So, the rumours of a lightweight low-cost Windows OS are true. As rumoured Windows 10 S locks down the system forcing you to use only Windows Store apps, which should mean the system runs faster and is less prone to security issues due to app sandboxes.
It is supposed to be focused on the education market but you Microsoft and its partners will also sell devices to the masses. The appeal for schools is that Microsoft has added tools that make setting up and managing hundreds of machines far easier, and these are environments where administrators already dictate what users can and can’t do with their computers.
While the devices are supposed to be affordable, Microsoft has opted to eschew this idea with the new Surface Laptop powered by 10 S. The base config comes in at around £1000 which is well in the range of some excellent fully fledged laptops and convertibles.
Built around a 13.5″ PixelSense touch-sensitive display protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, the device comes equipped with an Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD in its basic configuration with multiple price points available to the top-end Core i7, 16GB, and 512GB model. All models will, the company claims, feature up to 14.5 hours of battery life – ‘up to four more hours of battery power than a 13″ MacBook Pro,’ the company’s press material is quick to point out – and include a keyboard covered in suede-like Alcantara for reasons that clearly make sense to Microsoft.
For those who have purchased a Windows 10 S device and who find this restriction a problem, the company has promised an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for £49 – or free, if you purchase a Windows 10 S gadget between launch and the end of the year.