Google Chrome has become so good that when it comes to affordable, quality laptops, it’s a better buy than a cheap Windows device. So Microsoft needs a lightweight OS to compete, and it’s really hoping that the education-focused The next Microsoft’s OS is here called windows 10S.
Windows 10S is Microsoft’s new lightweight operating system. It’s meant to be cheaper and less processor intensive than Windows 10 Home or Pro, the versions of the OS found on most laptops and desktops today.
Microsoft has yet to reveal what Windows 10 S stands for, but ‘Speed’ would be as good a choice as any. Windows 10 S will boot in just 15 seconds. It is built on the same core as Windows 10 but is more lightweight, running on lesser hardware configurations which allows for both the purchase of very cheap PCs (more later) but also installation on older hardware to bring it back to life.
Microsoft is really aiming this at the education market, and its goal with Windows 10 S is to have a wide range of PC partners creating devices that run this new variant of Windows 10. Devices will start at $189 this summer, and all machines will ship with a free subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition. Windows 10 S will also be free for all schools that are currently running Windows 10 Pro PCs, and include free Office 365 education with Microsoft Teams.
Can I play games on Windows 10S?
Yes and no. You can play any game that can be installed from the Windows Store, which includes both mobile games and AAA games – mainly from Microsoft’s game studios – such as Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4, plus Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
You will not be able install Valve’s Steam store, EA’s Origin, Blizzard’s Battlenet or any game distributed on disc or download from outside the Windows Store, however, which will severely limit the selection of games available for Windows 10 S.
When can I get it?
One of the first PCs to ship with Windows 10 S installed will be the new Microsoft Surface Laptop, which will ship to customers in the US on 15 June. Windows 10 S will see wider availability this summer.
How does it compare to Google’s Chromebooks?
Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s answer to the success of Google’s Chromebooks in the education sector. Chromebooks are affordable laptops that run Google’s Chrome OS, which is an operating system built around the search company’s Chrome browser and is limited to web apps and some Android apps.
Windows 10 S, while aimed at the same market, is a fully-fledged version of Windows that is limited to apps from the Windows Store, but can accept and use any peripherals or other devices that any other Windows computer can. That should make Windows 10 S much more capable than Chrome OS, but it remains to be seen how well Windows 10 S runs on the cheapest of machines – something at which Chrome OS excels.