Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is the first system to run Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of the company’s flagship operating system designed with low-end hardware in mind. However, anyone that picked up the laptop was given the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro free of charge for a limited time and they are being given a three-month extension.
Originally, Surface Laptop owners had until the end of 2017 to take advantage of the offer of a free Windows 10 Pro upgrade. Now, the promotion will run until March 31, 2018, at which point it will cost $49 to apply the upgrade, according to a report from On MSFT.
The biggest difference between Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro is the latter’s capacity to run fully fledged Win32 apps, rather than just having access to content from the Windows Store. It is fair to say that the Pro version is essential if you want to use the Surface Laptop as you would a standard PC.
However, there are distinct advantages to running Windows 10 S, in certain circumstances. It is more efficient, so if Windows Store apps are all you need, it might be worth opting for better performance and improved battery life. It also offers enhanced security, which is a major selling point for schools and businesses.
All this being said, it would perhaps be wise for Surface Laptop owners who are on the fence to upgrade their system and take it for a test drive. Microsoft released a tool that allows for the process to be reserved, so it’s no trouble at all the revert back to Windows 10 S if you try out the Pro version and find that it’s not for you.
Microsoft also announced that the Surface Laptop is making its way to 20 more countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.K.
The fact that the company is offering users the chance to upgrade from Windows 10 S for free should not suggest a lack of confidence in the OS variant — it os just designed for a very specific portion of its audience. Windows 10 S is intended to compete with Chrome OS, whereas the Pro version is more of a catch-all, so it makes sense for early adopters of the Surface Laptop to be given the chance to choose between the two options.