Today, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Laptop, a premium notebook priced from $999, with Intel's latest 7th-generation (Kaby Lake) Core i5 and Core i7 processors. The new portable PC has a 13.5-inch display, but unlike the Surface Book and Pro 4, the display and keyboard cannot be separated, although the Surface Laptop's screen does support both touch and the Surface Pen.
The Surface Laptop is the first device to run Windows 10 S, a new edition of the OS that the company also announced today at its education-focused 'Learn What's Next' event. Windows 10 S only allows apps to be installed from the Windows Store, including apps built on its Universal Windows Platform, and Win32 apps 'converted' for distribution through the Store using its Desktop App Bridge (also known as Project Centennial).
Microsoft spoke at length today about the demand for a 'conventional' notebook among students; according to Microsoft's Panos Panay: "Students are asking for a laptop. They're asking for a Surface Laptop." But the device isn't limited to that market, and pre-orders will be generally available from today for other buyers too.
Not all buyers will be pleased by the restriction on only being able to download apps from the Windows Store, though, and Microsoft is evidently aware of this. That's why the company is offering buyers of the Surface Laptop a free upgrade to a more fully-featured version of the OS.
"Prefer to run non-Store apps?" Microsoft's tech specs page asks. "Easily switch to Windows 10 Pro for free until December 31, 2017."
It seems that Surface Laptop owners will have to pay up to $49 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro after that date, so the free upgrade is certainly a welcome offer, even if it only lasts until the end of the year. Microsoft is also giving Surface Laptop buyers a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal until October 15, 2017.
Editor's note: This article was updated after publishing to add pricing details regarding the Windows 10 Pro upgrade.