Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Thoughts on Windows 10S

So today Microsoft announced a new version of Windows 10, Windows 10S (the S stands for a few things, but also school). This is their new attack on Chromebooks and a way for them to try and get back into the education market, which has become dominated by Chrome OS devices.

Now I said before, I was a Windows guy. I loved Windows. I really felt like Windows 8 was going to change the direction of computing. But then I realized, Windows is still Windows. It didn't matter if it was Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10, Windows was going to have the same problems.

So what is Windows 10S? It is a stripped down version of Windows that allows for apps to be added only through the Windows App Store. So no downloading of programs here. Sound familiar? It should.

Here are my initial reactions to today's announcements;

  • If you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49, then Windows 10S isn't really "light weight". A pro version of Windows 10 is in there, in the background.
  • How will Windows 10S run on "low end machines"? Chrome OS is nice because it just needs a Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM and you are good to go. Windows is a notorious resource hog. 
  • Why did they announce the Surface Laptop today? Windows 10S is supposed to compete with Chrome OS, so why show off a $999 laptop that runs it? Sure Google had the Pixel, but that was only released after people got used to Chrome OS and could really use a high end machine. Windows 10S is untested.
  • A free year of Minecraft & Office 365...ok what's the pricing after? So schools are going to be burdened with the cost of maintaining these programs versus the free GAFE. 
  • Microsoft has a long way to go to master the whole collaboration thing within Office. Students are getting used to sharing documents and working on them together in real time. 
  • I didn't see anything mentioned about Microsoft Classroom or anything else that makes current GAFE schools make the switch. 
  • What will the low end laptops look like after 1-3 years? I have had my class set for 3 years now and use them daily. They are still as fast as they were day 1. I have had 2 broken screens & 2 keys pop off of 2 machines. How will the Windows 10S machine hold up? Will they still be fast 2 years later? 4 years later? Or will the background resources finally clog them up and slow them down?
  • It only runs Edge for a browser. That means lack of extensions. I have so many extensions on my Chrome OS log in that it makes Chrome OS function more like a full OS. Those extensions are no where to be found in Edge.
Those are some of my gut reactions reading and watching the announcements today. For me, I was hoping for more classroom announcements, but I guess that will have to wait. 

As for me, I'm not changing anything. I am sticking to Chrome OS. I don't see any reason to make the switch back to Windows.