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

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
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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.

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