MICROSOFT IS ditching plans for its stripped-down operating system Windows 10 S.
The company had originally planned to release the pared-down edition aimed at the education market as a competitor to Chrome OS, which has proved wildly successful in the sector. We didn't like it.
Now, the company has confirmed that it will instead offer an "S Mode" on standard versions of Windows 10 instead, locking the machine down to a walled garden of apps from the Microsoft Store, and blocking traditional Win32 programs. And, of course, restricting you to using bloody Edge browser.
As Neowin points out, Windows 10 S was always a locked down version of Windows 10 Pro anyway, but the new development came to light during a Bugbash held over the weekend in which testing of the lockdown process was held for Home.
This came as a bit of a surprise, as only Enterprise and Pro had been previously scoped. But what seems really odd is that, given that Microsoft soon switched tactics and brought full version Windows to the Surface range, they still think an S Mode can work.
It seems that, according to Thurrott, those who buy an S Mode enabled machine tend to stick with it - if they haven't unlocked in the first week, 83 per cent never do.
Of course, for some, this is all nothing new anyway. Early ARM-based versions of the Surface used Windows RT, which is quite similar to Windows 10 in S Mode.
All the intelligence we have so far suggests that whereas up to now, unlocking to Enterprise has been free of charge, it will go up to $49. However, unlocking to the Home edition will be free of charge.
Although the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) has seen some impressive growth in recent years, for hardcore users, not being able to run existing software will be a non-starter, and there are still some alarming gaps in terms of core apps available, not helped by the failure of Windows Mobile. µ
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