Microsoft announced Windows 10 S last year. It’s a lightweight version of its operating system that has been designed to compete with Google’s Chrome OS. The company originally announced it as a separate version of Windows that was primarily aimed at the education market but it now appears to be dropping it as a standalone product for the new “S Mode.”
There’s one major difference between Windows 10 and Windows 10 S, the latter can only run apps that are available on the Microsoft Store. Those who wanted more freedom on their machines would have to pay to unlock Windows 10 Pro. According to a new report, it will no longer be offered as a standalone product, because Microsoft is going to introduce a new “S Mode” for Windows 10 Home, Enterprise, and Pro.
The “S Mode” will basically transform a copy of Windows 10 proper into Windows 10 S instantly. With the mode enabled, the system will only be able to run apps from the Microsoft Store and will thus offer the core functionality that Windows 10 S was made for.
The report mentions that Microsoft might allow Windows 10 Home users to disable the S Mode for free but those who are on Windows 10 Pro with S Mode enabled might have to pay $49 to access the full version of the operating system. It will obviously depend on the OEMs whether or not they ship most or only a few of their devices with S Mode enabled.
Microsoft has not commented on this expected change in strategy just yet. It may make a formal announcement in the coming months if this is due to happen.