A few days ago, Microsoft announced the availability of its new Surface Laptop. The company's latest device runs Windows 10 S, an operating system aimed primarily at the education sector. Windows 10 S is limited to running apps installed from the Windows Store, potentially offering much greater security on devices, and limiting the impact of malware and viruses. It should also deliver better battery performance, thanks to restrictions on background tasks and services for apps installed from the Store.
Previously, Microsoft stated that customers with a Surface Laptop can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free until the end of this year, but will be required to pay "$49 or less" after the expiration of this deadline. The company also explicitly announced that switching to Windows 10 Pro is one-way and that users won't be able to revert to Windows 10 S after they decide to do so. However, now it appears that Microsoft is offering users a path to go back to Windows 10 S.
As spotted by MSPoweruser, the company has officially rolled out a recovery image of Windows 10 S version 1703. To access these files, users will need to head over to Microsoft's relevant support page, choose Surface Laptop from the drop-down list, and enter their device's serial number. The recovery image weighs in at 9GB.
It is important to note that reverting to Windows 10 S will wipe all the data from your Surface Laptop, and will essentially restore it to factory condition. Citing security concerns, Microsoft previously announced that going back to Windows 10 S wouldn't be possible at all, saying that some applications have an "unpredictable effect", and can add code to the boot or login path of Windows. As such, it is not possible to revert to a different version of Windows without affecting these applications.
In light of the aforementioned statement, it does make sense that Microsoft would allow users to go back to Windows 10 S from Windows 10 Pro, as long as they wipe the data from their devices, avoiding the unpredictable effects that the installed applications might have otherwise.
Source and image via: MSPoweruser
Editor's note: The article's title was updated after publication for clarity.