The #MicrosoftEDU event proved to be quite promising. The event, which was, as the name suggests, centred around education, saw the announcement of a brand new operating system (OS) called Windows 10 S, among other things.

Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive Vice President for the Windows and Devices Group, introduced Windows 10 S as the OS that takes a new approach to education: Simplify to magnify.

On the surface, the new OS appears to simplify Windows 10. It restricts apps to just those installed from the Windows 10 Store for a start. Apps cannot be installed from third-party sources, even UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps that are independent of the Store.

The Windows Store is the App Store or Play Store equivalent marketplace for Windows 10.

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Logging into Windows 10 S will be much faster than normal

By restricting app installations, Microsoft is ensuring that students, and those who use Windows 10 S, are only limited to apps that are certified to be safe for Windows 10. Given the state of the Store today, this is very restrictive, but in the long term, this is the right move. Windows’ biggest failing is its vulnerability to malicious software, after all.

The apps are so restricted in fact, that if you try to download something  from another source, rather than let you install the app, the Store will present you with alternative apps chosen from the Store.

Of course, since you’re restricted to Windows Store apps, that also means that you’ll largely be restricted to Microsoft apps, including Edge and Office.

In extreme cases, it is possible for a device administrator to install third-party apps by explicitly enabling a Windows 10 Pro mode. We’re not sure what that is yet and if we’ll need a separate license Windows 10 Pro license to enable it, but it is what it is.

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Setup multiple PCs with just a pen drive.

Other updates are primarily geared at teachers. Setting up multiple Windows PCs can be a real pain, especially if you’re an IT administrator or even a professor in a classroom. Microsoft has simplified this by introducing a “Setup my PC” app. Quite simply, a teacher sets up a Windows 10 S a particular way on one laptop, then uses a pen drive to transfer the settings and apps to any other Windows 10 S -powered laptop. Microsoft claims that thousands of devices can be rapidly configured by this means. The setup process normally takes only about 30 seconds.

It’s not clear if apps are individually downloaded or transferred over the USB drive, however.

Login times will also be vastly improved, says Microsoft.

Better yet, Windows 10 S is supported on all Windows 10-ready devices, including the Surface Book.

Publish date: May 2, 2017 9:56 pm| Modified date: May 2, 2017 9:56 pm

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