Microsoft has added a setting to Windows 10 that will let users restrict new software installation to only those apps hosted in the Windows Store. The option debuted in the latest version of Windows 10 Insider, the preview program which gives participants an early peek at the next feature upgrade as Microsoft builds it. That version, labeled 15042, was released Friday.
With the setting at its most stringent, Windows 10 will block the installation of Win32 software -- the traditional legacy applications that continue to make up the vast bulk of the Windows ecosystem -- and allow users to install only apps from the Windows Store, Microsoft's marketplace. Other settings allow software installation from any source, or, while allowing that, put a preference on those from the Windows Store.
Unless Microsoft removes them, the options will appear in the next Windows 10 feature upgrade, dubbed "Creators Update," which is to launch in March or April.
-- submitted from IRC
Microsoft has announced a new version of Windows called Windows 10 S. It only runs apps from the Windows Store, and is positioned between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, both of which can run third party applications. Microsoft also announced a new line of Surface laptops running the OS. The laptops have been described as competing with either Google's Chromebooks or Apple's MacBook Air, and aimed at students:
Windows 10 S is Windows 10 with its wings slightly clipped: it can only run apps from the Windows Store, disabling compatibility with the enormous breadth of Windows programs out there, which in the educational context translates to better security, consistent performance, focus for students, and improved battery life. It's cheaper and less versatile than Windows 10 Pro, which is exactly what schools are looking for (and the thing that's had them gravitating toward Google's Chrome OS in recent times).
[...] Immediately upon its introduction, Windows 10 S spans a price range from $189 to $2,199 (for the top Surface Laptop spec). So is this a straightforward and affordable solution for mass educational deployment? Or is it a super streamlined operating system for powering extremely desirable and long-lasting laptops? Yes. Microsoft's answer to both of those things is yes. It's not impossible to achieve both goals with the same software, of course, but it is difficult to position the OS in people's minds.
[...] The Windows on ARM effort is going to be rekindled by the end of this year, and Windows 10 S is the likeliest candidate to be the OS of choice for those new computers, in which case the significance of the S label will once again be complicated. Come the holidays, buying a Windows 10 S PC could mean getting either an Intel or an ARM machine, it could mean cheap and cheerful or it could be a premium portable.
What do you think the 'S' stands for?
Google published a "Chrome browser" app in the Windows Store on Tuesday, but it simply opened up a Google Chrome download page in the default Windows browser. Most users would then have been able to download and install the Chrome browser, except for the minority of Windows 10 S users who are restricted to downloading Windows Store apps which must use the EdgeHTML rendering engine rather than Blink. Microsoft was not amused at the stunt and removed the "app" from its Store later that day:
Google published a Chrome app in the Windows Store earlier today, which just directed users to a download link to install the browser. Microsoft isn't impressed with Google's obvious snub of the Windows Store, and it's taking action. "We have removed the Google Chrome Installer App from Microsoft Store, as it violates our Microsoft Store policies," says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.
Most Windows 10 machines don't run Windows 10 S, so Google probably won't create a special version just to get its browser listed in the Windows Store. Google can't just package its existing desktop app into a Centennial Windows Store app, either. Microsoft is explicit about any store apps having to use the Edge rendering engine.
Related: Microsoft Adds Store App-Only Restriction as Option in Windows 10
New Windows 10 S Only Runs Software From Windows Store
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First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced