Microsoft releases lightweight Windows 10 S to take on ChromeOS

Lynne Hanson
May 15, 2017

Microsoft held a media event in New York City today focused on a new version of Windows, a new laptop line, and how it all relates to education. Then again the Windows Store has gotten better since, and Microsoft is specifically aiming this at managed environments like the education market, where Chrome OS is thriving with similar limitations.

The base model is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, backed by a 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal memory.

The new Surface laptop recently presented by Microsoft, which is expected to be released in mid-June.

What separates Windows 10 S from Windows 10 OS is the fact that it offers support only for Universal Windows Platform apps from the Windows Store.

While its $999-and-up Surface Laptop targets college students, Microsoft has also partnered with other manufacturers, such as Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba to produce a variety of lower-price Windows 10 S devices for schools that start at $189. The Windows 10 S seems to be Microsoft's direct dig at Google's Chromebooks as well as Apple's Macbook Air.

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Although users are yet to experience the actual battery performance of the all-new device, Microsoft has assured that its flagship laptop is specifically created to outlast any version of MacBook available in the market today. As the device runs Windows 10 S, the only apps available will be from the Windows Store unless you opt to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Four color options include Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue, and Graphite Gold. The company from Redmond claims a maximum battery life of 14.5 hours, although that will most likely be in optimal usage circumstances.

The company headquartered in Redmond, Washington state, in northwestern US, claimed at an event in New York City that the new PC is thinner, lighter and faster, with better battery life, display quality, storage and portability, and is available for pre-order starting Tuesday.

Microsoft also warns that "the switch to Pro is one-way; you will not be able to revert to Windows 10 S once you have made the change", so be sure to think it over before making the switch.

First of all, owning a Windows 10 S license doesn't mean you also get a full Windows 10 Pro license - there is one exception for that, and we'll address it below.

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