A few months ago, we heard rumlbing that Microsoft was considering replacing Windows 10 S with a less controversial ‘S Mode’ built into standard versions of Windows. Today, Windows Executive Joe Belfiore confirmed in a tweet that S Mode will arrive next year.
We use Win10S as an option for schools or businesses that want the 'low-hassle'/ guaranteed performance version. Next year 10S will be a "mode" of existing versions, not a distinct version. SO … I think it's totally fine/good that it's not mentioned.
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) March 7, 2018
Windows 10 S, if you don’t recall, is an optimized version of Windows meant for affordable and low-power devices. It essentially limits Windows to only running apps from the Windows Store; these apps are generally less-power consuming and more secure due to modern development standards and limited access to low-level system functions. In doing so, Microsoft can better guarantee smooth performance, long battery life, and quick start ups over extended periods of time.
But we all know about the scarcity of apps in the Windows Store, in particular for big names like Photoshop and Steam. Even though I thought Windows 10 S was worth giving a chance, if you need to use Photoshop even once, you’d have to upgrade to a full version of Windows. And once you’d upgraded, you couldn’t go back.
With S-Mode, Microsoft seems to want to give users more flexibility. It seems you’ll be able to activate S-Mode on existing systems, locking it down so it only runs apps from the Windows Store. I expect many systems will still come with S-Mode enabled by default, and you might still have to pay to unlock it the first time around, but it’s nice to have options.