In a bid to take on Google's Chrome OS, Microsoft launched the Windows 10 S operating system for education in May this year. The new Surface Laptop released alongside comes with Windows 10 S pre-installed, along with few other offerings from third party manufacturers. The new operating system is tied to the Windows Store, which means students can only run apps downloaded from the Store. For those who find that very limiting, Microsoft offers a chance to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free to all Windows 10 S users. The deadline for this free upgrade was until the end of 2017, but now Microsoft has announced that users can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free till March 31, 2018.
This addition of three more months has been announced by Microsoft on its latest blog detailing the availability expansion of the Surface Laptop to 20 more countries in different colour options. "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."
Earlier, Microsoft had announced that users who wish to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro after December 31, 2017 will have to shell out $49 (roughly Rs. 3,100) for it. This extension could also be because Microsoft still has to fulfil some its promised features like the Windows Store version of iTunes, and the introduction of some key apps to the Windows Store. The delay in the fulfilment of these promises could have led to this extension of deadline.
Windows 10 S is built keeping in mind classrooms, which means students won't be exposed to potentially dangerous apps, while every app is certified by Microsoft to ensure there is no performance drop over time. Several education-focused features will also be found on the Edge browser and Microsoft apps like Office 365 will also see more school-friendly features in the future as well.
Laptops from Acer and HP offer Windows 10 S starting at $299 (roughly Rs. 19,100). There's also the Surface Laptop which is priced at a hefty $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000). Notably though, there are cheaper Windows 10 S PCs coming up, with Microsoft partners such as Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba all making Windows 10 Education PCs available from $189 (roughly Rs. 12,100).