Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore is spelling out some more details about how Windows 10 S Mode will work moving forward.

First, as mentioned earlier, soon Windows 10 S won’t be a standalone version of Windows. Instead, it’ll be available as a “mode” for Windows 10 Home, Pro, or Enterprise editions.

Second, Belfiore says users who want to switch from Windows 10 S mode to the full version of Windows will be able to do so without paying an extra penny.

Ever since Microsoft first released Windows 10 S in 2017, the company has allowed users to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free… but Microsoft had also suggested that this was a limited time offer, and that eventually users would have to pay a fee to switch.

Now it looks like the company has changed its plans.

That means if you buy a laptop or desktop PC with Windows 10 Home S mode, you’ll be able to switch to Windows 10 Home for free. The same goes for Pro and Enterprise editions.

Windows 10 S mode should work a lot like the current version of Windows 10 S, offering a user experience that looks a lot like the full version of Windows, but with a few restrictions that add simplicity, tighten security, and make it easier for businesses, schools, or other institutions to manage a set of computers.

For one thing, Windows 10 S mode doesn’t let you install third-party apps unless they come from the Windows Store. For another, it doesn’t let you change the default web browser or search engine. It doesn’t support the Windows Subsystem for Linux, may not support third-party antivirus software, and may have limited support for hardware peripherals.

But all of those restrictions are a bit easier to accept if it turns out you can buy a Windows 10 S device and know that you’ll be able to switch to a full version of Windows 10 for free.

It’s unclear if you’ll be able to switch back though.

Belfiore says Windows 10 S mode will be available “starting with the next update to Windows 10, which should be the Redstone 4/Spring update release expected to launch in the next month or two.

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4 replies on “Switching from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 will remain free of charge”

  1. Likely due to the death of UWP. Yet another story of MS creating a product and then abandoning it mere months later.

    1. I mean, not yet really. They are keeping with their temporary Windows S strategy and will likely push it harder this year. Many basic users won’t be savvy enough to know what the “switch” means and will likely keep using the S mode that came with their computer. That will create a bigger market. Is it enough? We don’t know yet. UWP has big problems but it is not doomed (yet) like so many previous MS initiatives.

      1. I can see Windows 10 S maybe working for ARM powered devices with a very limited itsy bitsy teeny weenie 32gb of storage. There probably aren’t many apps available outside the Microsoft store for Windows ARM anyway.

  2. If you could quickly toggle back and forth to conserve battery life that would be pretty neat.

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