Why Windows 10 S doesn’t stand a chance against Chrome OS

Google released Chrome OS over five years ago, to mixed reactions. There isn’t really a technical description to what Chrome OS exactly is, but we can gather clues and insights from Chromium OS. Chrome OS is one of the many variations of the Linux operating system. Windows 10 S is a stripped version of Windows 10; all the drawbacks of Windows 10 without any of the benefits. Here’s the reasons why Windows 10 S pales in comparison to Chrome OS.

  1. Boot time — The boot time of Windows 10 S is said to be 15 seconds faster than the boot time of the regular Windows 10 Pro. That’s great, so I still have enough time to walk the dog and check the mail before having to return back to my laptop to get some actual work done on it. Last time I checked on a Chromebook, it booted in under 15 seconds from keypress to ready-to-use. And, people will tell you that it must have been really slow that day. So, in this the winner is obviously Chrome OS.
  2. Updates — Chrome OS offers automatic background updates even when a non-administrator is logged in. It just does it in the background, and when you eventually restart the computer, the new version is there. There’s no need for an administrator to login, press update, wait on it, and then move to the next one. And, for schools, which are short-staffed, but have a lot of students and computers to handle, that’s a lot of time saved. Windows 10 S keeps the updating process the same way since it was released, and still is plagued by the automatic update and reboot issue. This is one of the most complained about issues for Windows 10, and many people have compared it to an advertisement for a Mac. The winner is again Chrome OS.
  3. Security-Windows 10 S touts its Edge Browser and Windows Defender anti-virus app as the way to keep Windows 10 S secure. It means less malware and less chances for something to randomly attach on your system. However Chrome OS touts full device encryption, automatic updates (security goes hand in hand with updates; there’s very little need to worry about viruses if you know your system is updated), verified boot, sand boxing for everything, and one click refresh. Anti-virus software is great, but Chrome OS prevents viruses from ever occurring. The winner: Chrome OS again.
  4. Cost-Windows 10 S debuted with the Surface at a $1000. Now, even though Microsoft says that it will work just as well on lower priced laptops, the best Chromebook that I can find is a 15.6" Celeron with 4GB of RAM at $250, compared to the 14" Surface at Core i5. Four highly-specced Chromebooks for the price of one mid-level Surface is a deal that many schools will take. The winner again is Chrome OS.

With so many advantages over Windows 10 S, Chrome OS seems to continue being the default option for low to mid-range consumers, especially on the education side. Microsoft needs to keep and maintain Windows 10 for high-end professionals and server-side applications, and establish some dominance over Apple in that realm before moving to a segment, in which they have many more advantages than disadvantages. Even though they own the market-share, the high-end premium market is still dominated by Apple.

So, Windows 10 has two competitors on two sides of the market, three if you count the server-side with the various Linux distributions, so Windows 10 should focus on doing what it does best, which is the high-end side and server-side role, and fixing the multitude of problems that plague users there such as the update issue mentioned earlier. Chrome OS seems now deeply entrenched for anything low-end and for productivity that does not require high-end hardware, and that’s not going to change for Windows 10 S.