Introducing Microsoft Windows 10 S

By | December 17, 2017

Windows 10 S is the newest edition to the Windows 10 family. It is Microsoft’s answer to ChromeOS; it is a stripped-down version of Windows 10 Pro targeted at the Education sectors.

For those of us who got stuck with Windows 10 on a budget laptop, knows exactly why an Operating System like this is necessary. Windows 10 runs well on mid-ranged and high-end laptops, but not everyone have the funds for a mid-range laptop, and more so a high-end one. Microsoft created Windows 10 S to run on budget hardware and fill the obvious gap in the market.

What is Windows 10 S?

Windows 10 S is a stripped-down version of Windows 10 that runs smoothly on entry-level or budget hardware. Streamlined for simplicity, security and speed. It will boot 15 seconds faster than a comparable PC running Windows 10 Pro with the same apps installed. Also, according to Microsoft; it will not slow down over time. However, only time can prove this theory.

Windows 10 S Software Support

The biggest difference between Windows 10 S and other versions of Windows 10 is that only applications downloaded from the Windows Store can run on it. Because it runs in a sandboxed environment, it is not possible to run all applications; only apps made for the Windows 10 ecosystem.

If your favourite app is not available from the Windows Store there is no way, for now, to install it. This seem like an unnecessary limitation, but this is the reason Windows 10 S is faster and more secure than other Windows 10 versions. For Example, unwanted programs, like malware are impossible to install and there are no bulky Desktop programs slowing down your laptop.

I’m sure most developers will follow suit and port their apps to the Universal Windows platform and make it available on the Windows Store. Thinking about it now, Rizonesoft will also need to start developing compatible Universal Windows applications.

Windows 10 S Hardware Support

As far as I understand, you are not allowed to install Windows 10 S willy-nilly on any laptop. However, it is exclusively available to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Microsoft announced that they already partnered with seven major OEMs. The starting price for the Windows 10 S laptop is as low as $189.

Printers work well, but because of the program limitation, advanced tools and printer management programs might. Moreover, it is unclear how it will handle drivers.

Windows 10 S Compared to Windows 10 Home and Pro

Below is a comparison chart between Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home.

Configuration & features* Windows 10 S Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Pro
Non-Windows Store applications X X
Domain Join on premise X
Azure AD domain join X X
Windows Store Apps X X X
Default browser hardened to Microsoft Edge X Configurable Configurable
Windows Update for Business X X
Windows Store for Business X X
Mobile Device Management (MDM) X Limited X
Bitlocker X X
Enterprise state roaming with Azure AD X X
Shared PC Configuration X X
Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer search default: Bing and designated regional search providers X Configurable Configurable
Switch to Windows 10 Pro (through Windows Store) X X


In short, Windows 10 S is a stripped-down version of Windows 10 Pro. However, for enhanced security and performance it exclusively supports apps from the Windows Store. Furthermore, Microsoft Edge is the default browser. Read more about it here.

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