Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Windows 10 Pro upgrade extension is admission Windows 10 S not really ready

Today Microsoft announced that they are extending the offer for Surface Laptop buyers to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free by 3 months, from the end of the year to the 31st of March 2018, with Microsoft saying:

“Don’t forget that Surface Laptop comes with the streamlined security and performance of Windows 10 S, and verified apps in the Windows Store. 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. We hope this provides increased flexibility for those people searching for the perfect back-to-school or holiday gift.”

Windows 10 S on an expensive laptop never made much sense, with many speculating that Microsoft was simply promoting their locked down OS on a hero device. That users were never seriously expected to stay on Windows 10 S was amply demonstrated by the original free upgrade offer, and the extension of the offer so far from the end of the year is a signal from the Surface team that they no longer wish to have their product compromised by the intentionally crippled OS.

The OS has so far been compromised by less than perfect security (an expectation when you give up so much freedom) and compatibility issues with store apps, the last thing you need for an OS so dependent on this, not to mention the continuingly anaemic Windows Store.

There has been a lot of speculation for Microsoft’s ambition for the OS, with some thinking they intend it to be an eventual replacement for Windows 10 Home, but like ChromeOS the OS will have its best success when it is foisted on people who have no choice, such as students and low-level employees. Microsoft is merely confusing their audience with their misdirected messaging and the lie that any Surface Laptop owners will actually stick with Windows 10 S.

Expect another extension before the 31st March 2018.

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