A top Microsoft exec confirms that it's killing the newest version of Windows 10 — but that's not the whole story
Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Joe Belfiore confirmed this week on Twitter that the company is indeed discontinuing Windows 10 S— the latest version of its flagship operating system, released in mid-2017. On Wednesday, he posted a blog entry elaborating on his comments.
The blog entry confirms earlier reporting by Microsoft blogger Brad Sams, indicating that all versions of Windows 10 would be getting an "S Mode," optionally giving users the same benefits, but also the same tradeoffs, as Windows 10 S.
"Starting with the next update to Windows 10, coming soon, customers can choose to buy a new Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled, and commercial customers will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled," Belfiore writes in the blog.
The big idea with Windows 10 S is that it brings higher performance and better battery life to any PC. The tradeoff, however, is that it only lets you install apps from the built-in Microsoft Store. That means no Google Chrome, Steam, or any other app you'd grab from the internet. It was intended to power low-cost, high-security laptops for education, as a maneuver to chip away at the dominance of Google's Chromebooks in American classrooms.
So "S Mode" would let you toggle those features on and off, for better or for worse. This has precedent: The existing version of Windows 10 S lets you switch over to the more traditional Windows 10 Pro, in a painless process that takes mere minutes. Indeed, "S Mode" has been available to Windows 10 business users since late 2017.