Today Microsoft didn’t only announce the Surface Laptop, but also Windows 10 S, the lighter version of Windows 10, that’s able to run on lower end hardware. It’s obviously a rival for Chrome OS, meant to run on laptops as cheap as $189.
This doesn’t come out of nowhere, as the platform leaked a bunch of times, so we knew what to expect. Windows 10 S is basically Windows 10, but in a version that only runs apps from the Windows Store. This means there’s no running x86 applications, unless they’re packaged and introduced in the Store. This is an education-focused release, going by the idea that students shouldn’t be supposed to mess with .EXE files at school.
The OS supports peripherals and devices like regular Win 10. The login process on Windows 10 S is said to be pretty snappy, taking around 15 seconds for a machine to be ready for a student to login and use for the first time. That’s much faster than it’s happening on Windows 10 Pro right now. Another feature is the ability to set up devices using an USB drive with preconfigured options.
Windows 10 S just detects the key and customizes all settings for a school. The first devices with this platform come this summer, for $189 and ship with a free subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition. Windows 10 S also goes for free to schools that are using Windows 10 Pro PCs. The full version of Office is ready for the Windows Store meanwhile, in time for this release.
Mixed reality is also supported and overall this all sounds like a pretty good Chrome OS rival.