MICROSOFT HAS confirmed rumours that its stripped-down UI will now be a 'mode' rather than a separate operating system.
Talk of Windows 10 'S Mode' has been floating about for a few weeks, but this was the first time that it has been acknowledged as a ‘mode', which will roll out next year.
As is often the case, Microsoft Head of Hair, Joe Belfiore made the confirmation on Twitter.
We use Win10S as an option for schools or businesses that want the 'low-hassle'/ guaranteed performance version. Next year 10S will be a "mode" of existing versions, not a distinct version. SO … I think it's totally fine/good that it's not mentioned.— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) March 7, 2018
It positions (or perhaps repositions, we'll probably never know, Team Microsoft are totes skills at failing to admit when they are wrong) Windows 10 S as a 'simpler' interface designed for optional low hassle, rather than an ‘alternative' operating system for indoctrination of children.
Windows 10 S will only use App Store UWP packages and will use it as a walled garden for Windows 10, aimed primarily at the Chromebook market, that is to say, budget-conscious consumers and the education sector.
There's some confusion over how users who receive 'S Mode' will be able to unlock it and how much it will cost - with rumours ranging from Free to $49, but no firm acknowledgement of this has been made by Microsoft.
There's also no clear indication of how Microsoft plans to advertise ‘S Mode' to ensure that people aren't being offered hidden fees out of the box.
It is a spiritual successor to Windows RT, which was locked down in a similar way as a UWP (the called Windows Metro) interface for the original Surface devices, which allowed it to run on an ARM chip.
Today, ARM is running what is billed as a full Windows 10, but with a whole range of caveats. µ
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