If you love Windows 10, you need to know about a huge change that's coming. Or, if you don't love it but your company or your school uses it, you need to know about this, too.
It's an entirely new operating system that has some compelling reasons to give it a try. If you want an inexpensive option to securely use the internet and familiar programs from Microsoft Office, this new operating system could be for you.
It will also let you login in about 15 seconds with no password. Plus, Microsoft says you'll be able to use its first Windows 10 S computer, Surface Laptop, for up to 14.5 hours on a single battery charge.
At least, those are some of the promises that Microsoft is making about Windows 10 S. But, this isn't the Windows 10 home version you're probably using at home or the Windows 10 Pro version you're using at work. Here's what you need to know.
Windows 10 S is a streamlined operating system that will come pre-installed on computers like Surface Laptop, HP's ProBook x360 Education Edition and others. It's Microsoft's attempt to compete with Google's ChromeOS.
Here's everything, good and bad, that you need to know about Windows 10 S. For starters, of course, "What's the S stand for?" Secure, streamlined, superior performance and the soul of Windows 10.
Bonus: Keep reading to find out how to get Windows 10 S.
5 reasons you'll want Windows 10 S
Do you remember the days when you downloaded software? You might buy a CD to install programs like Microsoft Office's word processor Word and its spreadsheet program Excel.
These days, you probably can't remember the last time you downloaded a program from a CD. Now, everything is on the internet. You write documents using online programs like Google Docs and create spreadsheets and presentations online.
You save photos and videos to the cloud on sites like Photos from Amazon. And, instead of downloading an internet security system, you have one scanning in real-time for ransomware and other threats.
The point is, your computer is really just a gateway to the internet. For many people, you don't need more than that. Which is why Google has had so much success with its Chromebook computers that run on its streamlined ChromeOS operating system.
Now, Microsoft is taking on ChromeOS with Windows 10 S. It's similarly geared to people looking for low-cost, no-frills options to access the internet. It's for you if you use only programs online, whether you're a student, professional or you use your computer at home to pay bills, chat with friends and share photos.
Here are 5 reasons to use Windows 10 S
1. Fast - It'll take you about 15 seconds to boot up your computer.
2. No password - You'll log in using Microsoft's biometric access, Windows Hello.
3. Long battery life - Microsoft says you'll get up to 14.5 hours of use on a single battery charge.
4. Security - You'll access programs through Windows Store, which screens programs for safety; plus Windows Defender and other security features are built in.
5. Convenience - Everything you work on will be saved to Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage, so you can access your files from any internet-connected device.
Bonus: Windows 10 S will come pre-installed on computers, including low-cost laptops starting around $299.
3 reasons you don't want Windows 10 S
Windows 10 S isn't for everyone. Here are a few reasons to carefully evaluate 10 S before you start using it.
1. Windows Store - You'll be able to use only programs that are on Windows Store, meaning other programs and apps that you love won't be there.
2. Microsoft Edge - Microsoft's relatively new, secure and perfectly OK web browser, Microsoft Edge, is the only web browser you'll be able to use - so, no more Firefox or Chrome.
3. Bing - Microsoft has made a valiant effort to compete with Google with its search engine Bing, but it's just not as good.
Bonus: Keep reading to find out how you can get Windows 10 S.
How you can get Windows 10 S
If Windows 10 S sounds like a good option for you, you'll get it only by buying laptops that have it pre-installed. That includes Microsoft's Surface Laptop. Surface has an increasingly ardent fan base. But the tablets and new laptop are pricey.
The better news here is that you'll soon start seeing a lot more lower cost options with Windows 10 S built in. These laptops, including those from leading brands like HP, are starting to hit store shelves now.
One more thing: Microsoft will let you upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49 if you don't like Windows 10 S.