Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S, a new cloud-based edition of the company's Windows 10 operating system designed specifically for Education.
Windows 10 S is a cloud-based operating system that will compete directly against Google's Chromebook, which serves a similar purpose.
The main facts about pricing, and offers.
- Devices with the operating system start at $189 according to Microsoft.
- Microsoft will release a Windows 10 S device, and so will partners such as Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba.
- All devices include a one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition, Office 365 for Education, including Microsoft Teams.
- Management via Intune for Education.
- Schools will get Windows 10 S for free on devices running genuine Windows 10 Pro PCs.
What else do we know right now?
Windows 10 S
Windows 10 S is a Store-only version of Windows 10. This means that you cannot install legacy desktop programs on the operating system as they are blocked. Note that this protection was bypassed in earlier versions of Windows 10 S.
All users get are programs that ship with the Windows 10 S operating system, and Windows Store apps. The latter includes Win32 programs converted to be compatible with Windows Store.
Microsoft, obviously, paints this in a positive light, and it is to a degree. The PC will boot faster, there is less chance stability issues, and malware should be less of an issue (as most won't execute).
The downside is that Windows Store is rather limited when it comes to programs and games. You are stuck with Microsoft Edge as the browser for instance, and cannot install any desktop program that you may have used in the past. This may be less of an issue for students who just get started with computers.
Windows 10 S, the new Windows RT?
Is Windows 10 S the new Windows RT; only under a different name and package? If you compare the two products, you will notice difference between them.
First, that Windows Store has evolved over time. It is no where near where it should be, but projects such as Project Centennial to bring Win32 apps to the Store have improved what is available somewhat at the very least.
Then there is Microsoft Edge, which is undoubtedly the better browser when compared to Internet Explorer. Again, not where it should be when it comes to things such as extensions, but definitely a step up.
Last but not least, it seems as if Windows 10 S devices can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for a price. Microsoft has yet to reveal that price.
If you take all of it together, it is clear that Windows 10 S is superior to Windows RT. The question is if that is enough.
It seems likely that Windows 10 S will do better than Windows RT. To be frank, it takes very little to do better than Windows RT.
Users who just need a notebook with Office, and web services, find all of that in Windows 10 S. It is clear that the system is not designed for most professional uses, and that it won't appeal to users who rely on desktop programs.
Now You: What's your first impression of Windows 10 S?