Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Feb 2018 01:02 UTC
Windows

Windows 10 S, the Microsoft Store-only version of Windows, is going away, but not really.

Currently, Windows 10 S is a unique edition of Windows 10. It's based on Windows 10 Pro; Windows 10 Pro has various facilities that enable system administrators to restrict which software can be run, and Windows 10 S is essentially a preconfigured version of those facilities. In addition to locking out arbitrary downloaded programs, it also prevents the use of certain built-in Windows features such as the command-line, PowerShell, and Windows Subsystem for Linux.

For those who can't abide by the constraints that S imposes, you can upgrade 10 S to the full 10 Pro. This upgrade is a one-shot deal: there's no way of re-enabling the S limitations after upgrading to Pro. It's also a paid upgrade: while Microsoft offered it as a free upgrade for a limited time for its Surface Laptop, the regular price is $49.

Nothing much actually seems to be changing; it just turns Windows 10 S from a version into a mode. Pretty much a distinction without a difference. My biggest issue here is that you can't go from regular Windows 10 back to Windows 10 S if you ever had a reason to do so (e.g. if Windows were ever to be usable with just Metro apps in the future and you want the additional security Windows 10 S provides). Seems like an odd restriction.

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Mission creep is afoot
by Alfman on Wed 7th Feb 2018 04:55 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/151582/exclusive-windows...

Going forward, Windows 10 S will no longer be a SKU offered by Microsoft. Instead, what they will be doing is offering S mode for all iterations of Windows 10 and frankly, this is a much better approach to the configurations.

For Home and Education SKUs, you will be able to upgrade from Home S, to Home for free but Pro users going from Pro S to Pro will be charged $49. On the commercial side, Pro S is only available with Core, Value, Entry, and Small Tablet (if this doesn’t make sense, check out my other post here) with Core+ and Workstations being left out of the offering.



Remember when windows 10s was only going to be applied to chromebook competitors? Turns out the mission creep theory wasn't so far fetched. Now it's creeping into even more mainstream markets and OEMs will be required to enable it by default. This is happening faster than I imagined.

And what's the deal with forcing pro versions to be locked down unless they pay more? Of all the user classifications, it makes the least sense for pro users to be stuck on windows-S and denied the right to run 3rd party software, switch browsers, switch search engine, etc... I'm sorry, but there's no defending this based on customers needs, this is all about microsoft trying to charge money for (what used to be) basic computer freedoms.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Mission creep is afoot
by avgalen on Wed 7th Feb 2018 05:53 UTC in reply to "Mission creep is afoot"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

OEMs will be required to enable it by default

this is all about microsoft trying to charge money for (what used to be) basic computer freedoms

Don't spread FUD!
OEMs will not be required to enable it by default, they will be tempted by Microsoft to enable S mode by making S mode free/cheap

I think it is ridiculous that you cannot go back from "Full" to "S mode". This makes S mode just as much a mode as boiling an egg is (and I prefer my eggs hard-boiled!)

I expected S mode to be a different pay-model, where the initial cost would be about 25 Euro lower with the expectation that MS would earn back that difference from store purchases.
Many people would be happy to continue to run in S mode and those that would need "Full mode" would have to pay more than currently again earning Microsoft more money.

This current S mode idea means that I will still stick with my previous advice.
* Install Windows
* Add several non-store-apps that you really need
* Go to Settings, Apps, Apps & features, change "Installing apps" to "Allow apps from the Store only"
* Add store-apps for everying you want
* When you find out that you need another non-store-app, just change the setting back to "Allow apps from anywhere" temporarily"

The above idea is equivalent to making yourself a regular user instead of an admin. Of course you could just leave that setting on "Warn me before installing apps from outside the Store" which is equivalent to using UAC/sudo

I realise that S mode is about more than just installing non-store-apps, but that part is the only part that I think benefits users. Well, that and the lower future prices but we will have to see about that

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Mission creep is afoot
by Alfman on Wed 7th Feb 2018 07:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Mission creep is afoot"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

avgalen,

Don't spread FUD!
OEMs will not be required to enable it by default, they will be tempted by Microsoft to enable S mode by making S mode free/cheap


So you're suggesting microsoft will bribe OEMs instead? I guess we'll see what happens.

At least the home users can elect to turn off the s-restrictions on their own devices for now, but what did I tell you last time? As restrictions are gradually phased in, they become the new normal.


This current S mode idea means that I will still stick with my previous advice.
* Install Windows
* Add several non-store-apps that you really need
* Go to Settings, Apps, Apps & features, change "Installing apps" to "Allow apps from the Store only"
* Add store-apps for everying you want
* When you find out that you need another non-store-app, just change the setting back to "Allow apps from anywhere" temporarily"

The above idea is equivalent to making yourself a regular user instead of an admin. Of course you could just leave that setting on "Warn me before installing apps from outside the Store" which is equivalent to using UAC/sudo


I agree, the way you want to use it is much better than "S-mode", however it isn't as useful to microsoft's agenda. Everyone agrees that security is important, but it must align with the owner's wishes, otherwise it's taking owner rights away, which is obviously what I'm against. I'm ok with security that works with us rather than against us.


I realise that S mode is about more than just installing non-store-apps, but that part is the only part that I think benefits users. Well, that and the lower future prices but we will have to see about that


It only benefits users if they aren't interested in 3rd party software, otherwise it's an impediment. Keep in mind that s-mode blocks other consumer friendly stores like steam.

Edited 2018-02-07 07:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Mission creep is afoot
by avgalen on Wed 7th Feb 2018 09:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mission creep is afoot"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

At least the home users can elect to turn off the s-restrictions on their own devices for now, but what did I tell you last time? As restrictions are gradually phased in, they become the new normal.

Last time you mentioned force and this time you mentioned force on OEMs as well. I always debate you on that part of your statement because for the most part we agree otherwise. I have no problem with gradually phasing in restrictions if they are optional or beneficial. I believe that the market (supported by the law) will make sure that such restrictions will only become the new normal if people accept them.

Currently I couldn't do what I want to do on a computer in S-mode so I use "Full mode".
My parents prefer a couple of non-store-apps but nothing more so I locked their pc down with the above procedure.
My kids should use S-mode.
1 or 2 years from now I expect that the programs my parents use will be either available through the store or that the store has good alternatives so I will move them over to S-mode.
A few years later my kids will desire to use some more programs (Lego Creator for MindStorms pops into my mind) that aren't in the store so I will switch them over to Full Mode, locked down and as a regular user of course.
And maybe in a few years I will just dock my completely managed-and-store-only-phone into some device that turns it into a terminal that I connect to my work environment with all my non-store-tools.
My point is...Options!

Just like before I would like to emphasize that S mode is not replacing anything but is an added option. More options, more choice, better for everyone.
There wasn't an S-mode for Home or Enterprise, but now there will be. I wouldn't put that on my own laptop but I would be more than happy to put it on my childrens (future) tablet/laptop, especially if that means that device will be cheaper.

The moment "Full Mode" is no longer an option I will be right there with you, kicking and screaming.
I hope all of this will go in the complete opposite direction though, with both client and server Windows SKU's (and now modes) going away entirely and instead we will get a "basic" package similar to Home-in-S-mode with "option packages" that you pay for (because Microsoft isn't a charity)
* Old fashioned domain
* Hyper-V
* WebServer
* RDS
* Server Roles
* IE/Edge
* XPS/PDF

Off-Topic: I would not consider giving OEMs an extra choice for a cheaper (but limited) version of Windows a bribe, but I looked up a definition and it does fit!
Bribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior that the recipient would otherwise not alter

This definition also means that if 1 liter of milk is 1 Euro, 2 liter of milk should be 2 Euro to avoid being called bribery. I wouldn't buy the bigger packaging in most situations, but if the price would be lowered to 1.5 and I would buy now I have apparently been bribed

Edited 2018-02-07 09:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Mission creep is afoot
by darknexus on Wed 7th Feb 2018 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Mission creep is afoot"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The moment "Full Mode" is no longer an option I will be right there with you, kicking and screaming.

Wonderful. Too bad it'll be too late by then.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Mission creep is afoot
by avgalen on Wed 7th Feb 2018 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Mission creep is afoot"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

" The moment "Full Mode" is no longer an option I will be right there with you, kicking and screaming.

Wonderful. Too bad it'll be too late by then.
"
It is going to be a long time from now when that will happen. Almost all products that Microsoft sells still require "Full Mode". If their own products don't require full mode anymore we might have actually reached a point where "S mode" has all the benefits and none of the negatives and should be the only mode.
Let me put it this way:
The moment I can run the entirety of Visual Studio (including compiling/debugging/android emulators/etc) from S Mode there might not be a reason for full mode to exist anymore

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Mission creep is afoot
by Alfman on Wed 7th Feb 2018 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Mission creep is afoot"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

avgalen,

It is going to be a long time from now when that will happen. Almost all products that Microsoft sells still require "Full Mode". If their own products don't require full mode anymore we might have actually reached a point where "S mode" has all the benefits and none of the negatives and should be the only mode.
Let me put it this way:
The moment I can run the entirety of Visual Studio (including compiling/debugging/android emulators/etc) from S Mode there might not be a reason for full mode to exist anymore


Firstly, vendors can and do make exceptions for themselves because they don't want to live under the same restrictions they are imposing on others. However you're also missing something fundamental, the fact that a developer might always have additional machine access (ie buying a specialized developer model, or paying for a developer key, etc) in no way mitigates the loss of rights for regular owners. Owners should always have the right to install 3rd party stores, browsers, search engines, etc. Of course whether they use it or not is up to them, but it should be their right. It's just not good enough if only a few privileged owners have access.



If somebody makes a RedHat clone tomorrow that can only be configured to always accept all Alpha updates from all channels I wouldn't see a use for that personally but there is no reason for me to combat that distro. Maybe there is a group of cutting edge developers/testers that would love such a distro.


Your example is subject to the GPL, which explicitly gives owners and 3rd parties the right to take everything and modify it to their hearts content.

Honestly if windows 10 s was offered under the same conditions as this hypothetical example, then there wouldn't be anywhere near the controversy over owner rights because any deficiencies could be rectified by the community.

Edited 2018-02-07 18:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Mission creep is afoot
by avgalen on Thu 8th Feb 2018 13:27 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Mission creep is afoot"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Owners should always have the right to install 3rd party stores, browsers, search engines, etc.

If I buy a cheaper cable plan I get less/different channels. I shouldn't buy a cheap 5 GB internet plan if I want to binge-watch 4K Netflix.
Every products has built in limitations in the way you are allowed to use it and it is the seller that gets to set these limitations. If you don't like these limitations, don't buy the product. The manufacturer isn't required to produce a product that you like or want to buy. Nobody* can force Microsoft, or Google, or Apple, or RedHat, or Ubuntu to allow 3rd party stores, browsers, search engines, etc.

So you have to be more precise about what you own. If you buy a computer with a license for Windows 10 Home S (for 500) instead of a computer with a license for Windows 10 Home (for 525) you shouldn't expect the same rights. The computer is the same, but the software is different.
You and I agree that we should have the right to install another OS on that computer. But there isn't an obligation for anyone to make that other OS. So if there isn't another OS available to run on that computer we are just out of luck**
Of course we got used to having all these possibilities in Windows so we consider them as a right, but they aren't rights that automatically transfer to other products like 10 S, or iProducts, or ChromeBooks. I have purchased Windows 10 "for the lifetime of the device", which will be anywhere between 5 and 10 years under normal circumstances. During that time I should expect that I can sideload (3rd party store), install Chrome and configure Edge to use google.com just like I can now. I should also expect Visual Studio 2017 to run on it. But it is up to Microsoft to decide that they will only offer Visual Studio 2020 in an Azure virtual and it will be up to me to use that product or not.

Long story short: If you want to have the right to install 3rd party stores, don't buy a machine with Windows 10 S. If enough people ignore Windows 10 S it will either be adjusted to suite more people or cancelled entirely (like Windows RT). And if the opposite happens and Windows 10 S suits most people they might cancel the current "full mode" or make it "developer only" or "more expensive" which would suck for the remaining people (like you and me) that would either have to swallow that pill, remain on the older version or switch to another product that does suite our purpose.

I would personally love for Windows to become Open Source, GPL-ed and completely moddable by the community but that isn't going to happen as long as it is worth more to Microsoft to keep it closed source. And as I said above, nobody can force them to make or sell I product that you want to buy

* I am purposefully ignoring monopoly laws in this discussion.
** I am purposefully ignoring the option to build your own OS

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Mission creep is afoot
by Alfman on Wed 7th Feb 2018 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Mission creep is afoot"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

avgalen,

Last time you mentioned force and this time you mentioned force on OEMs as well. I always debate you on that part of your statement because for the most part we agree otherwise. I have no problem with gradually phasing in restrictions if they are optional or beneficial. I believe that the market (supported by the law) will make sure that such restrictions will only become the new normal if people accept them.


Ideally yes, but the fault with this is that it assumes the market is competitive, and unfortunately it isn't. When one party has too much power, it can result in changes gaining "acceptance" through force & coercion rather than customer demand. I don't like it one bit but the fact is coercion is a very effective business strategy for monopolies and oligopolies.


Currently I couldn't do what I want to do on a computer in S-mode so I use "Full mode".
...
My point is...Options!


As is mine, that's why I keep focusing on the importance of owner rights and combating coercive practices that hurt competition.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Mission creep is afoot
by avgalen on Wed 7th Feb 2018 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Mission creep is afoot"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

As is mine, that's why I keep focusing on the importance of owner rights and combating coercive practices that hurt competition.

Great, please keep doing so. But this article is about extra options that won't impact your rights and only seem to offer benefits (lower price, a simpler and thus more secure system) for those that can live with the limitations.

If somebody makes a RedHat clone tomorrow that can only be configured to always accept all Alpha updates from all channels I wouldn't see a use for that personally but there is no reason for me to combat that distro. Maybe there is a group of cutting edge developers/testers that would love such a distro.
If that distro becomes very popular it would be because people like using it. If that distro dies out because nobody uses it anymore that is possible as well. And if all other distro's suddenly stop being available and only this one is left, well there isn't much I could do about that. Apparently my needs are not worth the distro-makers time. I could still continue to use the current distro I have running and there is no obligation for anyone to keep making an OS the way I like it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Mission creep is afoot
by Dr.Cyber on Wed 7th Feb 2018 16:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Mission creep is afoot"
Dr.Cyber Member since:
2017-06-17

I have no problem with gradually phasing in restrictions if they are optional or beneficial. I believe that the market (supported by the law) will make sure that such restrictions will only become the new normal if people accept them.


The problem for most people is that instead of the the peoples wishes shaping the market the market will shape the peoples wishes. This is how industry has worked for a long time and why harmful things as smoking became popular.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Mission creep is afoot
by darknexus on Wed 7th Feb 2018 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Mission creep is afoot"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You have the right of it but give a bad, and I mean really bad, example. Smoking in one form or another has been popular long before modern industry and the market forces that came with it. The best example I can think of off the top of my head is the media industry. I'll gladly stand in a room full of smokers before I subject myself to that brain-killing stuff they come out with.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[6]: Mission creep is afoot
by Dr.Cyber on Thu 8th Feb 2018 09:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Mission creep is afoot"
RE[2]: Mission creep is afoot
by zima on Sun 11th Feb 2018 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Mission creep is afoot"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

* Install Windows
* Add several non-store-apps that you really need
* Go to Settings, Apps, Apps & features, change "Installing apps" to "Allow apps from the Store only"
* Add store-apps for everying you want
* When you find out that you need another non-store-app, just change the setting back to "Allow apps from anywhere" temporarily"

You haven't said the last time if this blocks auto-updaters integrated with non-store-apps... ;) (most notably, browsers)

Reply Score: 2

Security Wise...
by dionicio on Wed 7th Feb 2018 05:03 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

"Upgrading" to Pro is, Errr, Unwise. You should be able to come back. But only as a clean Reinstall ;)

You should be a Windows "Pro" to take this route, or be able to stake time from a "Pro".

Resources Expensive. See no reason other than Market not fully understanding the "S" deal, before commiting the buy. Looks transitory.

Cheap and Pro doesn't go along. The NON-TECHNICAL Issue has to be resolved, to keep the bulk of the low market competing with Android/Chrome.

Edited 2018-02-07 05:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
by shotsman on Wed 7th Feb 2018 06:54 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

and the pig is still there.

I can't help but think that MS is playing the part of Nero while Rome (i.e. the PC Marketplace) burns around him.

Proudly windows free for 18months!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
by The123king on Wed 7th Feb 2018 11:13 UTC in reply to "Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

Proudly windows free for 18months!


Come back in a few years and we may be marginally impressed

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
by Dr.Cyber on Wed 7th Feb 2018 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'"
Dr.Cyber Member since:
2017-06-17

"Proudly windows free for 18months!


Come back in a few years and we may be marginally impressed
"
I won't be impressed at all. Not counting booting newly bought laptops into Windows shortly before replacing Windows with Linux, I think I have been Windows free for >2 years now. And the sole reason it is not much longer is due to the fact that I used to use Windows at my work.

Linux works fine for me. Downgrading and upgrading is completely free for me and there are no forced policy restrictions. It is nice to actually own my own computer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
by shotsman on Wed 7th Feb 2018 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

I've been a fan of Linux since I got Slackware 1.1 on Floppy Disc free with a computer mag a long time ago. I've also been a Unix user since around 1986.
I'm Windows free because I'm exactly that. I've ditched Windows for good and TBH, good riddance to it although writing software for it provided a pretty decent living for me for the last 20 years.
Windows 10 was the final straw that broke the camels back for me. I'll never go back to it.

Reply Score: 1

Time
by computrius on Wed 7th Feb 2018 14:00 UTC
computrius
Member since:
2006-03-26

Dont worry. It wont be long until you wont need to be able to enable Windows S. When it becomes the normal version and you have to pay an extra subscription to install software outside of the app store and access the command line, etc..

Reply Score: 0

RE: Time
by dionicio on Wed 7th Feb 2018 16:03 UTC in reply to "Time"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

:D

Well, It is a very good idea, actually -Computers falling back to the free version on caducating the high maintenance, loosely controlled, desktop version.

[Your "Pro" profile going into hibernation].

Still usable junk, give it to poor, or pay renewal -which should go logarithmically lower, as you become senior client, by the way.

A caducated machine have already paid original duty. Should allow UEFI install of Open Software, for poor, for students.

Edited 2018-02-07 16:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1