In order to give manufacturers and schools the option to lock down their Windows machines, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 S will make the shift from a full fledged OS to a mode available in all versions of Windows 10. "Starting with the next update to Windows 10, coming soon, customers can choose to buy a new Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled, and commercial customers will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled". The company and its partners will instead ship future PCs with "Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro with S Mode enabled".
Last September, Microsoft extended the deadline to upgrade from Windows 10 S to regular Windows 10 by three months, with the new deadline being March 31, 2018. Released to Insiders yesterday, the latest preview version of Windows 10 also fixes a number of existing bugs that cause the operating system to load incorrectly or crash.
Some of you may have seen a discussion around our plans for Windows 10 S on Twitter today, and given some additional questions I've received, I thought it might be helpful to share more about our plans with Windows 10 S.
This new approach is vastly different from Microsoft's original strategy. Windows 10 S now prohibits the installation of applications except for those from Microsoft's Sears-esque Windows Store. It is expected to debut alongside the Redstone 4 update in April.
Windows 10 Version 1507 and Version 1511 are now at "end of service".
The switch to any version of Windows 10 out of S Mode will be free of cost. One of the largest gaps in app store coverage is the lack of choices for internet browsers; Windows 10 S users are pretty much stuck with the Edge browser bundled with the OS. Despite introduction on the expensive Surface Laptop shown above, Windows 10 S has primarily been found on low-priced machines for the education sector. Windows 10 version 1607 and version 1703 are not yet at "end of service".