Microsoft announced Windows 10s on May 2nd of this year this is Microsoft’s third attempt at a lightweight OS and its already not doing well on the market. To prove my point Microsoft quietly extending its free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade. Just looking at Windows 10s and the market they are pitching the product to and the competitor they are up against Windows 10s was destined to fail from the day it was released.
I first would like to point out that Windows 10 S is targeted at education. It’s no coincidence that Windows 10 S is focused on the education sector, where Google’s Chromebooks are currently exploding on the scene. But even targeted at education there are issues with the platform that are dragging it down.
The Windows-Store-apps-only plan doesn’t seem to be doing well with Surface buyers or educational institutes and there is a reason why. First, the Microsoft store is not even on the same level as the Google Play Store to start the Microsoft store has next to no good apps that users want and Microsoft is having a hard time getting developers to create popular apps on their platform. Not to mention that Microsoft over the life of their product has installed in the end user mindset that as long as it’s compatible with Windows you can install it on your desktop not trying to push this culture shift on users is not a good decision by Microsoft.
Microsoft does not have the user loyalty and conditioning that Google or Apple has where they can just change a platform and users will just follow. Users from day one on ChromeOS know they have to use the only what the Play Store offers for apps and they are limited to Googles very large selection (the large selection Microsoft is lacking). Google spent years luring top apps to their platform by giving developers a great platform to build on and using their mobile platform (again something Microsoft does not have) as a spring board for the ChromeOS.
The second issue, Windows 10s comes with what feels like artificial restrictions that don’t need to be in place. Microsoft justified those restrictions by saying they help keep Windows 10 S easy to administer and make the system more secure. While this is a great idea to protect the user’s of their product people are getting turned off because of again another version of Windows. Microsoft, since Windows Vista has had so many different SKUs for their Windows product line (Example Basic, Home, Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate, Embedded, Tablet Edition) and Windows 10, is making the same mistake with adding another Windows 10 version this time S again making it confusing for consumers.
The third issue, is Windows 10 S can only load apps from Microsoft’s own Store and Edge is the default browser. Microsoft has yet to add other browsers to their store. This leads us to our fourth issue that Edge or IE will remain the default apps for opening .htm files. The fifth issue Windows 10s comes with Defender as default Anti-Virus which is another issue because most users want to use a non-Microsoft AV which I don’t think is allowed.
The sixth problem is Bing is the default search engine in Edge and IE and there’s no option to replace it. The other issue is since Bing offers no way for schools to manage safe search globally the target market for this product education is less likely to adopt the platform as content filtering is a large issue in education. Not to mention unlike Gsuite there is no easy way to control Edge setting globally which is another issue for education.
Microsoft has said users who can’t get the apps they really, really need in its store could upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, for free until December 31st, 2017.