With the announcement of the Surface Laptop, Microsoft also announced Windows 10 S. But what is it?

Windows 10 S is designed to be a streamlined version of the Windows 10 operating system (OS) and has been marketed towards usage in education settings as well as by the general user. The Surface Laptop itself is not cheap, if you purchase the entry level Surface Laptop, you will be paying $999. However, Windows 10 S will be the default OS on many new computers starting at $189. Microsoft boasts that Windows 10 S is “streamlined for security and superior performance.”

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But what do Microsoft mean by streamlined? Well, the striped back version of Windows 10 only allows you to use apps that are available on the Windows Store. At the moment this is a very limited selection, however Microsoft will be bringing the whole Office suite to the store and Spotify has also committed to providing their streaming service. However, Microsoft will likely have to tempt companies like Google and Apple to bring over their programs (that many would consider to be essentials) Chrome and iTunes.

That being said, with Windows 10 S you will be stuck with Microsoft Edge as your default browser even if Google brings Chrome across and this will not be a changeable setting.

Only allowing users to download apps that are available on the Windows Store may not be to everyone’s taste, but it does add to the security of Windows 10 S. Only allowing the user to install apps from the Windows Store should help prevent the accidental install of any malware.

Due to Windows 10 S being stripped back, it will not require any amazing hardware to run smoothly and you will be able to install it on a machine via USB with preconfigured options which is a big time saver. Microsoft also claims that Windows 10 S will only take 15 seconds to boot.

Windows 10 S’ restrictions mean that it will not be for everyone but when you look at Microsoft’s primary target market, it is something that could be very useful. Microsoft just needs to hope that companies start moving their apps to the Windows Store.