Windows 10s – Yes, No, Maybe?

InformationSoftware May 21, 2017

This month, Microsoft unveiled its latest foray in to the desktop marketplace.

Is it a bird? No. Is it a plane? No. Is it Windows RT reborn? Well kinda, it’s Windows 10s.

Windows 10s is the newest version of the Windows 10 family of products, aligned to lower end / budget hardware with an emphasis to targeting the education sector.

Some also believe that it’s Microsoft answer to Chrome OS,1however I prefer to think of it as Microsoft’s way at further locking down their flagship OS for the better.

Apple have long been recognised as a vendor that wont except compromise or half baked measures when it comes to content available to their portable operating system iOS. As a result of these controls, their “i family” products can only install applications from the App Store deemed  secure and certified, Microsoft have have steered down the same path with their Windows 10s OS – Win Win I say. That is, if they follow the same logic and principles being application controls and delivery.

Already there are over 700,000 UWP (Universal Windows Platform) applications available in the Windows Store, developers creating one app that can work on any Windows 10 device, Xbox One console, and HoloLens headset.  Windows 10s will see the use of these UWP apps as its core application delivery and operating platform – Yep that’s right…. If it’s not in the Windows Store, then it’s not going on your Windows 10s device. News of a fully featured UWP Office app on the way will be the last hurdle Microsoft needs to jump to bring Windows 10s to mainstream. 2

Educators and administrators alike should be very excited about this due to the streamline installation options for roll-out. Customised configurations can be stored on a USB Key to be used by integrators at startup to totally pre-configure devices to be used in that school or organisation.

So Whats The Difference?

On the Surface (pun intended) there’s very little difference. At the core, well that’s where 10s is well kinda great – Built from the Windows 10 Pro platform – not Home.
However like Windows 10, Microsoft govern quite a few settings as non changeable or very inflexible. Is this “Hot or Not” ? You decide.

What’s Hot;

  • Low Cost
  • The operating system boots in record time – Under 15 seconds
  • Better overall performance – Due to the cut down core and device options
  • Significant increase in battery life – Up to 14 hours on the new Surface Laptop
  • Azure Active Directory
  • Mobile Device Management
  • Windows Update for Business
  • Bit Locker Encryption
  • Increased security by using Windows Store apps only

What’s Not;

  • No standard desktop applications
  • Microsoft Edge Only – Until such time as Google or Mozilla repackage their browsers for the Windows Store
  • Microsoft Bing Only – Yep no other search engines available (Unless you browse google.com.au)
  • Programs relying on third party plugins and apps will need to be certified thru the Windows Store

Something to keep in mind, is if you do go down the Windows 10s road and you discover that its not what you hoped or need to run those desktop or line of business applications then there is a Windows anytime upgrade path to Pro for a small fee of course. We hope that if you do have a qualifying serial number then you should also be able to use that in the upgrade process.

Let’s all see where this goes from here, TDF should have their hands on Windows 10s soon and will no doubt be putting it thru its paces first hand.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-s

Citations

  1. https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/2/15506378/microsoft-windows-10-s-os-operating-system-announced-features
  2. https://venturebeat.com/2016/03/30/hey-microsoft-how-many-apps-are-in-the-windows-store/

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