What You Need to Know About
Windows 10 S

What’s New in Windows 10 S?

Microsoft presented Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop – designed especially for the education sector – on 3 May in New York. The software giant also took the opportunity to roll out some added goodies for Microsoft Intune, which these products support. The update will be available from summer 2017.  We take a closer look  at the new version of the operating system.

Windows 10 S: Designed to Conquer the Schools Market

As a simplified version of Windows 10, Windows 10 S is designed especially for the education sector, as well as for PC vendors and interested users. Google leads the field with its Chromebooks, particularly in the highly competitive education market in America. Microsoft is keen to establish the new version and its associated hardware as a genuine alternative, as some Google Chromebooks are priced significantly below a classic Windows notebook. What’s more, Windows S is designed to fundamentally simplify the provision of soft/hardware and administration in this sector. That’s why the upgrades to the cloud-based management tool Intune were presented as well.

Pros and Cons of Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is designed around the Windows 10 Pro version, although much of it is significantly different. The following table shows which features are available, and which are not.

Configuration and Features Windows 10 S Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Pro
Applications not available in the Windows Store yes yes
Join a local domain yes
Join an Azure AD domain yes yes
Windows Store Apps (including Win32 Centennial Apps) yes yes yes
Standard browser defined as Microsoft Edge yes Configurable Configurable
Windows Update for Business yes yes
Windows Store for Business yes yes
Management of mobile devices (MDM) yes Restricted yes
BitLocker yes yes
Roaming for companies with Azure AD yes yes
Shared PC configuration yes yes

Source: Microsoft

One of the biggest restrictions here is that exclusively Windows Store applications can be installed. Some readers may be familiar with this from Windows RT. But Windows S differs very significantly from the RT version in this respect, also because it supports x86 processors, unlike just the ARM processors that RT accepts.

Windows 10 S and Office 365

Since the sales launch of Microsoft Surface Laptops with Windows 10 S pre-installed Office 365 is also available in the Windows Store. This version of Office 365 is a preview that can only be installed by users of Windows 10 S Surface Laptops.

Users of a Surface Laptop with Windows 10 S installed receive the Personal version for a year free of charge during the preview phase of Office 365.

Which Office 365 plans are available for Windows 10 S?

  • Office 365 Personal
  • Office 365 Home
  • Office 365 Education Plus
  • Office 365 Education E5

Store-Apps are not available for Office 365 Business and volume license customers. Microsoft recommends these customers to upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro in order to be able to install the Business version of Office 365 afterwards.

Which Office 365 Apps are available at the moment?

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote (Version Universal Platform)
  • Outlook*
  • Access*
  • Publisher*

*not available during the preview of Office 365 Education plans

The Office 365 Store Apps mentioned above are restricted in their scope of functions that is why they do not correspond to the Office 365 Desktop Version.

For further information have a look at the FAQs.

Windows 10 S: Current information at a glance

Microsoft has put together additional information in an FAQ section and on its website.

Would You Like Some advice About the Microsoft Toolbox?

Do you have additional questions, or would you like advice on what Microsoft offers you? Visit our User Productivity page, where you will find all the relevant information. You are welcome to contact us as well. We will be glad to help.

Discover User Productivity
  • Monday 10 July 2017

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