Yes, Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop can enroll in the Window Insider Program

Surface Laptop display
Surface Laptop display

The Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S have been available for a few weeks now, so it's time to take a look at some things it can – and can't – do in 2017. These are things I have learned as I've used Windows 10 S.

One question I did not address in my original Surface Laptop review and I have been asked is whether Windows 10 S can enroll in the Windows Insider Program.

Luckily, I don't have to spend much time on this as yes, it can. And that includes joining all Insider Rings like Release Preview, Slow Ring, and Fast Ring.

While for many here this may seem obvious there are still many questions new users have about Windows 10 S making it a pertinent subject to explore.

Windows 10 S enrolling in the Windows Insider Program.

Windows 10 S enrolling in the Windows Insider Program.

As of right now, enrolling in Release Preview does not get you much outside of some early cumulative updates on occasion. The Insider Fast Ring just installs build 16237 and since Windows 10 S is just Windows 10 Pro everything – including new bugs – is still present with those advanced releases.

Whether you should join the Windows Insider Program on your Surface Laptop is another question. Release Preview is almost certainly safe, whereas Slow and Fast Rings – even with Windows 10 S – will expose you to some "quirks" found in beta OS builds. While build 16237 runs fine on Surface Laptop, those hiccups certainly exist too.

It's worth noting that even if on Fast Ring users can still at any point switch to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 S through the Windows Store and not lose data, or have to roll back.

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

All this conjecture just reinforces the idea that Windows 10 S is Window 10 Pro but with the limit of only Windows Store apps. Everything else is the same including enrollment in the Windows Insider Program.

So, feel free to jump in and get your feet wet. If you run into some serious problems you can watch our guide on how to re-install Windows 10 S.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Hey Dan, if you wouldn't mind answering this question. I understand W10S IS NOT RT. But, do you personally see W10S taking off or do you feel it will fail as RT did? Personally, I do not see the need for 10S but that is just me. I am in no way trash talking it.
  • Windows 10 S needs to take off. The world needs it. 90% of users are close to clueless when it comes to getting under the hood of Windows. Windows 10 S is all they need. What absolutely must happen is the Developers need to get on board and ensure all apps and drivers are available through the Store and Windows Update respectively. Sure. Microsoft has work to do with Windows 10 S however, it is a solid start and in 3 years time we will be going THANK YOU for no more IT Support at HOME issues. Note: I said 90%, the other 10% actually read this site and are most likely Insiders :P
  • It'll be better to judge when the partners start releasing W10S devices, aiming at lower price points. I think it can carve out it's own market for the many reasons stated on this site.
  • Is that a spelling mistake in the title? Windows should have an s at the end. 
  • Also, in the second last paragraph too.
  • Well it's not using the queens English for "Programme" but "Program" is correct for the US spelling
  • Although the answer was simple it's great to have somebody else try it. Especially for those who may wonder about upgrading to Pro once on Fast Ring without losing data