Microsoft confirmed yesterday that it plans to turn Windows 10 S to a special “S Mode” in the regular version of the Windows 10 operating system. The news may have been confusing to many, which is why the company has given a more detailed explanation.
Last year, Microsoft launched Windows 10 S, a new version of the Windows 10 operating system that’s designed specifically for schools and businesses. It was a more restricted version of Windows 10 that only allowed apps from the Windows Store to be installed. This is also the reason why Windows 10 S computers are more secure and are able to deliver consistent performance.
“Since that time, we’ve received great feedback from customers and partners on Windows 10 S,” Windows corporate vice president Joe Belfiore said in a blog post. “Based on that feedback, we are simplifying the experience for our customers. 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.”
It remains unclear how turning Windows 10 S into a “mode” will alleviate customers’ confusion. The Verge speculates that Microsoft might simply make the unlock process of the new “S Mode” more obvious so that customers will know immediately what version of the operating system they’re running.
Previous rumors suggested that Windows 10 Home users will be able to disable S Mode free of charge, while users of Windows 10 Pro with S Mode would have to cough up $49 to get the full version of Windows 10. These rumors turned out to be false as Belfiore confirmed in his blog post.
“We expect the majority of customers to enjoy the benefits of Windows 10 in S mode. If a customer does want to switch out of S mode, they will be able to do so at no charge, regardless of edition,” Belfiore said. “We expect to see new Windows 10 devices ship with S mode, available from our partners in the coming months, so check back here for updates.”
This new approach is vastly different from Microsoft’s original strategy. Previously, if users wanted to switch from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro, they would have to pay $49, as pointed out by ZDNet.