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Microsoft kills off Windows S as a stand-alone product, replaces it with 'S Mode'

By midian182 · 22 replies
Feb 4, 2018
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  1. It was back in May last year when Microsoft announced Windows S—a stripped down version of its operating system—as it attempted to take on Google’s Chrome OS in the education market. But the company is now dropping Windows S as a stand-alone product. In its place will be the new “S Mode” for Windows 10 Home, Pro, and Enterprise.

    Windows 10 S, which appears on devices such as the Surface Laptop, is only able to run UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps from the Windows Store. Microsoft claims this improves both performance and security, but it’s a feature not everyone appreciates.

    Now, Neowin and Paul Thurrott report that Microsoft is changing tactics when it comes to Windows S. The OS is being killed off as a specific SKU; instead, an S Mode is being offered for all major versions of Windows.

    For those who find the limitations of S Mode too restricting, the option to upgrade to the full version of Windows will still be available, though the price varies depending on the version. Moving from Windows 10 Home S to regular Windows Home will be free, but Pro S users who want to switch to the full version of Windows 10 Pro will have to pay $49 for the privilege. There will be Pro S commercial versions for Value, Entry, and Small Tablet models, but not Core+ and Workstations.

    Microsoft also said there would be antivirus apps available in S Mode, which, as Thurrott notes, traditionally run as legacy .exe versions.

    60 percent of Windows S users stay with the OS, but 60 percent of those that switch to the full version of Windows do so within 24 hours of buying a device. Additionally, those that don’t move to Windows 10 within seven days are 83 percent likely to keep Windows S. It’s worth noting that these figures are only for third-party devices and don’t include the Surface Laptop.

    No word on when Microsoft will put out an official statement, but it could arrive alongside the company’s changes to partner pricing sometime between April and May.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,617   +1,829

    Well that didnt take long.

    this is why people dont trust MS, how are we supposed to invest anything in them when they keep changing their minds and killing off products?
    MirekFe, lazer, 5W33J1N and 2 others like this.
  3. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 637   +411

    Agreed. WinPhones for example were actually amazing, I still have one that I use for the camera and as a Walkman/car media player. But they instill no confidence in future devices, despite how excellent they were initially. So now I'm stuck with the Android slOperating system. Thanks for nothin', Microsoft.
    JamesSWD likes this.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,818   +1,182

    Mmm I like the idea of a stripped down OS for low resource computers, but I don't think that is quite it.
  5. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    like google never killed anything? ;)
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,180   +3,788

    Or ya know, Microsoft could actually give students a break and let them have windows 10 for Free.
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,584   +5,140

    If I was Microsoft and did allow students to get Windows 10 for free, this is how I would have it setup. I'd make it so that activation would required the machine to update (or at least phone home for rearming activation) every three months through a schools registered IP. The same IP for which the license was issued. And if the school is not registered then no deal. That way the machine would deactivate, once it is no longer associated with any registered schools.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,180   +3,788

    Not every student logs in through the school's IP though. Only the school machines and people who dorm. Why not just take your idea but remove the IP requirement and replace it with an .edu email address requirement? This is what Microsoft currently does for their education discount. Only students and teachers for a school are given these addresses.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,584   +5,140

    For a free license, I don't think that is too much to ask. One minute in three months is nothing. Certainly allot less than Microsoft updating everyone automatically whether they want it or not.
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,180   +3,788

    That really depends. For some students, especially online learners, it is too much to ask. That's also assuming there's a manual "refresh my license" button. Otherwise you will have to hope that Microsoft phones home in that one minute specifically for that purpose. It sounds good on paper but it seems like unnecessary frustration to prevent students from abusing the system. Just like video games, DRM only serves to treat legitimate customers like criminals and places unnecessary restrictions on end users.

    How about this, why not simply make a basic version of windows free but it's ad supported? Ads would be placed in the start menu, lock screen, and even perhaps in the settings menu. Wherever they can do non-instrusive ads.
  11. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 637   +411

    Whoa there, Socialists. Why on Earth would anyone give students anything for free? Why do they deserve free software, and what makes paying students entitled to not pay for something like the rest of us?

    Hogwash. They should pay more, since they're generally *****s and will be more of a support burden than professionals are.
  12. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,667   +325

    Why do you need to invest anything? I'm a Windows user, been one for a many years, and I never invested anything in Microsoft. I buy a PC with Windows, it works well enough, and that's it. If buying a laptop with Windows S would make sense to me, I'd buy it. If it won't, I'll buy something else.
  13. Germany, no-fee for students regardless of where they are from
    Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, no student fees
    Czech Republic as well, and it is only an article on Europe that I found.
    What do these people know that we don't? That having people of any income that can enter and complete university adds more to their society than limiting access to the wealthy or those willing to accept $50,000-$100,000 of debt upon graduation (those willing are dropping, the level of debt is simply too much, they lose, we lose).
    Evernessince likes this.
  14. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 551   +299

    When I was in grad school (5 years ago) the bookstore sold very affordable windows and office licenses ($10 for office ~$25 for windows).

    Now my company offers the Home Use Program and still sells office licenses for $10.

    Since these are genuine Microsoft products I think they already are giving students a break.
  15. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 637   +411

    So you're not aware of what these words mean? Try dictionary.com or perhaps just Google them. Economics isn't that difficult.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,180   +3,788

    Can't tell if serious or just teasing. I'd like to point out that every society is socialist to some degree. The word "socialist" was derived from the word society for peat's sake.

    A society is nothing more than a grouping of people who decided to pool their resources together for their mutual benefit. Socialism is the same thing, only it refers to the system employed and not the society as a whole.

    America itself it pretty socialist. Public education, Fire & Police service, Public assistance, Government subsidies, and even the copyright system are all examples of socialism.

    Of course no one employs a fully socialist system just like no one uses a fully capitalist system as either would quickly collapse.

    Here's a little tidbit

    "This is all redistribution of wealth. Cynics will say that it is “taking away” from those who have wealth and “giving it away” to those who don’t. This implies that every wealthy person achieved their richness only through themselves and their effort… which is not defensible in any society. Any self-made billionaire happens in society, they take advantage of laws, of public services (utilities, police, roads, the protection of the military, workers, suppliers, distributors, points of sale, customers, etc.) and of the general well-being of the community to develop their wealth. Go to a deserted island by yourself and you cannot become wealthy, and if you find a lot of gold there, it’s completely useless, it is as if you had a pile of dung… wealth is a social event. So it’s only reasonable to ask them to share with the rest of society a part of what they have obtained as a benefit from that same society."
    senketsu likes this.
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,115   +1,593

    Some will remember AOL mailing out floppies with an email client - - slick marketing method to build a clientele imo. Other than the movie "You've Got Mail", AOL never blossomed into anything meaningful.
  18. Thanks for the warning. I'll be avoiding this.
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,584   +5,140

    I'm surprised MS Office hasn't been killed off. That's about the only thing Microsoft that hasn't killed off, other than the OS.
  20. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,667   +325

    I'm familiar with the words, just not sure what meaning you imply for them. Can you quote the intended meaning from the dictionary? Buying and using something doesn't fall under the usual meaning of 'invest'. I don't invest in a meal for lunch or invest in a new shirt to wear. I certainly don't invest in the clothing company when I buy a shirt. That goes against the usual meaning, which is to pay money in order to get a return. Similarly I don't invest in Microsoft by buying Windows and using it.
    mailpup likes this.
  21. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,422   +635

    People often seem to misuse the word invest. As you say, they will say invest when they mean buy something or simply spend money.
  22. MaBee MaBee

    MaBee MaBee TS Rookie

    Why can't they just give us the full windows version instead of the S Mode if it has the limitations? Microsoft is eating us out of our pockets.
  23. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 405   +216

    They just cannot accept these two facts:

    1) The reason people use Windows is its compatibility with an incredibly large ecosystem of applications. If you remove these things, people don't want Windows!!! They will just use Android or OSX.

    2) People refuse to pay a ton of money for an OS when they have free alternatives. MS just needs to accept that they can't charge $100 for their OS anymore.

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