Microsoft has clarified that the new Linux distributions coming to the Store won’t be available on Windows 10 S. The announcement will come as a disappointment to some, who were hoping to dual boot the OS and run other programs.
However, there’s a good reason, according to senior program manager Rich Turner.
“Just because an ‘app’ comes from the Windows Store does NOT automatically mean that it’s safe and suitable for running in Windows 10 S,” he explains. “There are some apps that are not allowed to run on Windows 10 S, including all command-line apps, shells and Consoles.”
That category of apps includes Linux distributions and it’s quite clear why. Microsoft is aiming this at the education market, and teachers need to be able to ensure their students are safe.
Linux distros run as non-UWP command line tools outside of the sandbox, which reduces security. It would potentially give students a way to bypass app install restrictions.
Not for Developers
While Microsoft will also be aiming for older, university-level students, it’s mostly looking at non-technical ones. Windows 10 S is supposed to be smooth and require little configuration, not have the multitude of options in Linux.
It’s not for programmers and developers, then, but writers, artists, and general users. That said, Microsoft highlights that you can still use 10 S to build code that doesn’t run on the system. The web, IoT devices, and remote VMs, for example, should work fine.
The distinction “enables Microsoft to help ensure a safe, predictable, easy-to-use experience by preventing malicious and/or inefficient apps from getting onto users’ machines and wreaking havoc with their data and resources.”
If users do decide they want to run Linux distros, they can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49.