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Windows 10 versus Windows 10 S: what's the difference?



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Windows 10 S on a Microsoft Surface device.


Getty / Drew Angerer

You may hear a lot of talk about Microsoft Windows 1

0 (

$ 90 at Walmart

) operating system lately, because the tech giant recently discontinued support for its predecessor Windows 7 (

$ 4.79 at Walmart

) and encourages users to upgrade their devices. But Windows 10 is not the only version of the operating system there is: there is also Windows 10 S, a stripped down version aimed at students and small businesses.

Although they are both based on the same basis, there are several important differences between Windows 10 and Windows 10 S. This is what you need to know.

Read more: You can still download Windows 10 for free – and that should be because Windows 7 is dead

What is Windows 10?

Windows 10 was first the latest version of the Microsoft operating system released in 2015. When it came out, a Microsoft employee called it & # 39; the latest version of Windows & # 39 ;. This does not mean that Microsoft will remove the operating system, but that Windows will work more like a service, with continuous updates instead of a huge upgrade.

Microsoft releases important feature updates twice a year, usually in March and September, and Microsoft recommends installing each update as soon as it is available. The last one was the November [20191616] update of November 2019 . However, as the hardware ages, some devices may no longer receive updates over time.

Windows 10 contains various new possibilities including integration of Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana. It also has a number of new security tools: Windows Defender Antivirus protects against malware and spyware via email, apps, the cloud and the web, while Windows Hello offers a password-free sign in option to unlock your devices with your face or a fingerprint reader.

Although some people initially hesitated to make the switch due to reports of various bugs in earlier versions of Windows 10, Microsoft made several changes to the update approach from the May 2019 release, including slower implementations with additional testing, more options for pause updates and more publicize known issues, so your experience should be smoother.

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What is Windows 10 S?

Windows 10 S announced in 2017, is a "walled garden" version of Windows 10 – it offers a faster, safer experience by only allowing users to install software from the official Windows app store and by using the Microsoft Edge browser . Sometimes referred to as "Windows 10 in S mode", Windows 10 S is installed on cheaper laptops for schools and students, including the Microsoft Surface Laptop .

The stripped-down operating system represents Microsoft's efforts to compete in class against, for example, Google Chromebooks and Apple iPads . Machines with Windows 10 S are easier for administrators to set up and manage according to Microsoft, which can also be beneficial for small business owners.

If you want, you can upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro to get the full Windows 10 experience. Switching back afterwards is more complicated (you can find out how to do this in this manual for upgrading from from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro and back).

View for more Windows 10 tips and tricks: make secret start menu, screenshots and more and 6 simple security changes that all Windows 10 users need to make .


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