Back in May 2017, Microsoft announced a new version of the Windows 10 operating system called “Windows 10 S”. The Windows 10 S operating system was Microsoft’s contender against the Chrome OS from Google.
The Windows 10 S was simplified in comparison to other Windows 10 versions and this was done to make the OS compatible with lower-end hardware, like for educational purposes.
The Windows 10 S was able to support any connected devices and peripherals just like any other version of Windows. However, apps for desktop versions of Windows would not run on Windows 10 S, instead, these applications should have been packaged and then enrolled in the Windows Store for Windows 10 S powered devices.
The laptops powered by Windows 10 S were expected to follow soon with prices starting at $185.
However, it now seems like Microsoft is dropping the idea of a standalone Windows 10 S and will instead add a new “S Mode” feature to the Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise editions.
This was first discovered during the first Bug Bash for the future update for Windows 10 which appeared with the codename “Redstone 4”. In this Bug Bash, chosen insiders were given chances to provide feedback and complete certain quests, all based on future features that will be incorporated into Windows 10.
One of the quests for the Bug Bash was to convert PC running Windows 10 Home, Enterprise, Pro editions to S Mode for the respective versions.
The S Mode will restrict access to all the desktop versions of applications installed on the system and will then only be able to run apps downloaded from the Windows Store.
It is also said that S Mode can be disabled for free on systems running Windows 10 Home. However, a fee will be charged on systems running the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows in order to disable the S Mode.
What it means for interested customers is that instead of buying Windows devices with a dedicated Windows 10 S operating system, you will now be offered with Windows 10 Home, Pro or Enterprise versions with the S Mode enabled if you wish for it. And at a later point of time, if you choose to go back to the standard Windows 10 version that comes on your device, you can then disable the S Mode by paying Microsoft a fee depending on which Windows 10 version your system runs.