With the launch by Microsoft of the new version of its operating system, Windows 10 S, a new player has entered the market for laptops and budget PCs. This segment of the market was previously ruled by Chromebooks, low-cost laptops (starting at $179) that run Google's Chrome OS. However, Google has a new rival:Microsoft.ContentsFeatures missing from Windows 10 SChromeOS versus Windows 10 SInstalling applicationsThe browserPricesApplicationsWhich OS to choose?
Windows 10 S is quite similar in appearance and design to Windows 10. Microsoft has described the company's new budget operating system as a "specific configuration of Windows 10 Professional that delivers a familiar and productive Windows experience, streamlined for the safety and performance. However, there are major differences.
Windows 10 S will only allow you to download and use apps from the Windows Store. This rids the experience of traditional software installation methods. The downside of this feature is that not all apps are in the Windows Store. For example, if you want to use Adobe PhotoShop CS6 to edit images, you cannot find it in Microsoft applications. Of course, there are alternatives:the free PhotoShop Express and PhotoShop Elements 15, the latter costing you $99.
Microsoft argues that such changes were necessary to improve the security of the new system. By using apps exclusively from the Windows Store, users can prevent the spread of malware to the operating system.
Moreover, the tighter control over installed apps makes the system lightweight, which means it will run faster on devices with low-end hardware. Installing apps only from the Windows Store will prevent the system from slowing down over time. This slowdown is often caused by applications demanding a greater portion of system resources as well as cruel buildup in boot sequences.
While Windows 10 S uses traditional methods to install apps (from the hard drive), Chrome OS uses the Internet for almost everything. In the early years of Chrome OS, it was almost impossible to use the operating system in offline mode. However, later Google released a number of programs that let you work offline and sync with web servers when you connect to a WiFi network. You can download apps from the Google Play Store, though every move is done through browser windows with both apps and user data residing in the cloud.
Taking advantage of the lightweight system, both operating systems limit the number of search engines and browsers that can be used. Obviously, Chrome OS offers Google Chrome for the browser and Google as the search engine, while Windows 10 S comes with Microsoft Edge and Bing.
Other than preferences, there should be no issues with Microsoft's Edge browser as it has recently undergone various tweaks and updates. Additionally, Microsoft claims that using Edge will give users forty-five percent more battery life compared to similar devices using Chrome. However, due to its popularity and efficient algorithm, most of us prefer Google over Bing when it comes to internet searches.
As for the hardware, there is not much difference between the supported peripherals of the two operating systems. You can buy a Chromebook for as little as $179, while Windows 10 S laptops will start at $189, with the latter expected to start shipping this summer.
Both operating systems offer a wide variety of applications. Microsoft says there are 669,000 apps in the Windows Store. On the other hand, the Google Play Store has more apps. We can say that none of the operating systems suffers from the lack of applications.
One advantage of ChromeOS over Windows 10 S is the ability to install Android apps on Chromebook. However, not all Android apps will work on Chromebook, but it still gives its users more app choices than Windows 10 S.
Here is a table to summarize the differences.
It's hard to say which operating system works best for everyone. For those who are used to Microsoft's dominant desktop operating system and not looking to conduct almost any activity on the web, we recommend Windows 10 S. On the other hand, Chrome OS uses a wider selection of apps and hardware, and is a better choice for browsers and search engines.
Which would you choose?