A couple of weeks ago, we learned that Microsoft was planning to replace Windows 10 S, the streamlined and education-focused version of Windows 10 with a new “S Mode” for all versions of Windows 10. Joe Belfiore, CVP of Windows 10 at Microsoft confirmed the news on Twitter yesterday, explaining that this “S Mode” will be available next year for all existing versions of Windows 10 (via The Verge).
We use Win10S as an option for schools or businesses that want the 'low-hassle'/ guaranteed performance version. Next year 10S will be a "mode" of existing versions, not a distinct version. SO … I think it's totally fine/good that it's not mentioned.
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) March 7, 2018
Just like Windows 10 S, Windows 10 PCs running in S Mode will only be able to run apps coming from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft is currently marketing Windows 10 S as a more secure and battery efficient version of Windows 10, and we expect the company to do the same with this new “S Mode” next year.
While this new “S Mode” should be available for Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise next year, Belfiore didn’t address the previous reports saying that disabling S Mode would be free for Windows 10 Home users, and a $49 fee for Windows 10 Pro users. It may be too early for Microsoft to discuss these details right now, but we may hear more at upcoming Microsoft events such as Build or Microsoft Inspire.
We still have many questions about this new “S Mode” for Windows 10, including how it will affect PC OEMs and ultimately consumers. After the Windows 10 S experiment, which was mostly education-focused, it does seem that Microsoft sees this streamlined version of Windows 10 as a valuable proposition for all Windows 10 users. For now, though, Windows 10 S will continue to ship on select PCs this year, including the first Always Connected PCs from HP, Asus, and Lenovo.