normal users. I really wonder if we ( tech journalists, tech enthusiasts, etc. ) are actually sabotaging Microsoft's efforts to taking its technology to the next level INSTEAD of merely predicting Microsoft's failure. Our family and friends look to us for guidance.  What do we do? Dump on Microsoft and 'predict' its next failure. It's no wonder that developers don't do apps for Microsoft's platforms. They hear it's a losing proposition and back away. Instead of dumping on Windows 10 S, Store apps, etc., how about we give people the PROS too. Normal users want to be more secure. They want things to be easy.  They want better battery life.   We are imposing our wants on the normal users. I don't know why it's so difficult for us. Why can't we assess what people we know really need?  "Grandma, I think you should get Windows 10 S."  or "I know you want to get into coding, son. Let's get Windows 10 Professional."
  • Microsoft's problem is that it's user base for Windows is so big that there is no "normal" Windows user. Maybe 10 years ago you could simplify Windows users into a handful of catagories, but with the proliferation of devices, the diversity of uses for computers has exploded - and Microsoft has done little to acknowledge and address this - they can't even give Windows 10 a decent "Tablet Mode" UI. MS really needs to think about how the UI changes with each user's use case. They talk alot about Continuity, and how they understand this, but it hasn't made it through to product design. Ever use a Hololens? The Windows 10 UI on Holoens hasn't been thought out much beyond "We need to run Windows 10 on a holographic headset!" In the end, we don't need to change the OS (i.e. restrictions), we need to be able to change the UI/UX. Grandma's Surface tablet should be able to do the same things as Junior's Windows laptop with just a UI configuration for entertainment/social vs. development.  
  • Good one Daniel. I couldn't agree less
  • 'Normal' people vs 'abnormal' people...!
    I'd choose a different phrase...
  • Can you even install printer software on Windows S? It feels worthless to anyone who does more than browse the web. Android, Chrome, iOS would all be better choices IMO. Seriously, I have 2 Windows tablets and I check the store every few weeks for new apps, there is NOTHING in there that is useful. I do hope this is successful for kids, hopefully more apps come, but my hopes aren't very high.
  • Printer software internet dongle software and many such usecases exists that will not let w10 home be replaced anytime soon. Even ms is not crazy enough to market this outside us schools. Only wc goes overboard in imagining things
  • My parents are anything but geeks, don't even touch a computer daily. I sent them to bestbuy to get a new laptop a few years ago and the salesman suggested Windows RT to them. My mom was furious when she couldn't get the few programs she uses as I explained to her what RT was. Neither her printer, nor her digital sewing machine could be connected and used. At this point she uses Android for most things, still rocking a Windows 7 laptop as she hates 8 and 10. Perfect example of a non geek going to buy a Windows computer to do what a Windows computer has done for years, but wait, it CAN'T!
  • Ok totally opposite from above my wife is not a geek by any measure but the strength of an os is how intuitive it is. Windows 7 lots of call and questions"how do I" Windows 8 nothing I don't recall a single call or question. Windows 10, 1 or 2 calls. Now some may say well your wife is a better user now, last question I had was "how to print a photo?" So nope the os is just better.
  • Targeting Windows S to "normal" consumers is a HUGE mistake. I'm a supporter of UWP and that developers NEED to transition to UWP (in the same sense that developers needed to transition between Mac OS 9 apps and OS X apps), and I think Microsoft DOES need to be more aggresive in getting developers to do this. However, making average consumer be the voice for that is a big mistake. The average consumer wants to install their favorite app - they WILL be patient enough to go to the Windows Store and get it if necessary, but they won't be patient enough to wait for that app to become available. This was the SAME BIG mistake that MS made with Windows 8 and Modern UI apps on ARM. In the end, it's NOT about "consumer education" - it's about developers. Average users are going to get frustrated with Windows 10 S and return their devices (just like the Surface ARM units). If the Windows App Store was farther along, then maybe. Windows 10 S has a few VERY niche audiences (education MAY be one of them - it remains to be seen if schools will even accept 10 S) - and those audiences all have one thing in common - they ARE Windows geeks and they know the ups and downs and can manage those systems for their purposes.
  • Windows 10S is announced in the MicrosoftEdu event along with various sub 200 devices from various OEMs. No they are not really targetting normal people that still want to use win32 programs.
  • When people call their phone "my new computer", win10s is the right format. You can give a lot of people tthe taste of computer without the need of them to understand the past when installers dominated the computer world. Will the store be compatible enough? only time will tell. Most people don't use windows setting or tweak the system, so they don't need anything else then the store. People the are used to the windows settings will still need the full version, but like some people use express version of software, not all need the full program.  
  • Windows 10 S will only highlight the current first party and quality app Gap in the Windows Store (Ask Windows Phone fans). This mindset to continue trying a locked ecosystem will continue to fail unless MS starts building real partnerships with content creators. Was Google Play initially successfully vs Apple, no. BUT Google recognized that content is and always has been King. As I have been saying since RT, MS MUST proactively court devs, particularly Devs of first party apps. They have built great hardware, a bridge to the Store from iOS, but that isn't even meeting Devs half way. It's not enough to think "Build it and Devs will come." MS needs to be more competitive in the area of partnering with content creators. Want Devs? Go get them! Why has MS not learned that yet?
  • Except it won't succeed when those normal people can't get their programs running. This is RT and mobile yet again--call us when there's software. I can imagine loads of frustrated users who buy it, then find that their programs aren't available as they expected, so they take it back and get a full Windows device or a Macbook.
  • Chromebook.
  • And there's me.  I don't fall into either of those camps.  Or, maybe I sort of fit both. I love Windows 8.  I love the Metro style and approach.  I felt from the beginning that the tiles had a greater potential that Microsoft either never really saw or unfathomably refused to exploit (and still does).  I loved being able to have a sort of "Windows in Windows" environment where the desktop was, itself, a windowed environment that could be treated separately from the Metro/Modern/Whatever environment.   I see Windows 10 S as a Son Of WinRT.  WinRT was a means to a more protected operating environment and, if you listen to all the people who complained about Metro, a simpler way to access the more common features most of the people you describe in this article would use.  W10S essentially tries the same thing, albeit the MS is trying to spin UWP-only as being something different.  Since UWP has essentially become Android-wannabe and holds none of what I like about the Metro UI, I find much less attractive about W10S from just a sheer joy of use perspective. I have grown up with DOS and Windows, even having done the whole MCSE thing years ago, so I'm certainly NOT afraid of the OS or of change.  But I got to a point where I want the ability to get under the hood when I need to, but on a daily basis I do NOT need all the fluff, customization and other "features" Microsoft has been convinced will save them.  Windows 8 represented the best of both worlds.  Windows 10 represents Microsoft pretending to hold onto the aspects of Windows 8 that some still like, while really just giving us a Frankenstein's monster evolved from Windows 7.  With Fluent, they're really dressing up one of the things I hated most about Win7 and earlier, which was Aero.   So, here's W10S, Microsoft's desperate attempt to shove people into UWP, but without the real teeth to do it (since you can 'upgrade' it to the full W10), and creating an even bigger misstep by parading a Surface Laptop that gives up chief advantage of their tablet line, with a hobbled OS and a price tag that most of the people described in this article are NOT going to pay for.  If W10S succeeds, it will be solely on the backs of other OEMs coming out with CHEAP laptops and 2-in-1 devices.  But what I dare MS to publish is the percentage of W10S devices that get upgraded to full Windows.  Personally, I think it will not dissuade those inclined to move to or stay with Android devices since MS has already made it very comfortable for those users to stay on Android and still access pretty much everything they care for of the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Great article, I hope you are right...
    We only need a better Store, Microsoft ABSOLUTELY need to engage the dev community again.
  • Somehow I find the thought of a Microsoft Walled Garden, even less appealing than an Apple one. Chromebooks are probably a better idea and much cheaper.
  • The arguments being said through out all the forums all say the exact same arguments that was said when Apple said good bye to Mac os9 . They shut it down , Steve Jobs even had a small funeral for it at WWDC with a little coffin . He knew that the only way to move forward to a better , more secure , sandbox based , and smooth os was to stop all development and support for 9 . It wasn't offered on new computers any more , support programs were not written in its language , and OSX was the new OS . OSX came out in 2001 and has had revisions ever since ( uhm Windows 10 as a service sound very familiar with it being the last OS with updates constantly rolling out ) . The new direction Microsoft is taking is the right one . The old way of doing it is also the reason why it has had many of the problems . Mac os9 and earlier version suffered the same thing with "rot " in the system and the way programs wormed their way through the system . Will this be a learning experience , sure . Have a program in a sandbox environment , a system isolated , one stop shop app market and regular updates is really a great thing . I was a computer tech for 15 years and if this kind of environment was out then it would have made my job a lot easier . Most people will like this , its easy to keep it updated and running smoothly . Look at the iPad , why did so many people flock to it ? Its simple and easy to work with , all their apps ( programs) are in one space , this is what the average person does . All the belly aching about this is the same as before ( with apple) and guess what ....they have sold computers like never before when they were on os9 . If you don't like this computer then don't buy it , simple. But look really close , This is the future of Windows rather you like it or not . Pro will be there for those people who want it but I can see this taking over the home version at some point .
  • Mac OS 9/OS X is not really a good analogy.   MacOS prior to X was true junk.  For example, holding the mouse button down actually stopped the entire system.   If you had a DL running in the background, it stopped.  Everything stopped. It was a toy OS with a pretty UI.   That was it.  It was also a horrible code base and a nightmare to work on, from all reports. Windows 10 has no such issues.   The fact that a major reason that Windows phones failed (no apps in the store), makes Windows 10 S all the more ironic.  I just don't see this being a success.  Of course, it is a smart move - probably their only move at this point.  Since no one cared about Windows phones, Microsoft needs to capitalize on the (diminishing) extent that people still care about Windows PCs.  The clock is running, however.   This is probably their last chance to remain relevant to consumers.  More importantly, this IS Microsoft's last chance to remain relevant with DEVELOPERS.  If this fails, then developers will never come back to Windows anything.   The action is all on mobile now, and Microsoft is non-existent in that space.
  • hello. to me the s in windows 10 s means "simple" and thats all my parents need! edge, netflix, word, and line are the only apps they use and are all available as uwp apps, so they could keep windows 10 s and be 100% fine.
  • "The old Win32 system is just that — old. It's not built for the Windows Mixed Reality and Fluent Design world we are rapidly moving towards. You can't get the cool, futuristic stuff tethered to yesteryear." So then, what is the point of Windows On ARM, and bringing Win32 apps to a phone (or other small screen device)?  Many here seem to think that this will be the saviour of Windows Mobile, and that it is coming Real Soon Now. Personally, I don't believe a "surface phone" will ever happen.  There is no point to it.  The ONLY reason for WOA is because Qualcomm's mobile chipsets are vastly superior to Intel's.  In fact, Intel has cancelled most of their mobile stuff.   
  • Chrome isn't the big issue, it is Steam. Steam has enjoyed an almost monopoly for so long that they won't go down easy. Gabe will fight Google's proxy war for them just to maintain his monopoly on gaming. If GOG was smart, they would cut a deal with MS to get GOG Galaxy on 10S and undercut Steam's argument.
  • Then buy W10 Pro. I don't see the dilemma. Anyone who uses Steam should know that.
  • Windows 10 S will be a non-starter for my Facebook game app playing friends.
  • I am happy with Windows 10S strategy even though I still use Microsoft money plus sunset. Even now, the OEM laptops with the S is cheaper than It's normal variant. So upgrading to Pro should only put the cost up to match the normal laptop. That's absolutely fine economically. On the app side, I agreed there's a way to go but Microsoft should be the one to stir the dev onto the store. We all should request devs to put their apps on the store, request MS means nothing. Judging by the current state, the S is not ready yet and I agreed that Microsoft stated clearly that they only target education sector for now. But for the long game, there is an absolute chance that S will become standard. Then, replacing Home with S would be normal progression and not a forced option. What we all should do is promoting S only to those that can use it for now. My wife for example, can definitely use S. Be patience and don't rush to judge them too quickly. I don't ask you to buy S machine but the normal people market will speak for themselves surely. Then, when there is more user base, it'll spread like a fire. But hey, don't even think us pro users will ever use the S, probably never. There's Pro for us. If you've Windows 10 pro FPP, you would not care about all this anyway.
  • I'm good with the title Daniel.  I'll read the article when I have a minute but on the title itself, you are 100 percent on point.
  • Windows 10S can succeed if Microsoft puts Video's on you tube to explain how it operates. once people see it's pros and cons they can decide if it's for them . I think it's a good OS for those who donot want to worry about recieving bugs  when they load an App from the Microsoft store if Microsoft keeps out the buggy Apps. People must be told that Windows 10S will run full Desk top PC Win32  x86 Programs BUT they MUST be in the Apps store for a person to load and Run them. People must be told and shown in the video how to update from Windows 10S to full Windows 10 Desktop/laptop OS. There should be Windows 10S videos on You Tube today. like I said if a Person does not want to worry about getting Bugs or malware then Windows 10s is for them if Microsoft makes damn sure the the store Apps and Win32 X86 programs there are SAFE 
  • Yup.
  • Well, normal people aren't geeks so they start screaming when the PC refuses to install their win32 app and asks for money to upgrade the OS. I do agree that this has to start from somewhere, but I think Microsoft needs to learn how to sell its products. Windows 10 S must be promoted as a SAFE system for everybody. Also, Windows 10 S should always stay FREE, no need for pirate copies any longer. If you put it on a 1000 $ laptop you're just confusing everyone. Just put it on a 100$-200$ laptop and say "this is Windows for everyone, developing countries, kids, schools, elders. It's safe, it's free". Make it possible to upgrade to Windows 10 S from Windows 7,8, heck even from Windows XP on any suitable PC for free. I mean, make it very clear that you get a lot for free, you protect your PC from malware, you speed up your system. People at that point may accept that they can't install their pirate copy of Photoshop and will see the Windows store as a tolerable second-best solution.
  • Where are you from?
  • I want Microsoft to get a list vof all the most used  and liked Android and Apple Iphone smart phones apps and hire new programmers to make Microsoft versions of these Apps. This way people can get at least some of the App experience on Windows Tablets and smart phones that Android and Apple iphone users have now. it is sad developers have not given Windows smart phones and tablets some of their good Apps so Microsoft which is mostly a soft ware company will have to make great apps for ther own devices. this a hard way for Microsoft to go but it looks like they have no choice.
  • If they had done this 5 years ago it might have worked.   Now, it is WAY too late.  There are not enough users left who are still using Windows phones to make this worthwhile.  Microsoft is done with mobile.  Or - more accurately - mobile is done with Microsoft.
  • "I want Microsoft to get a list of all the most used  and liked Android and Apple Iphone smart phones apps and hire new programmers to make Microsoft versions of these Apps." How long do you think it'll be  from the time Microsoft releases these apps, and the original app owners file IP lawsuits and cease and desist legal orders?   I'd say inside of 24 hrs.    Microsoft would get sued from here to infinity. All they can do is cajole, discuss with and convince developers.   
  • I wonder does it supports Xbox one 'Play Anywhere'. It should be but just the video card wouldn't support high ui game like 'Gear of War'.
  • It'll do fine. Schools will lap this up. I personally did tech support for my county school system and they use VMs and AD to lock those suckers down. HP is gonna make a mint with W10S devices.  For basic end-users, Daniel's comment about getting the top 10 apps in store is the most accurate. Chrome will be a hurdle for sure. But not an unsurmountable one. I still meet users who think the "E" icon is the "Internet."   
  • What I have to do with my daughter which use to play Animal Jam on internet browser and Edge did not play nice. She always show me this "bug" and ask me to install Chrome or Opera. Microsoft need some work to do.
  • I really like this article and I am with you on this 100% @Daniel Rubino. Windows 10 S needed to happen, no doubt about it. Yes I get that some of us want the all out experience from our Windows device, but the majority of the people I know that uses Windows 10 can't tell the difference between a "Pro" version of Windows or a "Home" version. All they want is for them to work out of the box, be able to play their music, watch Netflix, surf YouTube, and do whatever else they need to, which usually nothing too extreme. Most want a simple, but flawless PC experience, only a few of us "hardcore" fans want more. I'm hoping MS makes it's way back to the school districts where it used to reign supreme. I'm tired of having to have the kids take test on those annoying iPads, and Macs.
  • Chatting to someone a couple of days ago about this and they just a normal computer using, they turn it on, use their software, go on the net and that sort of thing and then turn it off.  they can see the good things, but they do feel that it will give MS too much control over software, prices and other stuff. also at the moment they can maybe get a good deal from online and they do not mean pirated software, but some software companies do deals on prices, that would be more difficult if Ms have the control. They also think like I do if the company that produces the software goes out of businses and it is taken off the store then that is it, you spent money on something you can not use or can use until you may need to install it again. Depends if Ms takes software off your computer that is not in their store anymore. I know google don't as i have an app on my phone that have been on there for years and is now not available in the play store.    They can understand that it could be useful and they said if they update to ten they may use the store, but they would not buy a machine with Windows 10 S as they think they would like the choice. Their computer is windows 7 and they are looking at whihc why to go as their son is doing music stuff and they are thinking about going for a Mac.   
  • The ability to upgrade to Pro in Surface Laptop is just the way to make the purchase less frightening- if something goes wrong with Windows S, you still get a nice laptop. However, the cheapest Windows S devices are promised for less than $200. That is, they can compete with iPad - ot that great apps, but 30% cheaper. This is all Windows S can do for normal users.  If a user is more advanced, say has a home server, Windows S may be nice.
  • A true geek will want all his none geek family and friends to have a Windows 10S laptop, unless he likes to spend lots of the weekends to help fixing their laptops that slowed to a crawl with 20+ background programs running or corrupted registry due to malware/virus etc.  The time you let other people know you are good in computer and their eyes glow, you know you are in trouble.
  • Lol
  • Lol ikr
  • I guess using Final Draft (screenwriting software) and Scrivener makes me a 'Pro'.   Since it's fairly niche, I can't see that coming to the Windows Store in the near future, though the Apple App Store did get a touch friendly version for iOS. Calibre to manage and change ebook formats, Audacity and Foobar are also nice to haves, but since they're freeware, I can't see them agreeing to Microsoft's store listing fee.
  • i agree with MSFT's WinS strategy, but most of what is beeing discussed here also applied to Windows RT. RT had the right vision, so why was it killed, only to be re-introduced inow in improved form? Also, I don't think allowing upgrades to W10 Pro is a good idea, unless the laptop meets some minimum requirements. One is the need for a fast SSD. There is way too much trashing otherwise, and the OS becomes unusable.
  • So I was helping this fellow compile his "centennial bridge apps" list, which I only half did because there were so many it would have taken me ages to get all the links as well. But it occured to me when doing this, that if you add all the full UWPs, there are a lot of offerings. Many things you can't get on an ipad or on a chrome book. The average user is surely going to be fine.   Check the thread (He's not updated the main list with my additions yet, and they need links so please help out):
  • I say Microsoft should forget everybody, set a time frame to end win32 app support on windows 10. If win32 is ended developers have no other choice than to migrate their apps to UWP or stop developing for windows (that will be at their own lost). Only then will developers be serious about UWP.
  • I completely agree with Daniel. If you or someone you are talking to WANTS or NEEDS more than Windows 10 S offers, just get Pro. If you use Steam, get Pro. If you want to use Chrome, get Pro. If you want to use CAD or Visual Studio, get Pro. Pro is NOT going away. Windows 10 S isn't for everyone. However, for a lot of people, it would really be perfect.
  • As with RT, the problem here is that quite a lot of people simply won't understand how restricted this version of Windows is, and they will be upset when they find out that they need to pay extra to get features that they didn't expect wouldn't be there. A simple example, you buy a printer off the shelf in Target or somewhere similar and it comes with a CD that lets you make greeting cards, or at least a download option to get the software. Well, that CD won't install. It's the same for an all-in-one printer\scanner\fax. The OCR and PDF making software that comes with most of these devices won't run. How many home users will buy Windows S and then find out that Steam isn't available? Yes, they can upgrade, but they will get upset at being told this after their purchase. It's like getting on a train and then being told that you need to pay extra to have a seat. Maybe you should have read the small print when you booked, but that doesn't make you feel any better afterwards.
  • I loved this article, it hit all the right points without going into too much detail as well as answering questions from either side.  
  • I would actually love to have Windows 10 S on my Lenovo Yoga Book  and similar types of devices. Main plus point I see is performance of regular UWP apps (which I use 80% of) will be much beter on Atom based devices plus battery life. Of course me being a developer - my Surface Book would need to have Windows 10 Pro for x*^ apps (Visual Studio, Adobe etc)  - actually even the Adobe Experience Designer, which I use, is a UWP app I believe. So for a small Yoga Book tye of device - which is where I do my consumption mainly and carry it for convenience - a Windows 10S would have been fantastic - knowing that if push comes to shove, I can always upgrade easily - I do not have to throw away (ebay) a device. 
  • I can see that Microsoft had to pull the trigger to jump start the Store. It will be interesting to see how the Surface w/10S sells. Obviously with the kick off promo, anyone buying one would go with the upgrade. After that though..... I will let the jury decide that. It would be nice to see Microsoft regain some of the education market that they ceded to Google.
  • I think Windows 10 S is a huge step towards the S, a lot of freedom has been behind the problems of windows OS. If the S works well with schools as they've started with, there will be a jump, hopefully. Old Apps need to go fast now and UWP needs to reign.
  • Well... My mum can barely use a PC.
    But when I tell her she bought a Laptop that is not compatible with german tax software... uh-oh, not ending well.