In this tale of two operating systems, in this case, Chrome OS vs Windows 10 S, we are going to have a look at how Windows 10 S fares pitted against the immensely popular Chrome OS. Both operating systems have a different approach to how they go about their business. The end result is a stripped down operating system best suited for 2-in-1 tablet PCs and going for as low as $189.
Windows 10 S: Pros and Cons
Windows 10 S is not much different from Windows 10 Pro/Home. If it’s continuity you’re after, you will get it with this slimmed down Windows OS. It’s a case of an old dog wearing a new skin. When you get down to it, Windows 10 S is a remixed Windows 10 operating system reimagined in a locked down ecosystem as you would find in a Mac. Perhaps this is the future unfolding before our very own eyes. For now, though Windows 10 S is specifically engineered for low-end hardware and marketed towards the education sector. Windows S’s strengths lie elsewhere but as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
Not one to take this sitting down, Windows 10 S has integrated STEM education along with other educational partnerships (e.g PowerSchool) to entice users to Windows 10 S. STEM is basically a dedication to the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. You will come across features such as Intune for Education, Microsoft Learning Tools and other assistive tools integrated into Word, OneNote, and Teams which even the playing field. For instance, Learning Tools for OneNote help students improve reading and writing skills, and comprehension. One Note Class Notebook has assignments and grade integration. Microsoft has also made use of Minecraft and Mixed reality to make their classrooms more fun.
- Windows 10 S is a familiar OS most users will be comfortable using
- Microsoft has more control over the Windows 10 S providing more security due to sandboxing apps and processes.
- Windows 10 S is lighter and thus can run comfortably on low-end hardware.
- Simple process to upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro for $50
- Microsoft Store apps are fewer than the Chrome Web Store apps.
- Most apps in the Microsoft Store have terrible reviews.
- Microsoft Edge is the default and only browser in Windows 10 S creating an unfair advantage.
- Popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera are missing from the Microsoft Store.
- Cannot install downloaded software from the internet or from CDs
Chrome OS: Pros and Cons
Google runs an ecosystem of monstrous proportions. A good many people globally are consummate users of Google services in one form or another. It’s either that Gmail account, the GSuite and/or Google Apps, Google’s search engine, the Chrome browser or something. That Google can offer an exclusive operating system, Chrome OS, to exploit this ecosystem shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s basically pre-ordained by the powers of common sense.
By design, Chrome OS runs an entire operating system built around its Google Chrome browser. The Google ecosystem ensures that you don’t actually need to leave. Chrome OS powers most student education computers on the market today with good reason. That even the lowest-end computers can run Chrome OS is one selling factor. But the mere fact that Chrome OS is run from the Chrome browser gives these laptops a lot of advantages you don’t often see in regular computers.
The Chrome OS edges out Windows 10 S here mostly due to the extent of educational tools it has in its repository. Windows 10 S is only just trying to break into this new market and as such faces an uphill battle against the more established Chrome OS. Chrome OS has productive educational tools such as Google Classroom, Google Sites, Google CS First, Google Maps, Google Keep and Google Apps to mention a few, which is only scratching the surface. There’s also Cloud9 for programming, Basecamp for collaboration, CIRC to connect to any server and more.
Related: What is Chrome OS and should you get Chromebooks instead of a PC
Some are free whereas other tools like Explain Everything and Soundtrap are quite affordable. Some of these tools include Google Forms which lets educators set quizzes and automatically return results on completion. There’s also Virtual Reality Expeditions a class can have as a group, Cast for Education which lets students and teachers execute both audio and video sharing to a computer hooked into a projector.
The Chrome Web Store is not dissimilar from the Microsoft Store. Both house thousands of sandboxed apps many of which are even free to download. The Chrome OS has one up on Windows 10 S on this one. The Chrome Web Store is a thriving community of literally thousands of useful apps to juice up your productivity. The star rating system and the reviews are a good way to gauge which apps to download. As if that’s not enough, you also get your choice pick from the Google Play Store. Android users would find this particularly convenient.
- Chrome OS can run on most low-end hardware.
- Your computer won’t eventually slow down running a Chrome OS
- Chrome Web Store has a large repository of apps for most major software.
- Android apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store in Chrome OS.
- Chrome OS offers automatic updates,
- Web apps are installed in a sandbox environment with data encryption across the entire operating system.
- Some web apps don’t look so great running from the Chrome browser.
- Most apps depend on an active internet connection to work which can be bothersome without one.
- Chrome OS is much less powerful operating system than Windows 10 S.