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When I upgraded from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro, Windows informed me it was “preparing to switch,” rebooted once, than completed some final preparations before it launched Windows 10 Pro. The upgrade isn't super expensive either. Another thing to consider: Don’t think that apps like Avast Antivirus Download Center, Kaspersky Now, or McAfee Central—all apps that appear in the Store when you search for “antivirus”—represent actual antivirus programs. Windows recommends that you save and close all your files and apps before you begin the process. The resemblance is not an accident: In fact, as we were writing this review, Asus let us know that a version of its Chromebook C202 would be released in September as the W202NA, a Windows 10 S-powered machine. Piercings, tattoos, dating the drummer, beer, a joint: all tried-and-true ways for today’s youth to rebel against their parents. Programs such as most of Adobe's Creative Cloud suite, Chrome, Firefox, XSplit, and many more. But as our review shows, the lack of freedom chafes. Windows 10 S is a new edition of Windows 10 that looks, and for the most part feels exactly like any other edition of Windows 10. Let’s Begin Microsoft’s Windows 10 S Mode Review. The only limitation on Windows 10 S is that you can't install the same apps from outside the Store. A new Windows 10 optional update, which is now rolling out to users, finally resolves problems with the in-place upgrade. But Windows 10 S isn't just for schools and the education market. Now, you can add another to that list: upgrading Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro. All told, the process took nine minutes. But is it better than Windows 10? Laptops with AMD's new Ryzen 5000 Mobile CPUs are on their way, and you might be wondering which chip is best suited to your needs. Windows 10 S is vastly, epically more secure than traditional Windows. That's all Chrome OS is, a glorified web browser. You’re dependent upon Windows Defender’s built-in firewall and antivirus—both competent, but probably not as secure as a third-party solution. There's a common misconception with this new edition of Windows 10. Silly little utilities that you may have tucked away in a folder simply won’t work. Windows 10 S can still run your traditional Windows apps and programs, as long as they're available in the Windows Store. PCWorld |. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission. The so-called Out of the Box Experience is identical, with Cortana walking you though setup. Microsoft's next big Windows 10 feature update is almost here, packing several notable changes and enhancements. But, Windows 10 S is slightly different in one major way. Machines running Windows 10 S are easier for administrators to set up and manage, according to Microsoft -- which can also be beneficial for small business owners. If you’re comfortable working within the Windows 10 environment, Windows 10 S really is almost virtually identical to Windows 10. PROS: The restriction on installing and downloading at times becomes an added benefit, lowering the risk of installing any unwanted computer virus or something like that. Either way, clicking the Install button begins the process. Not that it matters, it's the same thing still) for around about a month now, so I feel I've been able to get pretty familiar with the limitations. Windows 10 is the Goldilocks version of Microsoft's venerable PC operating system -- … It's for lightweight devices where the user spends most of their time in a web browser. But even the most dutiful parent will wonder why their child can’t use Chrome to beam YouTube videos to a Chromecast, print on some local printers, or protect their PC with anything other than Windows Defender. The Windows 10 S is locked to Microsoft internet browsing app, the Edge. Windows 10 S isn't for that, so why would I put it there? Any driver or third-party application that contains scripts or executable files will be blocked by Windows 10 S, Microsoft's support documentation reveals. Surface Pro 7 deal! Some parents will undoubtedly support removing the potential distraction of say, Overwatch, from their child’s PC. This is most beneficial, especially for the target audience that Microsoft is aiming Windows 10 S devices at. Remote support solutions like LogMeIn123 also require the user to download an executable before a remote technician can log in and help you solve an issue with your PC, so this solution’s out, too. That’s the nature of the Windows cycle: bad version, then a good version. Microsoft’s Windows 10 S is what happens when a once-easygoing operating system has kids and turns into a helicopter parent. A larger issue, in my mind, is that Windows 10 S forces you to use Microsoft’s Edge browser. It won’t allow you to join the machine to a business or corporate network, though. As Microsoft revealed in August, the low-cost Windows 10 S laptops won’t ship until at least September, possibly missing the back-to-school window for the 2017 school year. The process was pretty easy, though Microsoft says that you’ll need a USB stick of at least 16GB in size. Just like how you can buy cheap or expensive Chromebooks, you'll also be able to go out and buy cheap or expensive Windows 10 S machines as well. The latest Microsoft Windows 10 S reviews, news, buying guides and in-depth features from Stuff. A number of Office apps are available under Windows 10 S, which appear to have the same functionality as they do under Office 365. I noticed no differences between Office 365 and the Windows 10 S versions of the apps. Sign up now to get the latest news, deals & more from Windows Central! Neither difference is especially significant. Remember, Windows 10 S is for people who like Chromebooks. If you really, really want to, you can go ahead and upgrade yourself to Windows 10 Pro, unlocking the ability to run programs from outside the Windows Store. As I've mentioned already, Windows 10 S is designed for devices like Chromebooks. Though bear in mind that the conversion only works one way – out of S Mode. Windows 10 S and its hardware are also chasing Chromebooks, the cheap clamshell notebooks powered by Google's free and manageable Chrome OS, which have taken the education market by storm. Now, you're probably wondering why we even need to 'review' or go hands-on with a new edition of Windows 10 to begin with. If you’re looking for Windows 10 Home, or even Windows 10 Pro, it’s possible to get Windows 10 … Windows 10 S tries to minimize security risks by restricting app installations to the Windows Store. We've already seen the downside of "simplicity.". It is faster. Unfortunately, the compatibility issues apply to third-party hardware, too. Windows 10 20H2 Update is a free upgrade for current Windows 10 PC owners. Otherwise, on both Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro you can use BitLocker, Windows Subsystem for Linux, and the HyperV virtual machine manager, though you may need to enable features within the Windows Features control panel. There’s always an escape hatch: a simple upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Windows 10 S is “the soul of today’s Windows”, according to Microsoft. Windows 10 S worked similarly, but it was technically a separate “edition” of Windows 10 instead of a “mode.” Most editions of Windows 10 can be placed into S Mode. As of Sept. 5, Microsoft extended the deadline to switch for free from the end of 2017 until March 31, 2018.). I would like to receive news and offers from other Future brands. It's not clear what Microsoft will charge to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro on the other, cheaper Windows 10 S hardware designed for elementary schools. That's usually the case, yes. We tested a Microsoft-supplied Surface Laptop, which comes preloaded with Windows 10 S. We will note, however, that we upgraded the Laptop to Windows 10 Pro for benchmarking. Locking your PC away from the big, bad, outside world makes sense when your children are going off to high school or college, Microsoft thinks. Windows 10 S will allow users to install only those apps found in the Windows 10 Store. We didn’t try to reproduce ZDNet's results, but take Microsoft’s claim with a grain of salt. Education is an important area for Microsoft, and with Windows 10 S (which likely stands for schools), the Redmond giant plans to take back the education industry by storm. A one-way switch out of S mode is available. You’ll be able to download the app, but when it comes time to install it, the Windows 10 S helicopter parent steps in: Sorry, no Win32 apps for you! It’s a new version of Windows intended for school PCs, but available to everyone. So Windows 10 S really isn't all that bad. For safety’s sake, Windows 10 S prohibits you from installing apps from anywhere but the Windows Store. If your son or daughter wants to really stick it to The Man, they can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro in just minutes. A concerned parent trying to minimize distractions for a child away at school might buy a machine running an OS that locked out most games. I'm what one might consider a light power user. This edition, however, has one major plot twist. Editors' note: The original Microsoft Windows 10 review, first published in July 2015, follows. 1 Windows 10 in S mode works exclusively with apps from the Microsoft Store within Windows and accessories that are compatible with Windows 10 in S mode. Then, the app will install just fine. To turn off Windows 10 S Mode, click the Start button then go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation.Select Go to the Store and click Get under the Switch out of S Mode panel. Learn more about PCWorld's Digital Editions, Conclusion: If this is Windows, kids will want a Mac, supported (and unsupported) devices on Windows 10 S. If you can use Windows 10, you can use Windows 10 S. Windows Store's app selection continually improves. We found it took about an hour’s worth of time to download and install the image. Now, admittedly there's still a plethora of programs missing from the Windows Store. The “S” … Like Windows 10 Pro, you have access to advanced features like Hyper-V even within Windows 10 S. Don't expect to enable all of these advanced features on the low-cost Windows 10 S hardware, though. Windows 10 in S mode is a mode that can be applied to a Windows edition to enable a productive Windows experience that's streamlined for security and performanace. As with Chromebooks, students can't pick up a copy of Windows 10 S and load it onto their own machine. Luckily, most people probably won't encounter Windows 10 S in their daily lives, as this new edition of Windows 10 is aimed mostly at competing with Chromebooks. What happens if you try? Windows 10 S ships with the Windows 10 Creators Update, and includes familiar Windows 10 experiences like Cortana*, Windows Hello**, Windows Ink**, Microsoft Edge, Paint 3D, and more.. (While the upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro is free on the Surface Laptop, it will cost $49 thereafter. If you try and install an app from outside the Store that's actually already available in the Store, the blocked app popup will actually link you to the Store where you can download the same app. Microsoft tries to convince you that Windows 10 S is almost Windows 10 Pro. The Windows 10 S “private catalog” feature allows a school or university to create a sort of “store within the Store” to carve out apps that a particular class might need. How to Turn Off Windows 10 S Mode. In 2017, Microsoft added a new feature to its Windows 10 operating system: S mode, a stripped-down, tightly-locked, and low-end PC friendly way to run Windows 10. If you try to download and install Google's Chrome browser, a different warning pops up, encouraging you to open Edge instead. Microsoft has finally unveiled Windows 10 S, a new edition of Windows 10 built with one specific purpose: to take on Google Chromebooks in the education market. I would like to receive mail from Future partners. Microsoft won't be forcing it onto you. That means if Google decides to put Chrome in the Windows Store, devices running Windows 10 S will be able to install it and use it. So let's talk about my usage. It simply doesn't let you. Windows 10's Built-In Mail App: Everything You Need to Know. If you're not a fan of the Chromebook idea, you're likely not going to be very interested in Windows 10 S, and that's perfectly fine. The so-called Out of the Box Experience is identical, with Cortana walking you though setup. So, instead of putting it on my machine where I expect to be using programs from outside the Store, I put it on my Surface 3 and HP Stream 11 devices instead. Senior Editor, You just get Store apps, and the familiar Windows desktop, which I think is great for a huge chunk of "average" users. And "average" users is exactly what this version of Windows 10 is targeting. That’s not necessarily true, as you can download and restore from a Windows 10 S disk image. This is excellent for devices like the Surface Laptop, a premium device, where users may want to take advantage of apps from outside the Store. Instead, we’re looking at it from the user's perspective—what it's like to use compared to full-fledged Windows. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. Ars Technica opines that despite the fact that the working device is fantastic for college kids, they could also have to be inclined to play by the restrictions of Windows 10 S. This edition, however, has one major plot twist. Windows 10 S will allow you to download an executable file from a third-party source, or transfer it onto the PC from a USB stick. Importing websites and stored passwords from platform to platform simply isn’t as convenient in Edge as it is in Chrome. Windows 10 S, a locked-down version of Windows 10 found on the Surface Laptop and a small group of low-cost, third-party notebooks, keeps students safe and secure by restricting them to the Windows Store. When I tried to connect the Surface Laptop to an older Dell all-in-one printer via a USB connection, the Laptop recognized the hardware, but wouldn’t load the driver—in other words, I couldn’t print, with no explanation why. Windows 10 S has strict protections in place. It's fast, lightweight, and secure. The underlying Windows 10 ex… But if you're someone who needs to use those kinds of programs, you're likely not going to be looking at devices that come pre-loaded with Windows 10 S to begin with. It’s designed to be more simple and streamlined, so it only runs applications from the Windows Store—unless you spend another $50 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. I've enjoyed my time with Windows 10 S on my Surface 3 and HP Stream x360. Upgrade From Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10: Free. This might not mean much, but if you had visions of saving a buck or two by connecting a business account of Office 365 to a Windows 10 S PC, it won’t work. They all work just fine on Windows 10 S. What's more, Microsoft is bringing the full version of Microsoft Office to the Windows Store too. I've installed many popular Windows programs, including Evernote, Tweeten, Slack and more. Stay tuned to Windows Central for more. When it comes time to launch it, though, Windows 10 S will block it. 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