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  • The future of Windows is spelled with an “S”ssssssssss

    Posted on February 4th, 2018 at 06:09 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Windows 10 S becomes Windows 10 Pro in S Mode becomes Windows 10 whatever in S Mode. Which you can turn in to Windows 10 Whatever by spending money (for Windows 10 Pro S to Pro conversion) or just being bright enough to run the right program.

    Confused? Hah. You ain’t seen the half of it yet.

    That’s the future of Windows, according to documents Paul Thurrott has seen, and shared with Brad Sams. To get the whole story, you need to subscribe to his site — which I’ve recommended many times before — then look at Microsoft Plots a Transition Year for Windows 10, and then A Welcome Emphasis on Consumers in New Windows Strategy.

    I won’t spill any beans, but Mary Jo has a good free overview on ZDNet:. She says that starting April 1 — apparently with the next version of Windows 10, version 1803, which doesn’t have an official “Win10 for Creative Creators Spring Followon to the Fall Update Update” name yet:

    Microsoft will be expanding its current low-end Windows 10 Home edition into three different variants: Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Home in S Mode and Windows 10 Home Advanced

    It seems… that Windows 10 Home Advanced is to Windows 10 Home the same way Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is to Windows 10 Pro — something that will only work on higher-end hardware and might include a new feature or two

    As best anyone can tell, Windows 10 whatever in S Mode only runs Universal Windows Platform apps. Which means Win10 f(x) S in all its magnificent variants doesn’t run Windows programs. Stop me if this sounds like the Windows RT/Metro disaster all over again.

    That’s the future of Windows. But, as Brad Sams discusses on (not paywalled), that ain’t all. We’re also going to get Win10 Entry, Win10 Value, Win10 Core, Win10 Core+ and Win10 Advanced.

    It looks to me like the distinctions there are pricing points for companies that make PCs. I doubt that they represent different feature sets. But, hey, I could be wrong.

    Microsoft is indicating that there will be a $49 charge for Pro S users to switch to the full version of Windows 10 Pro. So, for those users hoping that the upgrade would be free forever, it looks like that will not be the case according to the documents I was able to view.

    For device configuration in 2018, the company is pushing its partners to set Edge as the default browser, installing the LinkedIn UWP app, pre-install Office, and limiting app pinning to 1 legacy win 32 app on the desktop, 1 legacy app on the taskbar and for the Start menu, 25% Win32/75% Microsoft Store.

    Let’s hear it, once again, for Windows PCs that don’t run Windows programs.

    By the way… Paul lists some, literally, “incredible” conversion rate numbers, including

    60 percent of [those who have a new PC with Windows 10 S] stay on Windows 10 S. Only 40 percent upgrade to Pro.

    Although the conversion from Win10 S (er, Windows 10 Pro running in S Mode) to Win10 Pro is free, right now. No doubt Microsoft will swear by those figures, but my guess is that they’re highly skewed by the (few!) Win 10S machines bought by schools or organizations and locked down, so students can’t switch them to Pro.