A new version of Windows 10 is in town, Windows 10 S, and Microsoft hopes it will provide a more streamlined and more secure service for users in both the home and education markets. But should you run Windows 10 S on your machine? Let’s take a closer look at Windows 10 S and its features so you can decide for yourself.
What Is it?
Windows 10 S is a new version of Windows 10 designed for many consumer and education oriented PCs. In the coming months, you will see it start to appear on many different machines, including the new Microsoft Surface Laptop. The “S” doesn’t really stand for anything but Microsoft has stated that Windows 10 S is “streamlined for simplicity,” so maybe that’s where they got the S.
Basically, Windows 10 S is built upon Windows 10 Pro but it has been designed to be simpler to use and faster. In fact, it Windows 10 S boots a full 15 seconds faster than a comparable machine running Windows 10 Pro.
How’s It Different?
There is really only one main difference between Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro. The S version will only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store. It also comes with Microsoft’s Bitlocker encryption system to secure your files in case of theft. Windows 10 Home, for example, doesn’t come with this bit of security.
What Software Will It Run?
As I have already stated, Windows 10 S will only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store. That means that some of your major apps such as Office and even Photoshop Elements can be installed, but you won’t have access to many apps such as the full version of the Adobe Creative Suite. Basically anything that you install the old way with an installer file will not run on Windows 10 S.
On thing you should note is that the only browser you will have access to is Microsoft’s new Edge Browser. According to Microsoft, it’s faster and more secure than every other alternative, but I must admit I’m not convinced. If you run into a site that won’t work, then you are simply out of luck, as you can’t install Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as an alternative because of the application limitations we already discussed above. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad browser, in fact, I do kind of like it. However, there are some sites that don’t play nicely with it. Hopefully, that will get better with time.
Can You Play Games?
Now this one is a little more complicated. If your machine is running Windows S, you will be able to play some games. Any game that you can find on the Windows Store and install with one click is playable. This even includes some AAA titles such as Forza Horizon 3 can be played. However, if you must run an installer, it won’t work. You won’t even be able to run Valve’s Steam service on Windows 10 S.
Windows 10 S will run on almost any machine that can run Windows 10, so if you are in the market for a new laptop and this OS sounds like your cup of tea, know that you can install and run it without any issue. Just make sure you are aware of the limitations before you go with it. If you find it isn’t for you, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. For the rest of this year, it seems that the upgrade will be free, but after that it will cost you around $50 to upgrade to the full version of Windows 10.
Do you like the sounds of this new OS or do you prefer to stick with your current version of Windows 10? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.