On Tuesday, as its education-focused event in the city of New York, Microsoft launched Windows 10 S, a brand new and lightweight version of its operating system that will come with many new PCs in the near future.

What is Windows 10 S?

Windows 10 S is a fully-functional version of Windows 10. Meant to be cheaper and less processor intensive, the new operating system is designed for low-cost computers as well as education-oriented PCs and even some premium computers.

Why the S?

According to the Microsoft, the “S” doesn’t stand for anything, but the company says Windows 10 S is streamlined for simplicity, security and speed. Windows 10 S will boot faster than a comparable machine running Windows 10 Pro – precisely 15 seconds faster. And it will run as fast on day 1,000 as it does on day one, Microsoft says.

Windows 10 S runs Microsoft’s Edge browser – Photograph: Microsoft

What’s different?

The biggest different between Windows 10 S and other versions of the same operating system is that 10 S can only run applications downloaded from the Windows Store. Every other version of Windows 10 has the option to install applications from third-party sites and stores, but 10 S won’t have the same luxury.

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Windows 10 S home screen – Photograph: Microsoft

Though running applications only available on store isn’t a set back either. Microsoft Windows Store has thousands of applications available, including free, paid and trial versions of software. That will soon include the full Microsoft Office suite and Spotify, while Slack, Evernote, Netflix, Facebook, Adobe Photoshop Elements and many others are already available.

Windows 10 S will only be made available on new machines developed by the Microsoft and the operating system won’t be available as a separate version of Windows users can upgrade with.

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The Microsoft Surface Laptop – Photograph: Microsoft

One of the first PCs to ship with Windows 10 S installed will be the new Microsoft Surface Laptop, which will ship to customers in the United States on 15th of June. While the operating system will see wider availability later this summer.

For the costumers, using a Windows 10 S device in future and get tired of being stuck to the Windows Store, they will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49.

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