Alexander: Pros and cons of downsized ‘Windows 10 in S mode’

Q: To get a cheaper price, I bought a brand new laptop computer with Home windows 10 working in “S mode.” I perceive that S mode is meant to be safer, however that my software program selections are restricted. (I additionally know I can improve to full Home windows 10, however I am unsure this PC may deal with it.) However I am nonetheless attempting to determine safety. How can I do a guide antivirus scan? Will the Microsoft Edge browser defend me whereas I am on-line?

Shirley Olson, Hopkins

A: Microsoft modified just a few guidelines in its Home windows 10 working system when it launched S mode, a downsized model of Home windows 10 that usually comes on a PC costing lower than $300. Whereas S mode remains to be Home windows 10, it does so much much less. However, if you’re keen to compromise on efficiency to get a inexpensive laptop, it is a suitable primary PC. Listed here are among the variations between Home windows 10 and Home windows 10 working in S mode:

• Working system upgrades. You’re allowed to improve Home windows 10 in S mode to full Home windows 10 House totally free — however after you have made the swap, you may’t return. Why does this matter? Microsoft lists the identical laptop system necessities for each working techniques, however the S mode model is the one that can run nicely on a minimally outfitted, sub-$300 PC. So, when you improve to full Home windows 10 (see tinyurl.com/mw7m4764), your PC will run slower.

• Benefits. Moreover the actual fact it would run on a low-cost PC, Home windows 10 in S mode is meant to have some great benefits of pace, energy-efficiency and extra safety in opposition to viruses. However the fact is, you solely get these advantages because of the working system’s limitations.

For instance, S mode is quicker and extra energy-efficient as a result of it runs far fewer sorts of applications than full Home windows 10 does, and makes use of a less-sophisticated laptop. It is safer since you are restricted to utilizing solely apps from Microsoft, which promptly fixes safety flaws in its personal software program. (Microsoft has borrowed this idea from Apple. The iPhone working system is protected as a result of all its apps come from both Apple or its App Retailer, the place Apple enforces safety requirements.)

• Software program. Although your software program selections are restricted to Microsoft apps, that is not all unhealthy. The newest model of the Edge browser is about as protected as Google’s extensively used Chrome browser, and the Home windows Safety program is kind of efficient. (Your drawback with the antivirus scan stems from the decreased performance of S mode. Microsoft gave it fewer choices for manually controlling safety, so that you in all probability cannot provoke a scan of your PC.)

• Given its limitations, who’s S mode actually for? Microsoft aimed it on the funds laptop market, which consists largely of faculties. There, S mode competes in opposition to one other limited-function laptop, the Google Chromebook, which begins at lower than $300 however can price extra.

Q: I prefer to play MP4 video information that I obtain by way of e-mail. Is there a technique to play a video file in Gmail, as an alternative of downloading it to my PC to play on a Home windows 10 video participant program?

Gary Birkenmeier, Eau Claire, Wis.

A: You’ll be able to watch video in Gmail by downloading “Gmail Mod” (mod stands for modification.) It is an add-on program for the Google Chrome (see tinyurl.com/5vxushjx) or Mozilla Firefox (see tinyurl.com/yp62k6vk) browsers. Gmail Mod performs 4 video file codecs (together with MP4), plus three audio file codecs.

E-mail tech inquiries to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 650 S. third Av., Suite 1300, ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Embody title, metropolis and phone quantity.

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