Yesterday in a blog post that was about the expanded markets the new Surface Laptop was rolling out to globally, Microsoft tucked away a mention that their Windows 10 S operating system, which comes on the Surface Laptop as the default OS, would have the free Windows 10 Pro upgrade offer extended until 31 March 2018.
That upgrade, which will normally cost $49, was originally announced at the Surface Laptop launch in May of this year and had been scheduled to end on 31 December 2017.
By extending the offer for an additional three months Microsoft is providing users the ability to further evaluate Windows 10 S and its restriction for only being able to install apps from the Windows Store.
This limitation is intended as a key element of the systems increased security posture because drive by downloads of malware can not be executed on the system and therefore not infect the OS.
Since apps that are in the Windows Store are screened for malicious code they are considered verified and safe for use. The above dialog will point you towards recommended apps in the Windows Store if it recognizes the desktop app you are trying to install.
This dialog box also provides a link at the bottom, See how, that will take you to the Windows 10 Pro upgrade page in the Windows Store and get you started in shifting your system to Windows 10 Pro at no cost.
Note: You can see the free offer is shown however, Microsoft still needs to update the ending date to 31 March 2018 after yesterday's extension
If you have a spare Windows 10 Pro product key around your Office you can also use that to upgrade the system from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro.
I still think we could see Windows 10 S become the replacement OS for Windows 10 Home in the next year or two. For most everyday users it makes a lot of sense and will create more secure systems by preventing the type of malicious infections that occur as a user browses the web.
In the near future, possibly around the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on 17 October, Microsoft will also make their Office 365 suite of software available to all subscribers on Windows 10. This will happen as they wrap up an extended test of the Windows Store versions of the software suite with Windows Insiders. Productivity wise, that provides full access to the desktop versions of the Office programs that are in the Windows Store via Microsoft's Desktop Bridge aka Project Centennial.
I have been working within Windows 10 S off and on now for several weeks. Although it does not meet 100% of my needs at times due to some holes in the Windows Store for certain functionality I use each day, those users who are just browsing the web, reading email, and even doing some casual gaming will find it a very good option. They also would not likely notice any difference either.