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Windows 10 S: What You Need to Know

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All you need to know about Windows 10 S

Yesterday, Microsoft held an event catered for the education industry. The #MicrosoftEDU is the company’s newest platform that will go head to head with Google’s Chrome OS. The first product to come out of this esteemed effort is the new Windows 10 S.

Perhaps many would be wondering what the S stands for. Unfortunately, Microsoft did not elaborate on the subject matter. Therefore, one can assume the “S” in Windows 10 S stands for “speed” or “student.”

Windows 10 S package

According to the Microsoft website, the Windows 10 S is leveraged to appeal to students. With that in mind, the new operating system sits between the Windows 10 Home and Pro editions. However, the entire core of Windows 10 S was built on the foundations of Windows 10 Pro.

All you need to know about Windows 10 S

Panos Panay during the #MicrosoftEDU event in New York showcasing Windows 10 S (via mspoweruser.com)

One might argue that it is not that different from the professional edition of Windows 10. Well, it is, and it is not.

In the grandest sense, yes, it is like the Windows 10 Pro because it runs the basic core functionalities of the said operating system. However, what it is not, is that it cannot run a standard Windows 10 application. The only applications that run on Windows 10 S are those coming from the Windows Store.

Cost

Unfortunately, Microsoft did not clarify whether the new operating system will exist as a standalone product. That is why, for now, there are no direct indications of how much the new system will be. However, for educational institutions already using Windows 10 Pro, upgrade, or rather downgrade, is for free.

All you need to know about Windows 10 S

Microsoft Surface Laptop (via microsoftstore.com)

For parents of students thinking of getting one, they will be pleased to know that a laptop running on Windows 10 S can be fetched for as low as $189. Of course, one cannot expect that a device that cheap will perform like a mid-range or high-end laptop. For that, Microsoft is also introducing its Surface Laptop which starts at $999.

It should be noted that the Windows 10 S is still a full-fledged Windows 10 operating system. The only difference is it can only run applications from the Windows Store. With that in mind, Microsoft is also offering a sweet deal for anyone who wants to try out the new OS. If, for instance, customers are not satisfied with the new OS, they can upgrade to the Pro edition for free until the end of the year. After that, upgrade would cost anyone $49.

Performance and compatibility

Performance wise, Microsoft is pretty proud of the Windows 10 S. Compared to a professional version of the OS, the new one can boot in about 15 seconds. Something that is not easily achieved even with high-speed storage and ultra-fast processors.

In terms of battery life, the Windows 10 S will not be left behind. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop, which runs on the new OS, is capable of sustaining a 14.5-hour continuous operations even with its 13.5-inch 1080pixel touch display.

All you need to know about Windows 10 S

Windows Store (via pcworld.com)

Microsoft somehow managed to isolate applications so that they do not affect the core of the OS. This results in a faster response time for apps as well as the operating system in general.

As for compatibility, PC users running the latest Windows 10 version will be able to upgrade to the new OS. And because of its inherent speed increase, it means that older sluggish systems will be able to gain a new lease on life. They can once again run faster just like they did the first time they booted.

The negative side of Windows 10 S

Of course, not everything on Windows 10 S is good news. Just like any other software releases, there are still some things the users will need to get over with the new OS. Chief of which is the application support. As mentioned, it only runs applications found on the Windows Store. If the application that you use on your old system is not there, chances are, you will not be using it for a while. At least until the developer releases a Windows Store version of the application in question. This also means the success of the new OS relies on its developers in providing support and versions of their existing applications to run on Windows 10 S.

On the bright side, this way of apps distribution is a lot safer than the usual method used today. It is somewhat similar to Apple’s App Store wherein all Windows 10 S applications will have to be approved by Microsoft before they can be featured in the store. Also, this would eventually weed out legitimate to the not-so-legitimate developers as they would need to subscribe to the Microsoft developers program.

All you need to know about Windows 10 S

Microsoft Edge browser (via windowscentral.com)

Secondly, since the entire system is build on the premise of Microsoft applications, users will be stuck with its own Internet browser, the Microsoft Edge. Of course, users will still be able to install Google Chrome, assuming Google makes it available on the Windows Store. However, there is no option to change the default browser on the new operating system, at least for now. This means that every time one clicks on a link, it will be sent to Edge instead of a third-party browser.

In addition to this, since users will have Edge as default browser, that means the default search engine will be Bing. Although the search engine is not that bad, some hardcore Google Search users will find this pill a bit hard to swallow. To make matters worse, there is also no option of changing the default search engine on the new OS.

Windows 10 S and Surface Laptop release date

For those who are still curious about Windows 10 S, the newest Microsoft operating system is available now. However, according to Microsoft, the first commercial devices running on Windows 10 S will be available on June 15. Nevertheless, the Surface Laptop is now available on the Microsoft Store for pre-order.

As for third-party makers, it is still uncertain when they will release their own devices based on the Windows 10 S platform. For more updates on the Windows 10 S and Surface Laptop, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.

Also Read: Internet Safety: How to Protect Yourself from New Mac Malware

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