Windows 10 S vs Chrome OS: Which one to pick?

By: Madeleine Dean
3 minute read

Microsoft recently launched Windows 10 S, a new operating system to take on the Chrome OS. Windows 10 S is a lightweight OS designed for teachers and students, as well as for users who rely mainly on the core Windows features.

Now, if you’re not sure which OS to install on your budget computer, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to list the main differences between Windows 10 S and Chrome OS, so that you have enough information to take a wise decision.

Windows 10 S vs Chrome OS

App limitations

Microsoft clearly stated that Windows 10 S runs only apps from the Windows Store. The company decided to limit the apps running on Windows 10 S in order to enhance the operating system’s security.

It is worth mentioning that if you install an app from the Windows Store on another Windows 10 PC, you can also install it on your Windows 10 S laptop, as long as you sign in with the same Microsoft account that you used to buy the app in the first place.

The Chrome OS is designed for the general consumer, and doesn’t feature any limitations on the types of apps that you can run. This means that you can install any apps, games or extensions available in the Chrome Store.

In order words, if you heavily rely on apps that are not currently available in the Windows Store, you should opt for the Chrome OS.

Browser limitations

Microsoft Edge is the default browser on Windows 10 S. Users are indeed allowed to download another browser that might be available from the Windows Store, but Edge will remain the default browser. Also, Bing is the default search engine on Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer and you can’t change it.

Microsoft has added many improvements to its favorite browser, and chances are that you’ll actually like Edge. The transition should be pretty smooth if you’ve never used the Edge browser before, so give it a try.

The Chrome OS brings similar browser limitations. In order to offer users a smooth and fast experience, the best choice is to stick to Google Chrome, the default browser. Using other third-party tools to install various browsers on the Chrome OS may reduce your browsing speed.


Microsoft set these app and browser limitations in order to enhance system security. By allowing users to run only apps from the Windows Store and setting Edge, the most secure browser in the world, as the default browser, Microsoft hope to make Windows 10 S as secure as possible.

Boot up time

Chromebooks boot up pretty fast, but Microsoft is sure that Windows 10 S will allow users to boot up their devices even faster. The company proudly confirmed that Windows 10 S will be able to boot up completely in 15 seconds. This is great news for class productivity, allowing teachers and students to quickly log in on their devices.

The price tag

If you’re looking for a budget laptop, Google’s Chromebook is a very good choice. For example, there are plenty of Chromebook models available for less than $300 on Google’s official website. If you’ve got a few hundred dollars extra, you can actually buy a decent Chromebook for about $500.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop can be yours for a price tag starting from $999.99. The good news is that hardware manufacturers will soon launch more Windows 10 S laptops, much cheaper than the Surface Laptop. However, we expect Windows 10 S laptops to cost on average more than Chromebooks.  As a quick reminder, the cheapest Chromebook costs only $149.99.

What do you think about Windows 10 S? Are you planning to give it a try? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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