What is Windows 10 S | FAQ about Windows 10 in S Mode

Microsoft finally took the wraps off its much-awaited Windows 10 S at an event in New York. The Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s answer to the ChromeOS – and its a light OS targeted at the Education sectors.

Microsoft had earlier tried baking in Windows 10 with the budget laptop, and this didn’t go well. Windows 10 as an operating system runs well on mid specced or high-end laptops. However, Microsoft has finally decided to weed out the limitations of the Windows 10 and it’s for this reason that Windows 10 S was conceived. In this segment lets take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Windows 10 S and answer the same with clarity,

Windows 10 S

What is Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is a lighter version of Windows 10 which runs apps in a sandboxed environment; this means that it is more secure and handles the performance requirements in a much better way. It is designed for superior performance, Microsoft–verified security, Microsoft Store and Microsoft Edge only support.

Does Windows 10 S support all software

Nearly all the developers ready their apps for the Windows ecosystem, and we have been sideloading apps on Windows for more nearly two decades. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to running the .exe files on our Windows system. However, the since the Windows 10 S runs in the Sandboxed environment all of this is not possible. One needs to head over to the Windows Store to install any app, and if your favorite app is not there in the Windows Store, there is nothing much you can do about it.

That being said we are sure that third party developers will soon follow suit and port their apps to the universal windows app and make it available on the Windows Store. With this Microsoft has not only increased the security of the system but they have also ensured that unwanted programs are impossible to install.

Read: How to switch out of Windows 10 S mode.

Does Windows 10 S support all Hardware

Before answering this question, lets make one thing clear as of now it seems that Microsoft is not allowing users to install Windows 10 S on any laptops and instead compulsorily bundling it with OEMs. At the event, Microsoft has announced that they have tied up with seven major OEM’s and the starting price point for the Windows 10 S laptop will be as low as $189.

Now other peripherals like the printers are expected to work well but if you are looking out to install advanced tools for the printer management that might not yet be possible. Also, we are still unsure on how Microsoft is handling the drivers part.

Read: Best Windows 10 S laptops you can buy.

Can Windows 10 S join a Domain

Yes, you can join through the Azure Active directory. That being said the Windows 10 S is being bundled with some admin tools that will help the admin install the OS on several PC’s in a jiffy by using a pen drive. In a nutshell, the deployment is very straight forward and easy. Also, updates can be managed via the Windows update for business.

Read: How to download & install Windows 10 S on any PC.

Can Windows 10 S be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro

Here is a comparison chart of the features of Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home.

windows 10 s featuresMicrosoft lets you upgrade to the Windows 10 Pro by paying $49. However one cannot roll back to Windows 10 S post the upgrade. Also, educators will have a special option wherein they can unlock Windows 10 Pro to install an application.

Windows 10 S has many of the features of Windows 10 Pro, but for security and performance it exclusively runs apps from the Windows Store and uses Microsoft Edge as its default browser. Read the details on Microsoft.

Some of you might want to take a look at the list of Accessories and Hardware compatible with Windows 10 S.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Jamie Lee

    Does not answer the most basic question: How do you obtain Windows 10 S? Where to buy a license?! How to install it?

  2. Caleb

    I don’t think you can buy it, as of date. It will come pre-installed.

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