Microsoft confirmed yesterday it plans to move Windows 10 S from a dedicated operating system to a special “S Mode” for versions of Windows 10. In a new blog post, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore admits that the original version of Windows 10 S, that locked a PC down to using just Windows Store apps, was confusing. “We have also heard feedback that the naming was a bit confusing for both customers and partners,” admits Befliore.
To avoid this confusion, Microsoft is now creating an S Mode for each version of Windows 10. “Starting with the next update to Windows 10, coming soon, customers can choose to buy a new Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled,” says Belfiore. It’s not clear how simply moving this Windows Store lockdown to a mode will alleviate some of the confusion around Windows 10 S, but perhaps Microsoft will make the unlock process even more obvious.
Previous rumors also suggested that Microsoft was planning to allow Windows 10 Home users to disable the S Mode free of charge, but Windows 10 Pro customers with S Mode enabled on their device will be forced to pay $49 to get access to a full version of Windows 10 Pro. It turns out these rumors were inaccurate. “If a customer does want to switch out of S mode, they will be able to do so at no charge, regardless of edition,” says Belfiore. That should avoid any confusion around unlocking full versions of Windows, and now it’s up to PC makers to choose whether to enable the new S Mode or not.