Microsoft Announces Windows 10 S
On the side lines of the launch of its new Surface, Microsoft have launched their next take on Windows – Windows 10 S. With this launch, Microsoft are seemingly taking an old idea, repackaging it with improvements and are hoping for a better result.
Ghost of Windows RT
The old idea we’re referring to is the Windows RT. The version launched alongside Windows 8 and was so badly received that it didn’t even make it to the Windows 8.1 update cycle. The idea was to have a version of Windows locked onto to only using apps from the Windows Store. Windows RT however was more than just this. It was also specifically designed to run on ARM processors rather than Intel & AMD processors that PCs used. Thus making it a version designed specifically for tablets and lower range laptops.
The case for change
It is easy to make a case for Windows 10 S however. The strongest point of Windows at times tends to be its biggest drawback. When an OS is so popular for so long as Windows has been, the sheer number of applications available for it become humongous. We’re seeing it with Android and iOS today and these apps are the reason people choose to remain loyal to one OS. Although this has led to a near monopoly for Windows in the past, things have now slowly started to change.
With the onslaught of the smartphone, computers too started to get cheaper and now widely used for everyday activities. In most American universities, you’ll find students using laptops just to take notes. And it is in this scenario where Windows has lost the plot. With a slow and clunky OS that Windows is after decades of development, it takes just too long to get a new machine set up and no professor or student would want to waste time doing this. This is reported as the reason why Chromebooks have gained such a huge portion of the education segment. They’re fast, they’re cheap thus making them perfect for students. This became evident with the statement – Windows 10 S is Windows 10 inspired by students. This shows a clear vision of Microsoft gunning for the education sector.
Learnt from past mistakes
As we mentioned earlier, the repackaging of RT comes with improvements. Windows 10 S – though locked down to Windows store apps – is not limited to ARM hardware. In addition, a user can unlock Windows 10 S to Windows 10 pro by paying a small fee. Thus not only is Microsoft expanding the hardware reach but also giving a user the choice of getting the full Windows 10 version if they felt the need for it in the future. This in itself makes it much better than Windows RT. The option of the Pro edition of Windows 10 also makes this a lucrative purchase for students.
Although there will always be users who need more apps than those available in the Windows Store, we have reached a time where quite a few users will be comfortable without these apps. The number of apps in the Windows Store have also increased since the time of Windows RT thus making this a perfect time for a relaunch of the idea.