The biggest change to Windows 10 S is that it’s locked to only work with Windows Store apps. That means you’ll need to find apps in the Store to download and install them, and many desktop apps like Photoshop and Chrome simply aren’t in the Store yet. Microsoft does allow developers to port their desktop apps into the Windows Store, but not many have taken advantage of this feature just yet.
Microsoft will support alternative browsers in the Windows Store, but Windows 10 S users won’t be able to alter their default browser. That means if you click on a link from an app in Windows 10 S then you’ll be forced into Microsoft’s Edge browser. That’s similar to Google’s Chrome OS, which only lets you use Chrome as the browser.
Windows 10 S isn’t a lite version of Windows 10, and it looks and functions mostly the same. PC makers like HP and Acer will sell laptops running Windows 10 S this summer, and schools can opt to switch from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 S free of charge.
Overall, Windows 10 S is a test for Microsoft to try and better secure and improve the experience of Windows. Desktop apps have had the freedom to run wild in Windows for years, and Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s latest attempt at trying to move Windows to a more modern environment.