How is Windows 10 S Different From Windows 10 Professional

How is Windows 10 S Different From Windows 10 Professional
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How is Windows 10 S Different From Windows 10 Professional

You might have heard about Microsoft’s newer, faster, and more streamlined OS, but how does it compare to the more mainstream versions? In this post we will be taking a look at Windows 10 S its features, purpose and main differences to the Windows 10 Home & Professional offerings.

What is Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is a lightweight, stripped down version of Windows 10 designed for lower end standardised computers and education users. Since its launch it has found its way onto some more premium computers, such as the Microsoft Surface Laptop although many high end machines still tend to ship with the full fat Windows 10 Home or Professional additions. Security and performance are the 2 main focus points of Windows 10 S while it still aims to provide a familiar Windows experience.  Ultimately Windows 10 S has been created to rival Google’s Chrome OS and similar offerings from Apple.

How it Windows 10 S different to Windows 10 Home & Pro

Firstly, Windows 10 S looks and feels very much the same to any other version of Windows 10, after all it is very much the same thing on the surface. Windows 10 S is built on the core of Windows 10 Professional and as a result it supports many Pro specific features such as Active Directory, device management, BitLocker and a host of enterprise and business features. The main difference with Windows 10 S is app support, it does not offer the ability to install and run x86 and x64 applications. Instead uses must download all of their apps from the Microsoft Store, this is one of the major ways that the security is improved on Windows 10 S as apps from the store should all be free from viruses and malware. With the OS being lightweight it also allows for a reduced startup time of 5 seconds and offers rapid configuration options for IT managers.

What are the benefits are using Windows 10 S

Security and safety               

– Restricted access to Microsoft approved apps ensures no viruses or malware can accidentally be installed.
– Only supports Microsoft’s secure, stable and up to date Edge web browser.

Rapid provisioning and configuration

– Easily apply a configuration to devices via USB – Ideal for large fleets of devices in schools.etc.


– Faster boot time and overall more responsive.
– Improved battery life – Windows 10 S is less resourceful than other versions.
– Standardised hardware support eliminates the risk of corrupt drivers and device downtime.

Why would you not want Windows 10 S

Device driver support – While this is a benefit to some systems, Windows 10 S requires all devices and components to use either Windows universal drivers, be stored in the in the Windows driver database or use a specify type of approved driver package that many high end machines won’t support out of the box. This also explains why some of the high end Surface devices ship with 10 S.

Apps that are not on the store – Windows 10 S requires all applications to be downloaded through the official Microsoft Store. While this is a benefit to security, it will potentially be a deal breaker for many users who require the need to load their own 3rd party programs and applications that are not found on the store.

Lack of certain Enterprise features – Hyper V and Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Upgrading Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S proving to be too restrictive? The good news is that it’s free to upgrade to a full version of Window 10 Professional if it’s not for you. The process only takes a few second and doesn’t require the entire OS to be reinstalled, however, once upgraded you cannot go back to 10 S for free.

Want to try Windows 10 S instead of Home or Pro? This will require you to download and install the Windows 10 S system image however if you are currently using any of the below editions of Windows then you can do so for free:

– Windows 10 Pro
– Windows 10 Education
– Windows 10 Pro Education
– Windows 10 Enterprise

Home users will be required to purchase a license key but it is still possible. As above, the good thing about this conversion is that you can switch back to the previously running Windows 10 version on your device if you don’t like it.

Finally you will need to make sure that your device will be compatible with Windows 10 S, Microsoft have a FAQ page here that aims to answer any questions you may have:

We also found a great guide on how to download and install Windows 10S onto you device here.

Windows 10 S vs Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Professional

Just for good measure let’s here is an overview of the main differences between Windows 10 S, Home and Professional.

How is Windows 10 S Different From Windows 10 Professional 1


We hope this helped to clear up any questions that you may have had about Windows 10 S, please contact us to speak with a Windows 10 expert who will be happy to answer any remaining questions that you may have.

How is Windows 10 S different to Windows 10 Professional


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