Microsft has changed its approach to Windows 10 S. When the OS first launched, it was meant to be a separate version of Windows 10 that offered a secure, lightweight experience to users at the expense of not being as flexible as a traditional Windows OS. Thurrott is reporting that Microsoft is rebranding the feature as Windows 10 S mode, which will be available on all versions of Windows.
Home and Education versions of Windows 10 S will allow users to freely upgrade to the standard versions of Windows 10. Users of the Pro version of Windows 10 S will have to pay $50 to upgrade to the standard version of Windows 10 Pro.
Microsoft also revealed some data regarding the popularity of Windows 10 S. On third-party devices, Microsoft reports that 60 percent of users chose to remain on Windows 10 S rather than upgrading to the standard version of Windows. The company also reported that those customers who do upgrade tend to so quickly. Sixty percent of users who do upgrade do so within the first 24 hours of owning their computer. If they haven’t made the change within a week’s time, Microsoft says that 83 percent of users never upgrade.
One important thing to remember is that these stats only take third-party devices into account. Many of the devices which ship with Windows 10 S pre-installed are low-end devices meant to compete with Chromebooks. The only high-end device that ships with Windows 10 S is the Surface Laptop, which was not included in Microsoft’s report.
In addition to the rebranding, Microsoft is making one interesting change to S mode. The company has announced that S mode will feature support for AV/Security applications. It is unclear if this means that AV will be creating a specific application for Windows 10 S mode or if Microsoft is allowing traditional AV applications to run in S mode. If it is the latter, then that would appear to signal a major change in how S operates, given that it originally only allowed apps from the Windows Store.
As of the time of this writing, AV software is not available in the Windows Store so hopefully, Microsoft will provide some clarification soon.
For more information on the Surface Book, check out our review.