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Microsoft takes on Chrome OS with Windows S, announces Surface Laptop

By Jos ยท 33 replies
May 2, 2017
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  1. Microsoft has launched a new, stripped down version of Windows that aims to take on Google and Apple in the education market. Dubbed Windows S, it’s meant to be cheaper and less resource intensive than Windows 10 Home or Pro by having fewer programs running in the background, while being easier to manage and secure since you can only install apps from Microsoft's Windows Store.

    The latter might come as a disappointment seeing as the lack of traditional desktop software is arguably one of the main reasons Windows RT — a lightweight, mobile-friendly variant of Windows 8 — failed. Then again the Windows Store has gotten better since, and Microsoft is specifically aiming this at managed environments like the education market, where Chrome OS is thriving with similar limitations.

    Windows 10 S runs on the full range of Windows 10 hardware, including high-end models like the Surface Book, although it is primarily intended for use with inexpensive, low-end hardware.

    Microsoft says Windows 10 S will take around 15 seconds to be ready for a student to login and use for the first time. Meanwhile, administrators will be able to setup machines using a USB drive with preconfigured options — Windows 10 S will simply detect the key and customize all the settings accordingly.

    Windows S will be available in a number of inexpensive laptops from major computer manufacturers including Dell, HP, and Acer starting at just $189. All machines will ship with a free subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition, and schools will also get free Office 365 education with Microsoft Teams.

    Microsoft Surface Laptop

    To get things rolling Microsoft Microsoft its launching its own laptop preloaded with Windows S. The new Surface Laptop, however, is aimed the higher-ed crowd with a starting price of $999, and going all the way up to $2,199 if you factor in all the available hardware upgrades.

    The Surface Laptop weighs only 2.76 pounds and is 1.47 cm thick. Available for pre-order today, the laptop will start shipping June 15. It will sport a 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504 resolution multi touch display, a seventh-generation i5 or i7 Intel Kaby Lake processor, up to 512 GB of solid state storage, up to 16GB RAM, 14.5 hours of battery life, one USB 3.0 port (no USB-C, surprisingly), and a mini DisplayPort.

    Luckily, if you feel all that hardware is being underused with Windows S, Microsoft also offers a $49 upgrade from Windows 10 S to the full Windows 10 Pro.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Microsoft really took Apple's old pricing strategy to heart for that thing - its got 4GB of ram in the base $1k model, has no remotely decent collection of ports, and comes complete with a limited OS.

    The only nice think you can say about windows S is that its less awful than windows RT because there are actually apps on the windows store now. Regardless its still awful, and youd thought theyd have learned.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    "Microsoft takes on Chrome OS with Windows S, announces Surface Laptop".
    I seem to remember them trying something like this a while back with some abortive Windows RT thing and tapped out 10 minutes later. What makes them think things will be different this time around?
    ForgottenLegion, bmw95 and EClyde like this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,150   +3,573

    "Less Awful" .... sounds like a new marketing strategy!
  5. Bryan1223

    Bryan1223 TS Member Posts: 61   +10

    For about $190? I'll have to look at the specs and technical facts of this b4 I decide to buy one
  6. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,758   +1,149

    No, not limited, a less resource hungry OS.

    And if you look the version mentioned here, it comes with a full hd on an odd ratio 13" screen, and the base model will come with an i5. To me, the price for the "base" model doesn't sound bad.
    Dare2Blink and Bryan1223 like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +775

    Meh... probably a waste of effort.
    ForgottenLegion and MoeJoe like this.
  8. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    its just as limited as it is less resouce hungry.

    You can get an XPS 13, an inspiron 13 7000, an x360, etc for better specs than this or cheaper than this. And based on the problems ive had with my surface 3, metal build =/= better build.
    Maybe if they wanted to use less resources, they could off telemetry and 20 other questionably useful windows services instead of the ability to install non-store apps.
  9. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 257   +156

    As long as the S doesn't stand for the infamous 4 letter word, that's fine.
    Perhaps it's an inside joke at M$ :LOL:
    MoeJoe likes this.
  10. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 617   +231

    So you can only install apps from the windows store? so no installing exes or anything?

    didnt we already have a failed OS that tried that called RT.

    so why would I or anyone want a OS that is no better than a ipad or android tablet.
    ForgottenLegion likes this.
  11. Sum Guy

    Sum Guy TS Booster Posts: 62   +16

    Windows RT reloaded.... The issue with this is being only able to use Windows store apps. The same reason Windows phone and the Rt surface died. Doubt this will end well, but weirder things have happened.
    ForgottenLegion and BSim500 like this.
  12. Ben Myers

    Ben Myers TS Enthusiast Posts: 74   +22

    In Microsoft's lame attempt to take on Apple/OS X and whatever Chomebook, they neglect the fact that Apple provides full-featured hardware (albeit limited) and access to all software for its educational users. This puts Microsoft at an immediate competitive disadvantage. How can the Redmond borg overcome this?
  13. Ben, the Redmond Borg don't care. They are just like the Wal-Borg. It's not all about today's competition. Their goal is to assimilate us and make us part of them. It's us that they want. Resistance is futile.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    IMHO, the "S" likely stands for "Subscription Windows", which is bound to follow this Tinkertoy OS. The "apps only available at the Windows store is" the giveaway, or as I'm going to name it, "Nadella's Tell".

    So, this is the M$ sociopathic CEO's next step in closing the Windows system to independent developers, and turning Windows users into "iSheep Clones".

    Now all of you repeat after me, "who cares about the telemetry, M$ only has my best interest at heart". :eek:
    BSim500 likes this.
  15. turismozilla

    turismozilla TS Addict Posts: 174   +55

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, I thought Windows 10 would be their last Windows ever.
  16. lazer

    lazer TS Addict Posts: 233   +54

    After reading all of the comments:

    and I thought I was one of a minority that thinks M$ is crap, I see that I am in the majority!
  17. Humza

    Humza TechSpot Staff Posts: 205   +136

    Should've been called the Microsoft Surface to Air missile, geddit?
  18. GirlDownunder

    GirlDownunder TS Booster Posts: 103   +32

    Wow, what a hideous "idea". Another over-priced piece of yuck. I guess MS figures, "we like the idea & maybe it'll fly this time around"?? Gads, it appears they want to try for a "cult of MS".....good luck with that.

    I'd sooner run or force a light-weight Linux to a Chromebook or et al.... I can't believe how really bad Win 10 is. I help people set up & run Windows & every time I get home, I just thank the gods I don't run that awful OS! From poor/fuzzy displays (and this, on "made for 10" laptops!) to updates breaking things, bad drivers from OEM's, to "leading" the unknowing to create a MS account (when they don't need one), to ALL possible services running causing a sluggish NEW machine, to their "tracking & phoning home" which cannot be turned off, there's just nothing left to like, let alone love. Win 7, you were the last decent MS OS. RIP.
  19. iABDOzz Mustafa

    iABDOzz Mustafa TS Rookie

    You Have The Option to update it to pro for free if u are Student or for 50 bucks
  20. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411


    I don't think the Windows S laptop is meant to be sold to consumers - it sounds like it's meant to be sold to schools. See this part ....
    key word being 'Administrators' This isn't meant for you... it's meant for your kids' school.
  21. Bryan1223

    Bryan1223 TS Member Posts: 61   +10

    I highly doubt this will happen cuz the BOE has had Windows 7 Professional on their laptops and desktops since Windows 7 Pro was was released which was many years ago. At least that's what I remember them having and from what I hear that's what they STILL have today.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Then the situation is far worse than we've made it out to be thus far. M$ will be tracking your children's internet habits, buying patterns, while foisting their proprietary software off on them, "from the cradle to the grave"! LITERALLY!:eek:

    (Obviously, the parents Windows 10 computer will serve as the child's proxy, until such time as he or she has been weaned).
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  23. R3DL1N3

    R3DL1N3 TS Rookie

    Wait you mean just like Google right?
    anyone that thinks that google is any better should ask themselves one simple question.. how exactly do they give all their software away for free yet still manage to bring in billions per quarter..
    That's right you're the product.
    iABDOzz Mustafa likes this.
  24. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,843   +1,351

    Let's take the best feature of our OS and throw it out the window. Let's also put it an underpowered laptop and charge premium for it. That would be a good idea.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Where in God's name, in my post you're quoting, did it say one blessed thing about Google being any better?

    From where I'm sitting, it appears this new piece of s*** CEO running M$, is steering them right into the predatory crap fest that is Apple and Google.

    After all, since Nadella has adopted all of Apple's tactics, you might say, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".

    OTOH, one might say, "if you don't have a business strategy of your own, Apple's is as good as anyone's to steal".
    Last edited: May 4, 2017

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