Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

Windows 10 Build 17618 is now available with major changes for Insiders

Windows 10 Build 17618 is now available with major changes for Insiders

Microsoft is set to move Windows 10 S from a dedicated operating system to merely a mode for existing Windows 10 versions in 2019.

The next marquee Windows 10 update won't be just about creators - it will also blow artificial intelligence (AI) wide open on the operating system (OS). If these PCs are just running regular Windows with a modified Windows 10 S Mode, are they really similar to the low-priced devices that Google has been able to offer?

Belfiore tweeted that Windows 10 S is going to be a mode of existing Windows versions next year and "not a distinct version".

While Windows 10 S users can upgrade to any other version of Windows 10 but that would require them to pay some cash and only Win 10 Home upgrade is free. For a $50 fee, any Windows 10 S machine can be transformed into a full-fledged Windows 10 computer.

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This new AI platform will be available across the whole Windows device family including PCs, servers, IoT devices and HoloLens.

Windows 10 S was built to compete against Chrome OS in the education market, but it has not gathered much market share in the United States and Canada compared to Chrome OS, regular Windows devices and iPads. Microsoft even a year ago offered a chance to all Windows 10 S users to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free. What this means is that Microsoft is making it simpler to hook into AI/ML services while building your app as a default operation. As marketing strategies go, this one seems like it could confuse consumers unless Microsoft clearly details how the changes will impact each version.

Recent estimates have stated that Chrome OS accounts for about 60% of the U.S. education market in grades K-12. To make the evaluation process more efficient, Microsoft is using the GPU available on the device.

"We use Win10S as an option for schools or businesses that want the "low-hassle"/ guaranteed performance version", Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore wrote in a post on Twitter.

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