A reader is concerned about the new Windows 10 S operating system. “I read your note about Windows S with trepidation. Does that mean that if one uses that system one cannot use Malwarebytes? Avast? Libre Office? Adobe Reader? THANKS for all your good tips, and for keeping us informed on tech news trends!”
First, remember that Windows 10 S is separate from your regular Windows 10 operating system. No one is getting upgraded to it that doesn’t want to purchase it. It’s really designed to compete with Chromebooks and considered ideal for the education market since students won’t be able to download or install anything fishy.
Windows 10 S is also it’s a system that will appeal to the non-technically-minded out there who don’t mind giving up app choice for protection from making a mistake. Much as with an iPhone, you can’t install anything other than programs available in the Windows 10 app store. The Windows store is not an actual store, but rather an app that allows you to download programs. You access it by clicking the icon that looks like a shopping bag.
Does this mean your favorite program isn’t there or won’t be there eventually? Not necessarily. Users are tied down to using the Microsoft Edge browser, so that is disappointing for fans of Chrome and Firefox. And if you’re using the full desktop version of Photoshop, you won’t be able to install it… yet.
But let’s look in the Windows Store for the apps you mentioned.
- Malwarebytes: Not currently available in the Windows app store.
- Avast: Available in the Windows app store.
- LibreOffice: Not available. (not surprising since Microsoft wants you to use their Office suite.)
- Adobe Reader (available – along with several other PDF readers and editors.)
If Windows 10 S is a hit, you can expect to see more and more apps added to the Windows Store. If it’s a miss like Windows RT, expect to see it fade away. The one advantage that Windows 10 S devices seem to have over RT is that they can be upgraded to the regular Windows 10 operating system. Windows RT devices were stuck with their limited OS.
That said, I wouldn’t worry. You won’t end up with a Windows 10 S device unless you buy one (or your employer likes the idea of laptops that are difficult to accidentally install ransomware on.)