I have read a lot of stories about Windows 10S , the new operating system from Microsoft that is supposed to be safe, secure and speedy (what does the S stand for, anyway?). I asked Gonzalo to install it on one of the office Windows laptops because Fish Lake and Spirit Lake are both in the Microsoft Store and I wanted someone to test downloading the games from the store and playing them on a Windows 10S device.
Today, Maria was using my laptop, having left hers at home, and Dennis was trying something out on my desktop, so I grabbed the closest computer. I was doing my usual work, opened up Google apps on the Windows Edge browser- because the computer didn’t have Chrome installed – checked some spreadsheets , sent some emails, including attaching files from Google Drive. Then, I opened up Pipedrive to update our sales data.
After about an hour, I thought to myself,
“Wait a minute, wasn’t this the computer I told him to install Windows 10S on? It doesn’t seem any different.”
To double check, I went to our website, downloaded the demo version of Spirit Lake (the demos are not in the Microsoft Store – it’s on our list, we just haven’t gotten to it yet because we are a small company and finishing the iPad game funded by our Kickstarter campaign – Aztech – comes first.) The demo downloaded and unzipped okay but once I tried to install it, I got a message telling me I could only download apps from the Microsoft store. That was the ONLY way I knew that this was Windows 10S and not Windows 10 Home.
Some people say this will confuse consumers and people will get mad if they download some expensive software not from the Microsoft Store and have to then upgrade to Windows Pro to use it. I rather doubt that. If I were going to download something I bought, I’d have made sure I didn’t have Windows 10S first. My main reason I think the Microsoft Store-only aspect will be a feature more than a bug for many people is that loads of Windows users aren’t terribly computer savvy and are petrified of getting viruses. I have friends who are convinced every time they get a spam email or go to a link that no longer exists that it’s because they have a virus.
The average reviewer in a computer magazine is not the average user. If I can use a computer for an hour and browse the web, answer email, do data entry and simple analyses with Excel – that’s a pretty good simulation of the average user.
This is an operating system you could buy for that relative you love a lot but you know is not the most computer literate. He or she will be able to do word processing, presentations, web browsing and all the standard stuff and not be infected by viruses from that ubiquitous Nigerian prince who wants to leave you a fortune.
For organizations – that’s a whole post in itself. Many schools and other organizations have their devices so locked down because they are concerned about unapproved installations that Windows 10S is anarchy by comparison. (If you have never suffered through using “supervised iPads” count yourself blessed).
Will I be replacing my development computer with a laptop running Windows 10S ? No, and I won’t be replacing it with a Chromebook, either. However, I can see Windows 10S being a good solution for a lot of people. Maybe that’s what the S stands for “solution”.