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Posted by Matthew Palmer - Contact Author

Windows 10 S vs Windows 10 Pro Comparison and Difference

What's the difference between Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro?

Bought a new Windows laptop but don't know which system should be installed? Newest Windows 10 S or Windows 10 Pro? Which one is better? What's the difference between them?

This post mainly discusses: What is Windows 10 S? What is Windows 10 Pro? Differences between Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro; What's in common of Windows 10 S and Windows Pro? Thus, help you make it clear which Windows 10 OS is for you.

Also see detailed Windows 10x vs 10 differences

1. Windows 10 S

Meaning of the S in Windows 10 S: Microsoft explains it as Simplicity, Secure and Speed.

Windows 10 S release date: Middle June, 2017

Windows 10 S price: For PCs running on Windows 10 Pro, the new Windows 10 S is free. It's rumored that Windows PC makers/partners will have Window 10 S laptops for as little as $189.

Which laptops can run on Windows 10 S:
1) It will be a free upgrade for all PCs running on genuine Windows 10 Pro.
2) The most typical laptop running on Windows 10 S would be Microsoft own new Surface Laptop which goes on sale on June 15, 2017, at $1000.
3) Other laptops include: Toshiba Portégé X20W-D, Samsung Notebook M, HP Probook x360 11 G1 EE, Fujitsu LIFEBOOK P727, ASUS Vivobook W202, Acer Travel Mate Spin B1, Dell Latitude 11 3000 Series 3189 2-in-1, etc.

Windows 10

Windows 10 S key features:

Hope these statements can help you better understand Microsoft newest OS, Window 10 S.

1) Windows 10 S is designed for teachers, students and those who only need to use certain core programs.

2) It is aimed at inexpensive laptops and education.

3) It is a narrow down version of normal Windows 10, a simplified operating system that has limited app choice.

4) It is more secure than Windows 10 Pro. It only allows you to download and install apps from Windows Store and then run a safe container on the laptop. Every app in Windows Store is vetted by Microsoft, so you don't need to worry about exploits or malware issue.

5) Software like Photoshop, Microsoft's Office apps, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all included in Windows 10 S. Microsoft has announced that Spotify and iTunes will be in the Store later on this year.

6) If you want to install this-party apps on Windows 10 S, you have to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro which provides a free upgrade until Dec. 31, 2017. After that, you have to pay $50 for a full upgrade to full Windows 10 Pro.

Advantages of Windows 10 S

1) Windows 10 S is lightweight and streamlined. It is a simplified Windows OS, so it is much easy to operate.

2) Improved security. Since Windows 10 S doesn't allow you to install apps from outside the Windows store, it is the most secure Windows 10 system. >> Windows 10 Security Features and Tips

3) Windows 10 S can boot up very quickly, in 15 seconds, Microsoft says.

4) Windows 10 S is focused on speed, better battery life, and higher performance.

Disadvantages of Windows 10 S

1) Windows 10 S will not run certain software but only limited Microsoft approved apps. Currently Google Chrome, Firefox, iTunes, numerous stream game platforms and much more are not supported.

2) Windows 10 S will likely only have one web browser available: Microsoft Edge (with Bing set as the only search provider). If you need to use other browsers, you are out of luck with Windows 10 S.

3) You can buy a $50 upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and unlock the features of Windows 10 S.

2. Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 Pro release date: July 2015
Windows 10 Pro price: $199.99
Windows 10 Pro key features:
Windows 10 Pro includes all the features of Windows 10. It also perfectly supports non Windows Store apps, domain join, remote desktop connection, Bitlocker, Hyper-V, Windows update for business and many more.

3. Difference Between Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro

1) The biggest difference between Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro is that Windows 10 S can only install Windows Store apps, while Windows 10 Pro can also install many apps from third-party sites and stores.

2) Windows 10 S is more secure than Windows 10 Pro. All other Windows 10 Pro security features are also available on Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S offers two more security features: Credential Guard and Device Guard.

3) Microsoft builds Windows 10 S from the core of Windows 10 Pro. Windows 10 S provides 5 extra features compared to Windows 10 Pro in terms of management and deployment, including DirectAccess, AppLocker, Managed User Experience, Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 8, Microsoft User Environment Virtualization (UE-V).

4) Windows 10 S is designed to run well even on lower-level laptops. Minimum hardware requirements are lower than Windows 10 Pro.

5) As for productivity and user experience, there is only one difference: Cortana is available on Windows 10 Pro, but it's disabled on Windows 10 S.

6) If you need standard Windows apps like Google Chrome or the Steam online gaming platform, you have to upgrade Windows 10 S to the full Windows 10 Pro for $50.

7) Windows 10 S vs Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 S may be more superior on main Windows features. The new Windows 10 S supports Windows to Go and BranchCache, however, Windows 10 Pro doesn't.

4. Windows 10 S vs Windows 10 Pro - Features in Common

Since Windows 10 S is a core extraction from Windows 10 Pro, they have many features in common. The following features are available on both Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro:

1) Productivity and user experience: Continuum for phones, Windows Ink3, Start Menu and Live Tiles, Tablet Mode, Voice, pen, touch, and gesture, Microsoft Edge.

2) Management and deployment: Group Policy, Mobile Device Management, Enterprise State Roaming with Azure Active Directory, Windows Store for Business, Assigned Access, Dynamic Provisioning, Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, Shared PC configuration, Take a Test.

5. Bottom Line

To sum up, Windows 10 S equips most primary features of Windows 10 Pro and adds several professional new features, but it can only install apps from Windows Store and you are unable to install apps from other sites or stores. Windows 10 S is mainly developed for students and teachers, and less expensive Windows computers. While Windows 10 Pro is a more comprehensive, mature and powerful Windows 10 system.

However, if you don't need most of those extra features of Windows 10 Pro, then Windows 10 S would be more suitable with superior performance. If you have many third-party apps needed to install like Chrome, Firefox, iTunes, Game platforms, etc. or need to utilize those extra features of Windows 10 pro, then Windows 10 Pro would be a better choice. Windows 10 S computer may be less expensive than Windows 10 Pro system computer. But in case you find some third-party apps is needed in future and have to pay extra $50 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, you are advised to think twice before decide which Windows 10 system to choose.


author - Matthew Palmer

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Matthew Palmer is a seasoned content creator with over 10 years of experience in Windows at large. He has been specialized in almost any technology with Windows OS and written thousands of new articles, covering everything from in-depth features of new laptops, latest GPU/CPU PC hardware, games, to software related. While digging into new techs, he continues enjoying painting and comics.

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