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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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RE[6]: Mission creep is afoot
By Dr.Cyber on 2018-02-08 09:17:30
Smoking used to be done only by men and was promoted for women using propaganda which told them smoking was a feminist thing to do. Then it caught on for women. I was referring to that specifically.

Diamonds have a similar story.

Marketing is a powerful tool that shapes our society and reforms our wishes to align with the needs of manufacturers, often at our own disadvantage.
Permalink - Score: -1
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RE[4]: Still 'Lipstick on a Pig'
By Dr.Cyber on 2018-02-08 09:19:54
> Still your "Proudly Windows-free" sounds like those vegans. No one really asked them, but they can't help but announce to everyone that they don't eat meat for XX months.
So talkng about things about which one is passionate is bad? No one asked you if his "Proudly Windows-free" sounds like those vegans yet you had to announce it anyway.
Permalink - Score: -1
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RE[7]: Mission creep is afoot
By avgalen on 2018-02-08 13:27:03
> Owners should always have the right to install 3rd party stores, browsers, search engines, etc.
If I buy a cheaper cable plan I get less/different channels. I shouldn't buy a cheap 5 GB internet plan if I want to binge-watch 4K Netflix.
Every products has built in limitations in the way you are allowed to use it and it is the seller that gets to set these limitations. If you don't like these limitations, don't buy the product. The manufacturer isn't required to produce a product that you like or want to buy. Nobody* can force Microsoft, or Google, or Apple, or RedHat, or Ubuntu to allow 3rd party stores, browsers, search engines, etc.

So you have to be more precise about what you own. If you buy a computer with a license for Windows 10 Home S (for 500) instead of a computer with a license for Windows 10 Home (for 525) you shouldn't expect the same rights. The computer is the same, but the software is different.
You and I agree that we should have the right to install another OS on that computer. But there isn't an obligation for anyone to make that other OS. So if there isn't another OS available to run on that computer we are just out of luck**
Of course we got used to having all these possibilities in Windows so we consider them as a right, but they aren't rights that automatically transfer to other products like 10 S, or iProducts, or ChromeBooks. I have purchased Windows 10 "for the lifetime of the device", which will be anywhere between 5 and 10 years under normal circumstances. During that time I should expect that I can sideload (3rd party store), install Chrome and configure Edge to use google.com just like I can now. I should also expect Visual Studio 2017 to run on it. But it is up to Microsoft to decide that they will only offer Visual Studio 2020 in an Azure virtual and it will be up to me to use that product or not.

Long story short: If you want to have the right to install 3rd party stores, don't buy a machine with Windows 10 S. If enough people ignore Windows 10 S it will either be adjusted to suite more people or cancelled entirely (like Windows RT). And if the opposite happens and Windows 10 S suits most people they might cancel the current "full mode" or make it "developer only" or "more expensive" which would suck for the remaining people (like you and me) that would either have to swallow that pill, remain on the older version or switch to another product that does suite our purpose.

I would personally love for Windows to become Open Source, GPL-ed and completely moddable by the community but that isn't going to happen as long as it is worth more to Microsoft to keep it closed source. And as I said above, nobody can force them to make or sell I product that you want to buy

* I am purposefully ignoring monopoly laws in this discussion.
** I am purposefully ignoring the option to build your own OS
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE[8]: Mission creep is afoot
By Alfman on 2018-02-08 14:44:48
avgalen,

> If I buy a cheaper cable plan I get less/different channels. I shouldn't buy a cheap 5 GB internet plan if I want to binge-watch 4K Netflix....

You keep using examples that don't fit the topic at hand. I'm talking about property ownership and an owner's right to install what they want on their own computers because they're supposed to be the owners. Not microsoft, not apple, not google, nor anybody else should be telling owner what they can do on their computers. If owners no longer have a right to decide how to use their own machines and they have to get permission from a corporation to do something on their own machines, then the whole concept of ownership is seriously broken.

We should not allow corporations to usurp our rights like this. It should have been stopped when apple did it, now all the big tech companies are getting in on the act. Technology that we "own" with restricted ownership rights is creeping further and further into computer territory. Every time the topic comes up, the vendor locking and control increases ever so subtly and people like you try to make a case that it doesn't matter, but over time the erosion of rights becomes significant. You say you'll stand up against corporate abuse when it starts effecting you, but as darknexus stated "Too bad it'll be too late by then."
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE[9]: Mission creep is afoot
By avgalen on 2018-02-08 15:50:19
The property that you own is the computer, not the insides of the software. You can buy computers with a full mode of Windows and you can buy computers with a "S mode" of Windows that has a lower price, more security but also a more restricted right. Nobody forces you to buy an S mode computer and nobody is removing full mode Windows so there is no erosion at all. Instead there is more choice and if that choice is good for people that are not like you and me that means it will be a viable product.
Again, nobody is preventing you from installing Linux on a computer with S mode. The manufacturer cannot force you to buy a computer with Windows that only runs Edge, but you also cannot force the manufacturer to make a machine that can run Chrome. If you want a machine that runs Chrome, buy a machine that can run Chrome. If you want to binge-watch 4K Netflix, buy an internetplan that allows you to do that. If you want to watch TV-Serie-X on Netflix but they don't offer that TV-Serie, Netflix has no responsibility to offer you a different way to watch TV-Serie-X. It is up to you to find out if the product that you buy fits your needs.
You claim that the availability of Windows S has eroded your rights. I say that you never had the right you claim to have and that nothing has changed for you. You can still buy that same computer, put full mode on it, put 7 on it, put Linux on it...so how have your rights been eroded?
On the other hand, in 2018 I can buy a really great tinkerbox like the Raspberry Pi for peanuts, put a touchscreen on it, install many completely free OS-ses on it and I will basically get a guaranteed good result. If I compare that to the past where such hardware was much more expensive, more difficult to come by and had far less software support I see no problem at all.
Don't look at Windows S when you want to tinker with the OS, that OS was specifically made NOT to tinker with it. Full mode is still available and alternatives are better than ever.
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE[10]: Mission creep is afoot
By Alfman on 2018-02-08 17:16:29
avgalen,

> The manufacturer cannot force you to buy a computer with Windows that only runs Edge, but you also cannot force the manufacturer to make a machine that can run Chrome. If you want a machine that runs Chrome, buy a machine that can run Chrome. If you want to binge-watch 4K Netflix, buy an internetplan that allows you to do that.

Again with these false equivalents. If that's what it takes to convince yourself, then so be it, but it's not fooling me.

Microsoft doesn't have to condone chrome or firefox or steam or indie bundles or any 3rd party applications, but it doesn't change the fact that if owners are impeded from choosing independent software, they are interfering with the free market for software, which is inevitably bad for consumers in the long run regardless of how you try to defend it.

> Don't look at Windows S when you want to tinker with the OS, that OS was specifically made NOT to tinker with it. Full mode is still available and alternatives are better than ever.

It is either incredibly naive or disingenuous to suggest s-mode makes alternatives better than ever since it was explicitly designed to eliminate choice. Intentionally or not, you keep ignoring the trends and insisting that it doesn't matter, but meanwhile owners continue to get more and more confined and controlled each generation.

This strategy was employed by the martians in Mars Attacks "Don't run, we are your friends" as they continue to shoot people down:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o...
(you are the martian with the boom box)


You don't get to pretend that I don't have a valid point because your defense a few weeks ago was that Win10S was only targeting schools, but now microsoft specifically seeking to deploy s-mode restrictions on premium devices too, which proves my point that it wasn't going to end there. Home users can disable it for now, but this fits right into the long term strategy of normalizing an anti-owner-control mechanism and then twisting the knobs further when the commotion dies down, normalizing that, twisting the knobs further, etc. This has always been my argument: slow changes are the process by which we eventually loose our rights.

I'll end with a quote from the post that started our disagreement a few weeks ago:
> ...if we don't stand up when rights and control are taken away from us gradually, then those changes set the new norms, which become accepted, and over time this is how all of our rights erode.
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[2]: Mission creep is afoot
By zima on 2018-02-11 01:17:26
> * 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"

You haven't said the last time if this blocks auto-updaters integrated with non-store-apps... :P (most notably, browsers)
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[11]: Mission creep is afoot
By avgalen on 2018-02-11 22:52:08
> if owners are impeded from choosing independent software, they are interfering with the free market for software, which is inevitably bad for consumers in the long run
But owners are not impeded like that just by the existence of S mode because full mode is still available and there are now better alternatives than ever before.
Now if somebody decides to choose a machine that can only run S mode and then complains that he cannot choose other software to run on it, that is the same as complaining that Office doesn't run on Linux* or one of the other "false equivalents" you disagree with.

> It is either incredibly naive or disingenuous to suggest s-mode makes alternatives better than ever since it was explicitly designed to eliminate choice
Maybe you read and wrote that while you were tired. I never suggested s-mode made alternatives better. I just pointed out that alternatives (Raspberry Pi, Linux) are now better than ever.
Saying that S mode was explicitly designed to eliminate choice is ridiculous. The existence of S mode adds choice and S mode was clearly designed to improve security and reduce complexity.

> you keep ignoring the trends and insisting that it doesn't matter, but meanwhile owners continue to get more and more confined and controlled each generation
No, that is not the trend. The trend is that Microsoft is trying to provide a version of Windows that suits every potential customer. That trend extends even beyond their own platform where Microsoft just wants to sell their software to every user.
* Want to run Linux on Windows? There is now a version that does that just by checking a box.
* Want to develop for Android/iOS? There is now a version of Visual Studio that allows you to do that.
* Want to develop for .NET on Linux/MacOS? You can use Visual Studio Code to target .NET Core.
* Want to run Office on MacOS? Still available and from the same sourcecode as of late.
* Want to run Windows on an Arm-chip? Apparently you can now, and completely against your faux-trend that is not a limited RT version but a full Windows
* Made a mistake in getting Home S? Just upgrade it to Home Full mode, or to Pro, or to Enterprise if you need some of those features. Another thing RT didn't let you do, breaking your faux-trend again.
* Want to run Linux on Azure? No problem.
* Do you just need a database? You can have one up and running in a matter of minutes.
* Do you want a full blown cluster that you can tweak into every little detail? It will take you more than a couple of minutes but you can do that.

I don't understand how you can think that the trend is that users are being forced to be more controlled.
Yes, with iOS a big trend started that offered users a more controlled experience and users choose that route en masse. But users have chosen to not follow that route for the most part with macOS, Windows and Linux.
Some buyers are asking for an easier way to rollout and manage Windows and Microsoft is testing what works for those users. None of that is forced and so far buyers aren't choosing that route.

> Home users can disable it for now
They won't have to disable it, they can just buy a non-S version if that is what they want.
> .if we don't stand up when rights and control are taken away from us gradually, then those changes set the new norms
We don't need to stand up for anything now, just like we didn't need to stand up when RT became available. Just don't buy a product that doesn't fit your needs.


*Purposefully ignoring Wine and other Office Suites
Permalink - Score: 2

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