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Windows 10 S might alarm Valve into boosting SteamOS again

Posted by , | Views: 36,599

You might have heard of Microsoft's latest plans (source) to keep people on their own store, with a locked down Windows 10 S mode to be available on all versions of Windows. This is easily a first step towards Windows 10 S being the first version of Windows that users see.

Windows 10 S is essentially a version of Windows 10 that's locked into the Windows Store with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, so you can't really run traditional applications like Steam and so on.

This goes directly back to how Gabe Newell of Valve and plenty of other developers felt about Windows 8. With Newell saying "I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.". There's also Croteam CTO Alen Ladavac who wasn't too pleased with it either, he's now tweeted about this latest issue from Microsoft to say " 'I told you so' doesn't quite cut it. :P". Ladavac also said in a reply "Think about it - if apps need to be adapted for UWP, it might be wiser to just adapt them for OSX/Linux instead.".

It makes sense too, if Microsoft is determined to make Windows more locked-down over time, that's not really good for anyone. Actually investing into Linux gaming, where you have far more control opens you up to many more opportunities.

Apparently, Windows 10 S can be upgraded to a "normal" version of Windows 10 Home for free, but the problem is that Microsoft has said around 60% don't even bother to do the upgrade keeping them locked into the Windows Store.

I hope Valve is keeping an eye on this, and it should certainly make Linux and SteamOS quite attractive again for them. There's good reasons why Valve has kept SteamOS around and plans like this from Microsoft (even if they fall through) will happen again and again. If Microsoft fail, they will wait a while and try it another way.

How long will it be until you have to pay to upgrade to Windows 10 Home, how long before the Home edition doesn't exist? Many questions—questions which should probably alarm people.

Thanks for the tip kellerkindt. Note: Article intro updated after publishing to better reflect my own point.

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125 comments
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julespetrikov 5 February 2018 at 11:14 am UTC
liamdaweWe're a gaming site, we're talking about a specific case here of gaming in relation to Valve's store. If you read the source link, they claim to have read a leaked document talking about it. I do suggest reading the source link, which clearly states how it will be locked down to the Windows Store.

A locked-down version of Windows, can and will eat into Valve's profits and share of the market.

Even the claimant site has absolutely no mention that Microsoft is trying to default an S lock to Windows 10. The article clearly states that they're just not going to keep an additional Windows 10 S version and instead there will be Windows 10's with S lock, upgradable to Home and Pro. Which will be a complete rip-off but since they're going to sell this OS on portable devices and/or embedded systems like they're doing right now, it won't be a desktop user problem in a greater scale as it is not a desktop user problem.

A locked-down version of Windows exists already and it has very little, if not none, effect on Valve's market share in gaming industry and this is not by the scale, it's just not relevant. A locked-down device is not Valve's or GOG's market and it's not a problem because locked-down devices such as Chromebooks, Surface whatevers and many other mobile devices with mobile/embedded/stripped-down OSs exist. These things co-exist already.
rustybroomhandle 5 February 2018 at 11:17 am UTC
If you told people that in order to continue running Windows they have to allow a Microsoft goon to bash their finger in with a hammer once a month, I suspect most people would still continue to run Windows. Except now they'd be typing slower with their bashed in finger.
liamdawe 5 February 2018 at 11:24 am UTC
julespetrikov
liamdaweWe're a gaming site, we're talking about a specific case here of gaming in relation to Valve's store. If you read the source link, they claim to have read a leaked document talking about it. I do suggest reading the source link, which clearly states how it will be locked down to the Windows Store.

A locked-down version of Windows, can and will eat into Valve's profits and share of the market.

Even the claimant site has absolutely no mention that Microsoft is trying to default an S lock to Windows 10. The article clearly states that they're just not going to keep an additional Windows 10 S version and instead there will be Windows 10's with S lock, upgradable to Home and Pro. Which will be a complete rip-off but since they're going to sell this OS on portable devices and/or embedded systems like they're doing right now, it won't be a desktop user problem in a greater scale as it is not a desktop user problem.

A locked-down version of Windows exists already and it has very little, if not none, effect on Valve's market share in gaming industry and this is not by the scale, it's just not relevant. A locked-down device is not Valve's or GOG's market and it's not a problem because locked-down devices such as Chromebooks, Surface whatevers and many other mobile devices with mobile/embedded/stripped-down OSs exist. These things co-exist already.
Well, the source link also links to this post. In there, it specifically states all versions of Windows will have the S mode. There would be no reason to add the S mode to every single version, if they weren't going to use it to start everyone off in future. It makes perfect sense that Microsoft will have S as the initial thing you see in future. If you think Microsoft wouldn't move like that, you've clearly not seen all the things they've tried in the past.

The entire point is that if Microsoft do move towards this in the desktop space, then it could be a disaster.

Edit: Spelling.


Last edited by liamdawe at 5 February 2018 at 11:24 am UTC
nitroflow 5 February 2018 at 11:30 am UTC
Samsai
QuoteApparently, Windows 10 S can be upgraded to a "normal" version of Windows 10 Home for free, but the problem is that Microsoft has said around 60% don't even bother to do the upgrade keeping them locked into the Windows Store.
This stuff right here is just Microsoft preying on the ignorance of its users. Just like the free upgrades to Windows 10, the free upgrade to Windows 10 Home will be gone eventually and all of the people that didn't know to upgrade their OS by then have accidentally locked themselves into using a technically inferior product for no benefit.

Actually I took the opportunity to upgrade my parents POS from windows 7 pro to windows 10 pro for free because touch screen support is vastly superior but to each is own
Samsai 5 February 2018 at 11:33 am UTC
nitroflow
Samsai
QuoteApparently, Windows 10 S can be upgraded to a "normal" version of Windows 10 Home for free, but the problem is that Microsoft has said around 60% don't even bother to do the upgrade keeping them locked into the Windows Store.
This stuff right here is just Microsoft preying on the ignorance of its users. Just like the free upgrades to Windows 10, the free upgrade to Windows 10 Home will be gone eventually and all of the people that didn't know to upgrade their OS by then have accidentally locked themselves into using a technically inferior product for no benefit.

Actually I took the opportunity to upgrade my parents POS from windows 7 pro to windows 10 pro for free because touch screen support is vastly superior but to each is own
You misunderstood my point. My point is not that Windows 10 is an inferior product but that the upgrade opportunity expired. And I predict the upgrade opportunity from S to Home will also expire and S is an objectively inferior product to Home.
nitroflow 5 February 2018 at 11:40 am UTC
Samsai
nitroflow
Samsai
QuoteApparently, Windows 10 S can be upgraded to a "normal" version of Windows 10 Home for free, but the problem is that Microsoft has said around 60% don't even bother to do the upgrade keeping them locked into the Windows Store.
This stuff right here is just Microsoft preying on the ignorance of its users. Just like the free upgrades to Windows 10, the free upgrade to Windows 10 Home will be gone eventually and all of the people that didn't know to upgrade their OS by then have accidentally locked themselves into using a technically inferior product for no benefit.

Actually I took the opportunity to upgrade my parents POS from windows 7 pro to windows 10 pro for free because touch screen support is vastly superior but to each is own
You misunderstood my point. My point is not that Windows 10 is an inferior product but that the upgrade opportunity expired. And I predict the upgrade opportunity from S to Home will also expire and S is an objectively inferior product to Home.

Ah gotcha.
BlackBloodRum 5 February 2018 at 11:41 am UTC
Next up: Monthly subscription for Windows 10!
julespetrikov 5 February 2018 at 11:59 am UTC
liamdaweWell, the source link also links to this post. In there, it specifically states all versions of Windows will have the S mode. There would be no reason to add the S mode to every single version, if they weren't going to use it to start everyone off in future. It makes perfect sense that Microsoft will have S as the initial thing you see in future. If you think Microsoft wouldn't move like that, you've clearly not seen all the things they've tried in the past.

The entire point is that if Microsoft do move towards this in the desktop space, then it could be a disaster.

Edit: Spelling.

Sure, but "all versions having an S mode" (amazingly stupid naming policy by the way. go microsoft!) doesn't necessarily mean that S mode will be defaulted on all rig or mobile device purchases or will default itself on current rigs; what it really means and the later article you base your own indicates that every Windows version (as in Home and Pro) will have an S mode available.

This is a move to sell cheaper rigs and mobile devices with purchasable Windows upgrades. That's all. That's the scheme of Microsoft here, not locking down all the devices on default to UWP. That would be a very, very stupid move.

Again, this has nothing to do with SteamOS or Valve. But there's an issue here and that's consumer getting ripped off for no reason at all. This Store-locking concept might work for conceptual, specialist devices such as tablets, cloud-based netbooks and embedded systems but if they sell a product with the basis of "This is how you game!" or "Browsing freely!" then it would be not a violation of consumer rights but still be a rip-off, thus they would investigate such a thing if there would be enough complaints. I don't know how this stuff works in US.

But, let's be clear on this: These are not relevant Operating Systems and Markets.
Tchey 5 February 2018 at 12:14 pm UTC
I'm always amazed how people keep themselves locked and enslaved, not only with OS choices, but with daily life matters... And it's a choice, based of lack of education and information certainly, but a choice anyway.
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