1. GreaseMonkey255's Avatar
    Okay, so we have the release of Windows 10 S. Pros and cons aside, there is only one question that matters: who would buy it? This question resolves in a showdown of hardware vs. software in an effort for the hardware to be worth supplementing with the software. Find yourself in a fancy grammatical twist? Good. Let's start.

    The Hardware:

    Okay, what's under the hood? Right now, the most notable example is the Surface laptop. According to the specifications, it's got either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, a 13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 touch display, Gorilla Glass (mind the banana), 4, 8, or 16GB RAM configurations, 128, 256, or 512 GB SSD configurations, integrated graphics, a 45WH battery, and a price tag that could add up to almost $2200 for the most powerful configurations. On a personal note, the chassis of this laptop is almost as stiff as a board, so you would be expecting great build quality. The hardware in this laptop is probably comparable to the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1's hardware in terms of specs.

    So who does this hardware appeal to? Definitely the ultraportable consumer market, including families with kids, students both grade school and college, businesses in need of portable cash registers (you've most likely seen this approach in Microsoft stores), etc.

    Who would the hardware most likely not appeal to? Definitely the tech savvy market. I know that people like me who like the option of taking apart the computer, customizing or fixing it wouldn't be too thrilled. Media enthusiasts, who work in multiple monitor situations constantly wouldn't be too thrilled, since the surface laptop only has 1 mini-display port. Anyone who does not need a touch screen would probably not go for this laptop. The gaming enthusiasts wouldn't approve, since there is no dedicated graphics card option. The same goes for people requiring mobile workstation processing power.

    Who does the price tag appeal to? Businesses, mostly. College students? Probably not. Most college students that I've seen have older, less bleeding edge laptops like Surface Pro 3's, ASUS, Acer, HP, and various older gaming laptops. Schools, probably, if they could find it in their budget to cough up enough cash.

    Who would the price tag not appeal to? Well, anyone who can't afford it. The base $999 price tag is a little steep for the size and specs. This laptop is comparable to the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 in both price and quality.

    The Software:

    If you take away the pricing, the hardware by itself is pretty solid. But hardware without software is just junk. So, let's take a look at the functionality of Windows 10 S. The one distinct feature of this version of Windows is that it only allows store apps to be installed and run. This is the opposite feature of the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB (Long-Term Servicing Branch) version where Windows store apps were removed. This can be an advantage and a takeaway at the same time.

    Microsoft claims that this feature provides more security in the OS. That claim is both valid and invalid, depending on what kind of user runs the computer. If an educated, cautious user uses the OS, then yes, it would be more secure since the user would always be aware of what they are installing and the fact that there is only one installation repository reinforces that notion. If an uneducated or un-cautious user uses the OS, then it would be as insecure as regular Windows. There are still scamming and suspicious apps in the Windows store to this day, and Microsoft doesn't always catch them. Restricting where the apps come from does make the OS slightly more secure, but never underestimate the regretted mouse click. Also never underestimate phishing advertisements and other traps found inside apps that can infect the OS. If an OS exists, someone is making exploits for it. That's always the case.

    Take away all the duplicate apps, and you'll find that nearly all programs for the PC are Win32 apps (not 32-bit, Win32 means Desktop). This includes Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Visual Studio (for you coders out there), java (regrettably), drivers (most importantly), most games, Antivirus, etc. While people may not need Win32 apps when there is an equivalent in the Windows store, users like using the programs that they are used to.

    So, who would use Windows 10 S? Well, schools for the most part. The grade school student environment is practically made for Windows 10 S, since they want to restrict what the students can do. Businesses that write their own UWP apps for use internally would use this OS. Families who want to restrict what their young children do on their tablets would approve of the limited features.

    Who would disapprove of this OS? Well, tech savvy people (again) for not having the flexibility and customization options of regular Windows. Businesses who need the use of Win32 apps would not use this OS. Schools who need main or faculty PC's would probably not approve of the lack of flexibility in this OS. College students who use anything more than a word processor would disapprove for the same reason. Anyone who does not want to use a Microsoft account would not be happy with this OS.

    So, is this OS worth putting into a $999 computer? For businesses and school districts that can raise enough money to afford them, it is worth it. For people who want an alternative to Chromebooks, it isn't. Chromebooks are usually marketed to the low-cost consumer market. To compete with Chromebooks, Microsoft needs to lower the price of Windows 10 S ultrabooks. For people who can buy a Windows 10 Pro laptop at a lower price? Not really. But, Microsoft has offered a limited time upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 S for free until the end of this year. To make Windows 10 S a worthy investment, I would like to see that offer extended indefinitely.

    So, what are your opinions of Windows 10 S? Do you agree with my points, or do you think I should have added something more? Let's open this discussion.
    Last edited by GreaseMonkey255; 07-30-2017 at 12:35 PM.
    07-29-2017 10:15 PM
  2. Krystianpants's Avatar
    I have windows 10S on my laptop and one of the things that annoys me is that there's a Get Office app but when it tries to link it in the store it fails. So I can't even load office on it. This is a huge problem if they are selling it and haven't even gotten that part under control.

    It does run much better than when I had the laptop on windows 10 pro. It definitely seems more lightweight. They likely minimized all the shared libraries that load, drivers and services.
    iamnixster likes this.
    08-22-2017 02:34 PM
  3. iamnixster's Avatar
    Totally agree. Bring office as part of the package and I will take it!
    10-20-2017 12:14 PM

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