MicrosoftAi??hasAi??confirmed that the fledgeling Windows 10 S will be ditched in favour of an ‘S Mode’ for all editions of Windows.
Yesterday, Microsoft head of hair Joe Belfiore confirmed on Twitter that the separation between 10 and 10 S would be removed, and has now gone on record on the Microsoft blog to explain.
Belfiore admitted that there was confusion over the functionality and purpose of Windows 10 S and that because Microsoft is all about the user feedback, the decision has been taken to offer Windows 10 as an optional mode instead.
What this means in real terms is that if you buy a laptop with S Mode enabled, you are buying one with a full version of Windows available.
Belfiore confirms that if you choose to unlock your copy (that is to say, allowing Win32 programs, not just UWP apps) you’ll be able to do so free of charge – regardless of whether its Home, Professional or Enterprise.
Part of the point of Windows 10 S was to create a rival to Chromebooks – that is to say a cut-down copy of Windows for low power machines and the education market.
If Windows S is now a full version of Windows, then logically, either the price difference between a Windows S machine and a Windows 10 machine will become negligible, or there will be an almighty loophole involving buying a cheap machine and requesting a free unlock.
“We hope this new approach will simplify and make it possible for more customers to start using Windows in S mode: a familiar, productive Windows experience that is streamlined for security and performance across all our editions,” says Belfiore.
Well, uh yes, it answers a lot of questions and raises about a bazillion more. Like, what’s the point of S Mode at all? We already know from Windows RT and to a lesser extent Windows 8 with Bing, that there’s not much to be gained.
That said, studies suggest that relatively few people bother unlocking, so Microsoft can continue to subtly train the next generation on tile-based Windows.