back to article Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

Microsoft has quietly extended a free upgrade offer that will allow some buyers of Windows 10 S to move to Windows 10 Pro, a move that suggests buyers aren't entirely happy with the cut-down version of Windows restriction on running apps sourced from beyond Microsoft's own Store. Windows 10 S is a cut-down version of Windows …

  1. wallaby

    I give it 2 posts before a penguinista tries to steer this towards Linux

    Observation - not a steer

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      The irony being that you already have! Observation or not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just call him Heisenberg.

    2. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
      Coat

      Personally I like Linux...

      <-- ...I'll get my coat

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Personally I like Linux...

        I don't like Linux I freaking LOVE IT!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I actually take offence to the comparison with chromeos. Windows 10 is nothing like it at all. ChromeOS has bulletproof security, windows 10s security is like all other windows security, namely dogshite.

      http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-no-known-ransomware-windows-we-tried-to-hack-it/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I actually take offence to the comparison with chromeos...

        Chromeos? Aren't those just shiny Cheerios?

  2. Hans 1
    Happy

    Slurp tries to compete with ChromeOS and back peddles ... Listen, nobody wants Edge, only DuckDuckGo users use Bing, most without even knowing ...

    Note that ChromeOS sucks as much as Windows 10, imho, but in different ways ...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. hplasm
        Headmaster

        Re: "Slurp tries to compete with ChromeOS and back peddles"

        "...most, outside the US and the small world of fixie riders,.. "

        Oddly outside of the US most people spell it Backpedalling which is correct as it has to do with feet not selling tat. However in the case of MS, peddling is probably right here...

        1. Richard Plinston

          Re: "Slurp tries to compete with ChromeOS and back peddles"

          > in the case of MS, peddling is probably right here...

          What are you saying?: "peddling in back alleys, where the passing of brown envelopes won't be seen" ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Note that ChromeOS sucks as much as Windows 10, imho, but in different ways"

      I think that school administrators who have migrated to Chrome from Windows might disagree with you. As would I. ChromeOS is a very good fit on security, deployment and management grounds for an audience that doesn't need very capable computers, and the learning curve for children is very short. It would seem to be ideal for schools and senior managers, especially in marketing and sales.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: school administrators who have migrated to Chrome

        Maybe acceptable in USA, but is it moral that Google should know everything about the students.

        Also completely dependent on serial points of failure.

        May prove to be illegal in USA.

        It's fashion and childminding, not education ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: school administrators who have migrated to Chrome

          Really??? Stop listening to random nutters on the internet (eff)

          http://googleforeducation.blogspot.it/2015/12/the-facts-about-student-data-privacy-in.html

    3. mgbrown

      I use Bing and I know it

      I've never had a situation where I couldn't find what I wanted in Bing and could find it in Google. Plus I like Bing's daily pictures. Call me weird if you want, I don't care.

      1. Chika
        Trollface

        Re: I use Bing and I know it

        Call me weird if you want, I don't care.

        OK, Weird.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I use Bing and I know it

        Re: I use Bing and I know it

        Not sure why you're being downvoted, feel free to use whatever works for you. Bing is certainly not to my taste, but I don't see any reason to disapprove of you.

    4. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      I use StartPage. Google results without the "personalisation" or other snooping.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    So...

    People buy a surface...

    Only to find out the OS has been deliberately neutered by Microsoft...

    And are then expected to fork over another $49 to actually be able to use it properly ?

    F*ck Microsoft...

    1. Chika
      Coat

      Re: So...

      I think that Microsoft's management are getting a bit too game fixated. Turning W10Pro into DLC, microtransactions and such.

      By logical extension, this means that people buying Surfaces with W10S on want a fully open system, not one gimped to the MS Shop, so the MS Shop is another failure? Are we equating the Shop with Zune-like failure here?

      1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

        Re: So...

        Are we equating the Shop with Zune-like failure here?

        That thought hadn't even crossed my mind. Now I will never be able to unthink it. Windows Store is the Zune to Windows 10's ME v2...

  4. LDS Silver badge

    Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

    Nadella has to fix Bing first if he wants to try to lock people in his store. The idea of having to use Bing and spend endless time to look for what you need is quite scary.

    Probably if MS had spent the effort it put in gathering data from users in trying to build an usable search engine that doesn't believe any search is made just to buy something, they could have a chance. Hope telemetry tells them how many people have no choice but to use Google to find what they need...

    1. ArrZarr

      Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

      To be fair to MS, when your only meaningful competition is Google in the thing that Google do best, you're bound to look crap.

      1. Len Goddard

        Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

        "To be fair to MS"

        why would you want to do that??

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

        "when your only meaningful competition is Google in the thing that Google do best, you're bound to look crap."

        BT runs a free hosting service for community groups under some community obligation. Google doesn't find these sites, Bing does. An aspect of search at which Google isn't best. There may be others.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

          Google also spams results with their YouTube, their Books and sites that spend lots with Google / use Google Analytics / Adwords and other Google services.

          They also think you want places you have been before over new results. I have a bookmark feature.

          Google is MUCH poorer quality on search than they used to be and while many aspects of Android have improved, it's still a work in progress and seriously invasive of privacy. As is Chrome Browser and Chrome OS.

        2. Richard Plinston

          Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

          > BT runs a free hosting service for community groups under some community obligation. Google doesn't find these sites

          I just highlighted "BT runs a free hosting service for community groups" from your message, right clicked and hit 'Search Google for ..". It gave me a page of links to those sites.

          You are a liar.

      3. Not That Andrew

        Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

        True, MS's advertising platform is pants compared to Google.

      4. cambsukguy

        Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

        I would be grateful if someone would reasonably put, say, 10 search terms here that highlight the superior results from Google.

        I don't mean keep doing searches and select the ones where you think Google outperformed Bing.

        I am sure Google have a good search engine but I personally find the results way to ad-driven with steers to Googly things I can do without.

        Many search results I have seem on both look very similar, I did a film search for instance (Enemy of the State). Normally the results looks similar. Both have a sidebar with the film info. I did notice however:

        1. The Bing result had the trailer, non-playing, available, right there.

        2. Google put a pop-up saying "Hey, use Chrome loser" or something. Of course Bing might do this on Chrome.

        3. Google placed ads to buy it in that sidebar, not unreasonable but not wanted.

        4. Both placed some critic scores, useful, Google allowed the user to vote (I think).

        5. Interestingly, Bing actually placed a Dictionary definition of "Enemy of the State" at the top of the search, which is a con-incidence given the title of course. Google had this nowhere on the first page although they did offer other similar questions people asked; although both had a list of similar questions.

        6. Bing (usefully, IMO) places two results of Images and Videos in the main page to avoid the 'menu' at the top being required for many searches.

        7. The pics in 6 on Bing Zoom on a mouse hover.

        8. The video in 6 on Bing play, right there in the browser on a mouse hover. And they stop when you move away.

        9. Upon selecting Images on Google, it once more asked me to use Chrome despite the No Thanks less than a minute earlier.

        10. The Images page is so similar on both it is amazing, except that on Bing, the fancy tiles at the top with alternatives is sideways scrollable and noticeably better.

        11. The videos page on Bing has the aforementioned play on hover facility as well as a much nicer layout that is Video orientated. The Google one just looks like the main web page with pictures and text.

        I don't have more time (gotta go to see a SlipKnot movie!) but Bing seems vastly more impressive at this ordinary task.

        Google is definitely the Street-view destination and almost certainly has more places on its maps although I have stated before, I like having built-in maps so web-based maps are not my thing.

        Google have other features I am sure which may be superior too but I cannot see, for the life of me, why Bing is seen as so poor when it seems to do the job just fine, and better IMO in most cases.

        I think this is a case of standard MS bashing from those who don't actually try all options before pronouncing.

        At least I have used Google/Android/iOS/Linux and even almost used a Mac.

    2. Teiwaz

      Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

      any search is made just to buy something

      Googles search does that too, but in a slightly 'hope you want to buy something' way with mostly useful at the bottom.

      While Bing arrogantly assumes, like a shopkeeper who dislikes window shoppers and pulls out a shotgun for people asking for directions.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

      Bing is very good at finding Google, and that is what people seem to use it for.

      Seriously, I've seen people type "Google" into the Bing search box, click the link that comes up, then type "Amazon" into the Google search box, then start doing their shopping.

      The idea that they could type "Ama ↓ ↲" into the address bar is completely alien to them.

  5. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Linux

    can't get much worse, really

    than Micro-shaft shipping 'Windows Lame" with Surface, and oh-by-the-way it'll cost you another $49 toll to run things that aren't CRapps from "the Store".

    Except, maybe, a SUBSCRIPTION version of Win-10-nic, for which you MUST pay annual money to be able to run Win32 appLICATIONS or something YOU wrote yourself.

    <sarcasm>

    Good. Job.

    </sarcasm>

    [NOT self-fulfilling the 'Linux Prophecy' from the first post, heh]

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: can't get much worse, really

      It is quite entertaining to imagine your posts being all Comic Sans.

      Takes the bombastic edge off.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: can't get much worse, really

      Laugh all you want, but if you still don't believe that this is the end-game here... I'd advise you to seek help.

  6. Roo Stercogburn

    Seriously considered Surface Pro.

    If portability is top priority its probably alright. Bang for buck its very not particularly alright. I looked into this seriously earlier this year, compared specs with other companies and went with MSI, got a much higher spec machine in the same price range and without a version of Win 10 that's had its nads cut off.

    MS need to understand they're just not cool enough for the cool kids to pay a premium and too expensive for most anyone to bother. There's some nice features but they're not killer features.

    And Bing. Meh to the Nth. Internet searches powered by Clippy in a hamster wheel.

    1. MK_E

      Re: Seriously considered Surface Pro.

      I got a surface pro 4 with full-fat win10, but that was for a very specific purpose. I wanted a graphics tablet with the display on the drawing surface to upgrade from my old Bamboo Pen, and it was between that and the cintiq 13HD (which my old graphics card wouldn't support, and wouldn't be portable).

      For the very specific combination of "runs full programs, preferably the same ones my desktop runs", "drawing surface on screen", "is portable" and "has a pen" it ticks the boxes for under a grand, the next nearest thing was that wacom companion thing at twice the price.

  7. DrXym Silver badge

    Great marketing by Microsoft

    - Intel i7 processor

    - 8GB RAM

    - 256GB SSD

    - Crippleware operating system

    - Up to 14.5 hours of battery

    - 2256 x 1504 pixel sense display

    Wait, back up a bit...

  8. VinceH

    Optional

    Windows 10 S was an experiment that has, thankfully, fallen flat on its arse. Had it been more of a success, we might have seen a gradual change in Windows 10 towards it - and WIndows 10 is bad enough TYVM. (And I only ever use it when I'm fixing things on colleagues' computers!)

    1. Paul Westerman
      Windows

      Re: Optional

      Yep, time to admit the MS Store is a failure. Windows 8 and 10 have failed to make it work. Strip out the Modern/Metro/whatever and give us a solid, fast Windows environment (with 1 control panel FFS).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't MS try this originally with the Intel Atom Powered Surface, and that failed to gain any traction? So, Nadella thought, "Let's try this again and see if it will work", and of course, it didn't? #IDIOT....

    1. LDS Silver badge

      WIn 10S is IMHO not much about the users, but about the developers. Microsoft is desperately trying to bring developers to the store and lock them there to get a share of their revenues too.

      That's why it has developed Desktop Bridge to convert actual applications into store ones.

      Despite some roadblocks MS used, especially in the past, Windows is a quite open platform for developers, and it looks Nadella doesn't like it. It is quite stupid, because one of the reasons DOS and Windows became widespread was exactly the availability of applications from many different vendors.

      The same market approach used for $4,99 mobile apps won't work for more expensive ones.

      Nadella is looking for quick money, but it will backfire. After all, even Apple has been careful not to adopt the iOS business model in macOS.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        For all people took the mickey, the dancing monkey was right.

        Windows only exists because it's easy to develop for. Anyone can write anything and it's trivially easy to then sell or give it away to anyone they want.

        Linux is also easy to develop for, but it's a bit harder to sell or give away the result as the distros vary. Not too nuch though.

        Web "apps" are the elephant in the room of course.

        On the fourth hand, Apple are slowly killing macOS anyway. Unless there is a big change it'll be gone in 5-10 years and Apple won't care - they don't make much money directly from it. The final nail will be when they officially let you develop for iOS on something else.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Linux is also easy to develop for"

          No, especially for GUI applications. Linux never had tools comparable to Visual Basic or Delphi which made developing even complex GUI applications easy enough also for single developers or small teams (although many of them could be very ugly inside, in the hand of not very skilled developers).

          The lack of a common widget set and API, different windows managers, distros and so on, plus a greybeards disdain for IDEs and graphical tools never helped - and that's one of the reasons "Linux on the desktop" struggled and struggles, while in the mostly non-visual server environment it flourished. Web apps are OK in a client/server environment, but are uselessly more complex and slower when they are just local ones, and the browser just gets in the way.

          I'm not sure Apple will port iOS to Macs, it knows there's a lot macOS can do that iOS can't, and there may be little reason to bloat iOS with features unneeded on phones.

          It will be interesting to see what will happen to iPads, as Surface-like devices capable of running more powerful applications with less limits gain traction - a situation that makes the idea of Win10S even more stupid, and shows the slit-brain situation at Redmond.

          1. Richard Plinston

            Re: "Linux is also easy to develop for"

            > Linux never had tools comparable to Visual Basic or Delphi which made developing even complex GUI applications easy enough also for single developers or small teams

            I completely disagree. There is for example Glade. When this is used with Python it makes developing desktop GUI applications extremely easy. It is also cross platform, my developments ran on Linux, Windows and Nokia N800 with exactly the same code and no changes.

            The main difference is that VB and Delphi are fully integrated with the language and Windows only while Linux tools are modular so almost any language can be used with Glade, Wx or QT developer. This is flexible but means that the community is dispersed amongst many language and GUI groups, while VB was locked into the 'one true path' (except when Microsoft brings out a new incompatible version).

  10. Avatar of They
    FAIL

    Are we shocked

    I mean MS backpeddling with something either surface related or windows 10?

    They are doing it a lot lately.

  11. 0laf Silver badge

    It was a shit idea which was obviously shit to everyone outside Microsoft Marketing.

    Which is just another shit idea in a long long inglorious history of shit ideas that Microsoft seems to keep churning out.

    Really they should have a discrete channel to some normal people to ask "is this shit?" rather than their own circle fucking echo chamber.

  12. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Is there a TARDIS in the room?

    In the 1980's M$oft were hauled over the coals for abuse of market dominance and forced used of their own browser coupled with their OS. How come they're still allowed to do it with 10S?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Is there a TARDIS in the room?

      Maybe because of Chrome market share and Android?

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Is there a TARDIS in the room?

      That was the 90's, the browser didn't exist in the 80's ;)

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Is there a TARDIS in the room?

      And much like the vaunted Time Machine you're completely lost as the incident in which you were referring to happened in the mid-ninties, and not in the eighties when the PC was the Ferrari in the room, of sundry 16, and 8-bit Microcomputers.

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: Is there a TARDIS in the room?

        Maybe true but when you get to a certain age everything dissolves into a time slurry so you can't remember exactly when it something happened, only roughly which end of the slurry river it was ...

    4. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Is there a TARDIS in the room?

      Was actually in the 90s that happened. I think they get away with it now because of Google Chrome laptops do the same.

  13. David Lawton

    What Windows 10 S achieves which is a more secure locked down environment would be better if it was a mode you could turn on once your PC was how you wanted it, a simple toggle switch.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "a more secure locked down environment would be better if it was a mode you could turn on once your PC was how you wanted it, a simple toggle switch."

      That would need to be a hardware switch otherwise all the malware writers would be going for it.

    2. Chika
      FAIL

      What Windows 10 S achieves which is a more secure locked down environment would be better if it was a mode you could turn on once your PC was how you wanted it, a simple toggle switch.

      Quite so, but let's face it, the only people in the marketplace are corporate types who don't want to lock down to Microsoft, they want to lock down to their own subset of applications. Other than that, users want to do what they want, not what some Merkan corporate wants to lock them into. The only good thing I can say is that at least Micro$oft were up front this time about it rather than sneaking it in like they did with the Slurp(tm) or like Google and much of their shady doings.

    3. conscience

      The 'extra secure' Windows 10S was cracked inside 3 hours, so all it really offers is being locked-in to Microsoft's failing app store. It's no wonder Microsoft have been forced to offer the full version of Windows 10, they have zero chance of selling their new hardware otherwise.

  14. Nattrash
    Pint

    El Reg's marketing-to-English translat-o-tronic...

    Bravo ElReg!

    Brilliant invention, great investment!

    Curious though... Is this the luxury model with the integrated bullshit-o-meter?

  15. JerryS

    Giving MS that much control over your desktop is very dangerous.

    I bought an LG Smart TV that had Skype pre-installed so went out and bought an LG Cam to Skype with my family. Next thing MS decides not to support Skype on TV's and I have been left with an £80 cam that I can no longer use.

    What happens if you start using an App from MS Store and they suddenly decide to remove it from the MS App store...... you are screwed.

    Steer well clear of this product. It's like buying a car that you can not drive in Scotland or Wales.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I bought an LG Smart TV that had Skype pre-installed so went out and bought an LG Cam to Skype with my family."

      Hope springs eternal.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Perhaps you could plug it into a PC or Pi (Linux) and use it as a standard webcam with Skype or something else?

    3. Def Silver badge
      Joke

      It's like buying a car that you can not drive in Scotland or Wales.

      And that's a bad thing because?

  16. MK_E

    Oh boy, it's the "let's make things user-friendly by neutering or hiding all those confusing features" design philosophy that I hoped would die in the 90s.

  17. gskr
    Facepalm

    Never understood why they'd try Win 10 S on a high-end computer like the Surface - its just a really poor fit.

    (Sensible) people don't spend a grand on a computer to be limited to a few curated apps and light web surfing (on Edge only).

    They should be giving it away free to computer manufacturers building low-end (sub £200) computers that compete more in the chromebook price range, as surely thats its only reason for existing? I imagine that in that market it might be able to shave a bit off the cost of the computer, whilst doing all that was asked of it, driving traffic to bing and the windows store + providing an upgrade option to those who wanted more. In the high-end market though... NO!

  18. MrKrotos

    What am I missing?

    Hang on, this upgrade offer states its free

    "For those that find they need an application that isn’t yet available in the Store and must be installed from another source, we’re extending the ability to switch from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro for free until March 31, 2018"

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: What am I missing?

      Why does this hardware even have the "S" version at all?

      It's like buying a Ferrari and putting pressed steel wheels on it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's right, Microsoft

    You should have realized by now that most people do not want a Microsoft account (a prerequisite for Cortana, OneDrive and the Windows Store) when they're using Windows.

    And people really hate a 'locked down' Windows device. Didn't learn from your Windows RT boo-boo, did you? Microsoft/Windows is going nowhere in mobile, the 'third ecosystem' is not going to happen. And even if it does, Microsoft will not be the one to disrupt the Apple/Google duopoly.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: That's right, Microsoft

      I seem to recall people saying similar things about Apple back in 2006.

  20. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Lipstick and Pigs

    Putting Lippy on a Pig does not make it anything more than a Pig with Lippy.

    As for the furry finish option.... WTF were they smoking when they thought that was a good idea?

  21. jacksmith21006

    Make Windows S secure and it would maybe have a chance. People are DONE buying insecure software and that is the issue for MS.

    Edge this year was hacked at will at Pawned 2017. Chrome only browser unhackable in time allotted.

    Windows S was easily hacked on the first try and ChromeOS, I do not believe, has been hacked yet.

  22. steviebuk Silver badge

    Was a shit idea...

    ...Windows 10 S. Why did they even think it would be good? I like Microsoft but limiting a unit to only use the Windows Store when the Windows Store itself is failing is not a good move. Look at all the adverts we see on TV today and pretty much none of the "phone apps" that are advertised have Windows Phone support, so more than likely won't be available on the Windows Store for the Surface either.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When not even Microsoft distribute most of their software in their own app store why should they expect others to take it seriously?

    Nearly all Microsoft downloads are still .exe/.msi installers.

    1. 0laf Silver badge
      FAIL

      When I had a Windows phone (yeah I was one of the 4 and I liked it) and I plugged it into my Win10 desktop it always suggested I try Office for Android.

      That's just how committed MS are to their own products.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And even if you are a fan of Microsoft's apps and services

      They have already been ported over to the Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store.

      There's no point staying inside the Windows walled garden bubble when it doesn't even have B-tier games, and common apps for newspapers, banks and travel.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021