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Windows 10 S becoming a mode, not a version
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-02-07 01:02:10

Windows 10 S, the Microsoft Store-only version of Windows, is going away, but not really.

Currently, Windows 10 S is a unique edition of Windows 10. It's based on Windows 10 Pro; Windows 10 Pro has various facilities that enable system administrators to restrict which software can be run, and Windows 10 S is essentially a preconfigured version of those facilities. In addition to locking out arbitrary downloaded programs, it also prevents the use of certain built-in Windows features such as the command-line, PowerShell, and Windows Subsystem for Linux.

For those who can't abide by the constraints that S imposes, you can upgrade 10 S to the full 10 Pro. This upgrade is a one-shot deal: there's no way of re-enabling the S limitations after upgrading to Pro. It's also a paid upgrade: while Microsoft offered it as a free upgrade for a limited time for its Surface Laptop, the regular price is $49.

Nothing much actually seems to be changing; it just turns Windows 10 S from a version into a mode. Pretty much a distinction without a difference. My biggest issue here is that you can't go from regular Windows 10 back to Windows 10 S if you ever had a reason to do so (e.g. if Windows were ever to be usable with just Metro apps in the future and you want the additional security Windows 10 S provides). Seems like an odd restriction.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-28
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Mission creep is afoot
By Alfman on 2018-02-07 04:55:21
https://www.thurrott.com/windows/...

> Going forward, Windows 10 S will no longer be a SKU offered by Microsoft. Instead, what they will be doing is offering S mode for all iterations of Windows 10 and frankly, this is a much better approach to the configurations.

For Home and Education SKUs, you will be able to upgrade from Home S, to Home for free but Pro users going from Pro S to Pro will be charged $49. On the commercial side, Pro S is only available with Core, Value, Entry, and Small Tablet (if this doesn’t make sense, check out my other post here) with Core+ and Workstations being left out of the offering.



Remember when windows 10s was only going to be applied to chromebook competitors? Turns out the mission creep theory wasn't so far fetched. Now it's creeping into even more mainstream markets and OEMs will be required to enable it by default. This is happening faster than I imagined.

And what's the deal with forcing pro versions to be locked down unless they pay more? Of all the user classifications, it makes the least sense for pro users to be stuck on windows-S and denied the right to run 3rd party software, switch browsers, switch search engine, etc... I'm sorry, but there's no defending this based on customers needs, this is all about microsoft trying to charge money for (what used to be) basic computer freedoms.
Permalink - Score: 4
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Security Wise...
By dionicio on 2018-02-07 05:03:41
"Upgrading" to Pro is, Errr, Unwise. You should be able to come back. But only as a clean Reinstall :)

You should be a Windows "Pro" to take this route, or be able to stake time from a "Pro".

Resources Expensive. See no reason other than Market not fully understanding the "S" deal, before commiting the buy. Looks transitory.

Cheap and Pro doesn't go along. The NON-TECHNICAL Issue has to be resolved, to keep the bulk of the low market competing with Android/Chrome.

Edited 2018-02-07 05:13 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE: Mission creep is afoot
By avgalen on 2018-02-07 05:53:19
> OEMs will be required to enable it by default
> this is all about microsoft trying to charge money for (what used to be) basic computer freedoms
Don't spread FUD!
OEMs will not be required to enable it by default, they will be tempted by Microsoft to enable S mode by making S mode free/cheap

I think it is ridiculous that you cannot go back from "Full" to "S mode". This makes S mode just as much a mode as boiling an egg is (and I prefer my eggs hard-boiled!)

I expected S mode to be a different pay-model, where the initial cost would be about 25 Euro lower with the expectation that MS would earn back that difference from store purchases.
Many people would be happy to continue to run in S mode and those that would need "Full mode" would have to pay more than currently again earning Microsoft more money.

This current S mode idea means that I will still stick with my previous advice.
* Install Windows
* Add several non-store-apps that you really need
* Go to Settings, Apps, Apps & features, change "Installing apps" to "Allow apps from the Store only"
* Add store-apps for everying you want
* When you find out that you need another non-store-app, just change the setting back to "Allow apps from anywhere" temporarily"

The above idea is equivalent to making yourself a regular user instead of an admin. Of course you could just leave that setting on "Warn me before installing apps from outside the Store" which is equivalent to using UAC/sudo

I realise that S mode is about more than just installing non-store-apps, but that part is the only part that I think benefits users. Well, that and the lower future prices but we will have to see about that
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Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
By shotsman on 2018-02-07 06:54:48
and the pig is still there.

I can't help but think that MS is playing the part of Nero while Rome (i.e. the PC Marketplace) burns around him.

Proudly windows free for 18months!
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[2]: Mission creep is afoot
By Alfman on 2018-02-07 07:12:11
avgalen,

> Don't spread FUD!
OEMs will not be required to enable it by default, they will be tempted by Microsoft to enable S mode by making S mode free/cheap


So you're suggesting microsoft will bribe OEMs instead? I guess we'll see what happens.

At least the home users can elect to turn off the s-restrictions on their own devices for now, but what did I tell you last time? As restrictions are gradually phased in, they become the new normal.


> This current S mode idea means that I will still stick with my previous advice.
* Install Windows
* Add several non-store-apps that you really need
* Go to Settings, Apps, Apps & features, change "Installing apps" to "Allow apps from the Store only"
* Add store-apps for everying you want
* When you find out that you need another non-store-app, just change the setting back to "Allow apps from anywhere" temporarily"

The above idea is equivalent to making yourself a regular user instead of an admin. Of course you could just leave that setting on "Warn me before installing apps from outside the Store" which is equivalent to using UAC/sudo


I agree, the way you want to use it is much better than "S-mode", however it isn't as useful to microsoft's agenda. Everyone agrees that security is important, but it must align with the owner's wishes, otherwise it's taking owner rights away, which is obviously what I'm against. I'm ok with security that works with us rather than against us.


> I realise that S mode is about more than just installing non-store-apps, but that part is the only part that I think benefits users. Well, that and the lower future prices but we will have to see about that

It only benefits users if they aren't interested in 3rd party software, otherwise it's an impediment. Keep in mind that s-mode blocks other consumer friendly stores like steam.

Edited 2018-02-07 07:14 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[3]: Mission creep is afoot
By avgalen on 2018-02-07 09:54:43
> At least the home users can elect to turn off the s-restrictions on their own devices for now, but what did I tell you last time? As restrictions are gradually phased in, they become the new normal.
Last time you mentioned force and this time you mentioned force on OEMs as well. I always debate you on that part of your statement because for the most part we agree otherwise. I have no problem with gradually phasing in restrictions if they are optional or beneficial. I believe that the market (supported by the law) will make sure that such restrictions will only become the new normal if people accept them.

Currently I couldn't do what I want to do on a computer in S-mode so I use "Full mode".
My parents prefer a couple of non-store-apps but nothing more so I locked their pc down with the above procedure.
My kids should use S-mode.
1 or 2 years from now I expect that the programs my parents use will be either available through the store or that the store has good alternatives so I will move them over to S-mode.
A few years later my kids will desire to use some more programs (Lego Creator for MindStorms pops into my mind) that aren't in the store so I will switch them over to Full Mode, locked down and as a regular user of course.
And maybe in a few years I will just dock my completely managed-and-store-only-phon e into some device that turns it into a terminal that I connect to my work environment with all my non-store-tools.
My point is...Options!

Just like before I would like to emphasize that S mode is not replacing anything but is an added option. More options, more choice, better for everyone.
There wasn't an S-mode for Home or Enterprise, but now there will be. I wouldn't put that on my own laptop but I would be more than happy to put it on my childrens (future) tablet/laptop, especially if that means that device will be cheaper.

The moment "Full Mode" is no longer an option I will be right there with you, kicking and screaming.
I hope all of this will go in the complete opposite direction though, with both client and server Windows SKU's (and now modes) going away entirely and instead we will get a "basic" package similar to Home-in-S-mode with "option packages" that you pay for (because Microsoft isn't a charity)
* Old fashioned domain
* Hyper-V
* WebServer
* RDS
* Server Roles
* IE/Edge
* XPS/PDF

Off-Topic: I would not consider giving OEMs an extra choice for a cheaper (but limited) version of Windows a bribe, but I looked up a definition and it does fit!
> Bribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior that the recipient would otherwise not alter
This definition also means that if 1 liter of milk is 1 Euro, 2 liter of milk should be 2 Euro to avoid being called bribery. I wouldn't buy the bigger packaging in most situations, but if the price would be lowered to 1.5 and I would buy now I have apparently been bribed

Edited 2018-02-07 09:55 UTC
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
By The123king on 2018-02-07 11:13:08
> Proudly windows free for 18months!

Come back in a few years and we may be marginally impressed
Permalink - Score: 1
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Time
By computrius on 2018-02-07 14:00:06
Dont worry. It wont be long until you wont need to be able to enable Windows S. When it becomes the normal version and you have to pay an extra subscription to install software outside of the app store and access the command line, etc..
Permalink - Score: 0
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RE[4]: Mission creep is afoot
By darknexus on 2018-02-07 14:57:35
> The moment "Full Mode" is no longer an option I will be right there with you, kicking and screaming.
Wonderful. Too bad it'll be too late by then.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[2]: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
By Dr.Cyber on 2018-02-07 15:51:39
> > Proudly windows free for 18months!

Come back in a few years and we may be marginally impressed

I won't be impressed at all. Not counting booting newly bought laptops into Windows shortly before replacing Windows with Linux, I think I have been Windows free for >2 years now. And the sole reason it is not much longer is due to the fact that I used to use Windows at my work.

Linux works fine for me. Downgrading and upgrading is completely free for me and there are no forced policy restrictions. It is nice to actually own my own computer.
Permalink - Score: 1

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