Windows 10 S vs Windows 10 Home: All the differences between the two

By: Madeleine Dean
3 minute read

Microsoft recently launched Windows 10 S, a new operating system streamlined for security and performance that works exclusively with apps from the Windows Store.

Currently, Microsoft offers several versions of Windows and choosing the right version is not that obvious. In the first part of this article, we’re going to detail the key characteristics found in Windows 10 S. Then, we’ll compare this new OS to Windows 10 Home and list the differences between the two.

Windows 10 S features

Enhanced security

Since Windows 10 S works only with Windows Store apps, your computer is protected against malware infections since Redmond verifies the integrity and security of all the apps available in the Store. Together with Microsoft Edge, the default browser in Windows 10 S that several tests have proven more secure than Chrome or Firefox,  and Windows Defender, the security trio is complete.

Enhanced performance

With Windows 10 S, startup is quicker and users can login in just a few seconds. Microsoft Edge offers you a fast and secure online experience while other apps allow you to stream HD video, switch across apps, and stay productive on the go.

Enhanced Cloud support

Windows 10 S integrates with OneDrive, allowing users to save their files to the cloud and access them on the go.

Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49

If you need more professional tools, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for only $49. As a quick reminder, the regular price for this OS is $199.99.

Windows 10 S vs Windows 10 Home

Let’s find out which Windows 10 version is perfect for you:

1. If you heavily rely on Cortana, then you should not buy Windows 10 S. Cortana is disabled in the Education edition.

2. As stated, Windows 10 S won’t run software installed from the desktop. This means that you can only download and install Windows Store apps, and you won’t be able to use Chrome or Firefox, play popular games, and more.

3. Windows 10 S users won’t be able to use a search engine other than Bing. Fortunately, you can still use Google. If Bing is not available in your region, the OS will run regional search engines.

4. Windows 10 S also offers enhanced management features to empower device and app management along with deployment. The following features are available only on Windows 10 S:

  • Group Policy
  • DirectAccess
  • AppLocker
  • Enterprise State Roaming with Azure Active Directory (separate subscription for Azure Active Directory required),
  • Windows Store for Business (Available in select markets. Functionality and apps may vary by market and device)
  • Assigned Access
  • Managed User Experience
  • Dynamic Provisioning
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization (Requires either App-V Server available at no additional cost as part of Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit, or System Center Configuration Manager which is sold separately)
  • Microsoft User Environment Virtualization (UE-V)
  • Windows Update for Business
  • Shared PC configuration
  • Take a Test

5. As far as security is concerned, Windows 10 S brings a series of security features that are not available on Windows 10 Home:

  • Windows Information Protection
  • BitLocker
  • Credential Guard — Requires TPM 1.2 or greater for TPM based key protection
  • Device Guard — Requires UEFI 2.3.1 or greater with Trusted Boot; Virtualization Extensions such as Intel VT-x, AMD-V, and SLAT must be enabled.

6. Windows 10 S brings a series of core features not included in Windows 10 Home:

  • Domain Join
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Join, with single sign-on to cloud-hosted apps
  • Enterprise Mode
  • Internet Explorer (EMIE)
  • Remote Desktop
  • Client Hyper-V
  • Windows to Go
  • BranchCache

If you still need help deciding, Microsoft has implemented a new selection system for Windows 10 on its website where users are asked a series of questions about their need in order to better identify the version of Windows 10 that best suits their needs.

What do you think about Windows 10 S? Are you planning to check it anytime soon?

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