In a move that will probably confuse all your relatives when they try to buy a cheaper laptop and don’t understand its limitations, Microsoft has introduced a limited version of Windows to compete with Chromebooks and win back the classroom.
Chromebooks have been stealing marketshare from Windows in the classroom. They’re easier to use, easier to maintain, secure, and largely serve the limited function classroom computers are meant to perform.
Microsoft is obviously not happy about that, and their solution is Windows 10 S.
Windows 10 S is a limited, walled garden version of Windows that only allows the user to install applications from Microsoft’s own store, but provides some of the simplicity and low prices that have made Chromebooks attractive. The other features that has made Chromebooks attractive: security and performance, are also present on Windows 10 S.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has decided to call it Windows 10 S, which sounds more like a new version of Windows 10, than it does like a limited version of Windows 10.
The relative good news is that Microsoft realizes this and will allow a paid, non-reversible upgrade from Windows 10 S to real Windows 10 if the user does make a mistake a buys a limited computer expecting a fully fledged one.
To go along with its new, limited operating system, Microsoft introduced a $999 laptop. The Surface Laptop features a Core i7 processor, up to 16GB RAM and up to 512GB SSD, a 13.5″ touch screen, and it comes in several different colors.
While the computer itself seems portable and comfortable, $999 for a computer running a limited version of Windows is not an easy sell. It is, however, the equivalent of some of the expensive Pixel Chromebooks, and several manufacturers will be making less expensive Windows 10 S machines.