What is Windows 10 S? Should We Care?

Microsoft isn’t done with making versions of Windows.

Right when we thought Windows 10 would be the last version that Microsoft would come out with, Terry Myerson has announced a new… version, Windows 10 S. But for those of us who use Windows on a daily basis, what exactly is so so special about Windows 10 S?

For us power users, not a lot, expect a “cut down” version of Windows without the ability to download applications from the web, suggesting apps available from the Microsoft Store. Expect Microsoft Edge to be the main browser, with browsers available for download in the Microsoft Store. Did I mention that you’re locked into the Microsoft Store?


Surface Laptop with Microsoft 10 S (Source: Microsoft)

Although not designed with the¬†power user in mind, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As we’ve learned from Chromebooks, this type of Operating System is ideal for the education market. That’s what was repeated over and over at the announcement, so much so that devices carrying Windows 10 S will have a one year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition & Office 365 for Education.

Having the ability to lock down systems into a lightweight cloud version can bring security and performance improvements, which will run on cheaper hardware keeping more cash in the user’s (and school’s) pocket. However, Microsoft has done this before in the form of Windows RT, running on Windows 8, which faded into the background a few years later.

These machines might be worth a tinker for those of us who like to break outside these walled gardens, but should the Power User really care? No, stick to your current OS.