Windows 10 S Review: Faster, Simpler — and Incredibly Painful To Use

Windows 10 S is the latest version of Microsoft's new and improved operating system, which is about to launch with the new Surface Laptop and a series of machines from third-party manufactures.

It joins Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro as the three versions of Windows aimed at consumers. However, confusingly it is not an upgrade to either, but a class of Windows in and of itself.

What Is It?

Strictly speaking Windows 10 S is Windows 10 Pro but with some limitations that are designed to, in Microsoft's words, "be streamlined for simplicity, security and speed." In other words Windows 10 S is meant to be more secure, faster and have longer battery life, like-for-like on the same computer.

The biggest limitation is that it is restricted to using only apps downloaded from the Windows Store, of which there are about 700,000 available. The quantity is not the issue, but the quality is: the Windows Store is full of dross, from outdated and abandoned apps, to clones and useless junk -- but the situation is improving almost monthly.

How Do I Get It?

You can't buy Windows 10 S without a machine: it will only come on new computers -- primarily those aimed at the lower-end or the education market, aside from the Surface Laptop.

If I Don't Like It Can I Change It?

Users can upgrade from 10 S to Windows 10 Pro with a few button presses, as Windows 10 S is built on Windows 10 Pro. For many the upgrade will be free for a limited amount of time. Surface Laptop users can upgrade to 10 Pro for free until the end of 2017 -- or face a fee.

What's It Like To Use?

If Windows 10 S is to be known by only one thing, that thing...

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