A month ago, we report about Microsoft's plans to effectively kill off Windows 10 S as a standalone SKU. Instead, the company would opt to integrate the version into other Windows SKUs, we suggested. Now Microsoft has confirmed that is indeed the case.
Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President in the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, confirmed the changes on Twitter:
“We use Win10S as an option for schools or businesses that want the ‘low-hassle'/ guaranteed performance version,” Belfiore said. “Next year 10S will be a “mode” of existing versions, not a distinct version. SO … I think it's totally fine/good that it's not mentioned”
The Windows 10 S mode will be included on Windows 10 will allow users to choose which version to use. Win10S is a lighter and more secure version for simpler tasks. However, users will be able to turn the mode off to use the full Windows 10 PC experience within restrictions.
We use Win10S as an option for schools or businesses that want the 'low-hassle'/ guaranteed performance version. Next year 10S will be a "mode" of existing versions, not a distinct version. SO … I think it's totally fine/good that it's not mentioned.
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) March 7, 2018
Microsoft has been building up to this official change. Earlier in the year, the company switched Windows 10 S pcs to Windows 10 Pro on the Insider Program. This was a purposeful move that was clearing the way for this permanent Win10S mode.
“Insiders running Windows 10 S may have noticed that after upgrading to the latest builds, their PC appears to be running ‘Windows 10 Pro In S Mode'.” Microsoft's Dona Sarkar wrote at the time, “This change is by design and these PCs will continue to function as Windows 10 S PCs “
When it launched, Windows 10 S was a separate SKU from other Windows versions. That means it sat separately from Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Enterprise. Microsoft has been offering a free upgrade path to Win10 S to Win10 Pro.
The Win10 S platform will retain its more streamlined and secure approach. Microsoft insists people do want to use Windows 10 S. The company says 60% of people with Win10 S devices stick with the software and didn't upgrade to Win10 Pro. That's a solid number that shows there is a market for the platform.