Is Windows 10 S A Re-Do Of The Windows RT Cock-Up?

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Is Windows 10 S A Re-Do Of The Windows RT Cock-Up?

Earlier today, Microsoft announced a new Windows PC. Unlike the previous members of the Surface family, the Surface Laptop doesn’t have a detachable keyboard. And it also lacks Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. Instead, it ships with a cutback version of Windows dubbed Windows 10 S. That means a Surface laptop will be limited to only running apps available through the Windows Store and not desktop apps. What makes this confusing is that an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro is free – for a limited time at least.

When the original Surface was released, users had the choice of a heavier, more powerful and more expensive Surface device or the Surface RT, which ran a limited version of Windows 8. Where it differs from Windows 10 S is that Windows RT was made to run on 32-Bit ARM processors whereas Windows 10 S plays nice on the Intel CPUs that power the vast majority of the computers businesses use.

It’s clear Microsoft is undergoing a transformation. Slowly but surely, they are moving away from a software company that dabbled in hardware into a more vertically integrated business that delivers the whole widget. In a sense, they are a little like Apple except that they license their operating system software.

The Surface Laptop seems to be aimed directly at potential Chromebook and entry-level MacBook Air and MacBook Pro markets. That’s a sweet spot for education users. I can see this as being the kind of device my kids would use for high school and university. It’s inexpensive at US$999, offers decent specs with a Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory and 128GB SSD, and comes in a different colours. It supports the Surface Pen on the 13.5” PixelSense display running at 2256 x 1504.

For Australian buyers, there’s no word yet on offical price and availability – just a bunch of “Coming Soon” tags on the Surface Laptop website. And search for a perfect computer for when I travel. It’s a fine piece of hardware and shows Microsoft can design and build great hardware. But it’s time for them to make life easier and simply release one edition of Windows.

Windows 10 S might not be an error of Windows RT proportions but there’s seems little point to artificially differentiating a product and creating confusion for users.

Comments

  • Hey Anthony, it’s not a cock-up, but a cock-down. I expected more from the “Laptop” – sad we didn’t get it.

  • I really hope they aren’t trying to build a walled garden like Apple’s, that would suck balls!

    • Apple does this with iOS yes, but their laptops are still completely open with use of app store an option or regular program installs.

  • > But it’s time for them to make life easier and simply release one edition of Windows.

    Lol- that’s never going to happen. At the most, we will always see at least a personal and enterprise version of Windows. Microsoft’s profits come from enterprise licensing. It’s how they managed to basically give away Windows 10 for free.

    Apple has a completely different business model in that regard compared to Microsoft.

    What does annoy me is Microsoft’s insistance on breaking down the personal editions to S, Home, Pro. Oh, and we already have Education. Do you need S or do you need Education? Yeah, that’s frustrating.

    It’s Windows RT all over again. It’s gonna flop.

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