Microsoft has introduced a new version of Windows 10 today during their education event, with low-cost education-specific laptops (starting at $189) to feature Windows 10 S, a lightweight edition of the OS for education.
During the presentation it was revealed that the only way to install applications that are not found within the Windows store on Windows 10 S would be to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. The installation and configuration saves to a USB key that saves the state of the student’s laptop, so that any laptop in the school can be used by the student after inserting their USB key, which reconfigures the OS to the last state used with that key.
Microsoft demonstrated the speed of their streamlined version of the OS with a first boot, which took around 10 seconds on a new machine due to the stripped-down features and limited pre-installed applications. Windows 10 S will be available free to all schools on their current "genuine Window Pro PCs", and free subscriptions to Microsoft Office 365 and Minecraft: Education Edition were also announced.
Windows 10 S will arrive this summer, and while a future on low-cost consumer devices for a Windows Store-only version of the OS seems likely, Windows 10 S seems geared specifically for the education sector for now.