A Windows 11 SE leak offers a glimpse of the next ecosystem-locked SKU for Microsoft’s next operating system upgrade, but there might be a few surprises.
Microsoft is preparing to launch the next major upgrade to its PC operating system – tentatively called Windows 11 – on June 24, but it looks like an ecosystem-locked version called Windows 11 SE is also in the works. Now, that’s not a new direction for the software giant, as the company already offers a product called Windows 10 S (or Windows 10 in S mode) on its Surface portfolio.
In Microsoft’s own words, Windows 10 in S mode was designed with security and performance in mind. And to achieve this, this closed version of Microsoft’s operating system only allows the installation of apps from the Microsoft Store to ensure that they have been thoroughly checked for malware and deliver the best computing experience. more fluid. While Windows 10 in S mode is ideal for deployment in the enterprise and education segments, it can be quite burdensome for people who rely on third-party productivity solutions that are not available. on the Microsoft application repository.
Now it looks like a corresponding S mode for the next Windows 11 upgrade is also on its way. Details on Windows 11 SE have surfaced online through the Dev channel that Microsoft runs for preview testing. Much like Windows 10 in S mode, Windows 11 SE would debut as a Windows 11 SKU limited to Microsoft internal services.
You can convert your account to a local account after signing in, but this edition doesn’t appear to support multiple users by default. pic.twitter.com/4oTAzXUsyo
– Sigma (@fakirmeditation) June 16, 2021
Windows 11 SE might have more restrictions
Interestingly, as stated through XDA Developers, the leak mentions that access to the Microsoft Store in Windows 11 SE is blocked, but this is an early test version, which means the limitation could be lifted when it is officially released. Additionally, it looks like Microsoft will allow users to switch to other SKUs like Windows 11’s Enterprise, Education, or Pro mode after the public release. This is not a new policy, as Windows 10 S also allows users to upgrade to the standard Windows 10 experience which lifts restrictions on installing proprietary apps. However, leaving Windows 10 in S mode is a one-way street, and once the SKU is upgraded, there’s no way to go back. It should be noted here that Microsoft has already revealed the official Windows 10 end of support deadline, hinting at an imminent arrival of its successor.
But what’s really interesting is that the leak shows that Windows 11 SE is running a game called melty Blood Actress Still Current Code. And that’s because the aforementioned game is not listed or distributed from the Microsoft Store, and is available on Steam and a few other third-party websites. This contradicts the whole principle of an “S mode” of the Windows operating system, which limits the installation of applications to the Microsoft Store. Will Microsoft relax the gaming policy with Windows 11 SE to make it a more attractive package for people who enjoy a casual gaming session every now and then? It’s too early to predict, especially when the inference is drawn from a leaked version running in a virtual machine. But the basic experience of using Windows 11 SE will likely remain similar to Windows 11, at least when it comes to using Microsoft’s own suite of productivity apps and those distributed through its storefront. eponymous applications. The best parallel that can be drawn here is how Apple restricts all application installations on the iPhone to the App Store.
However, the leaked screenshots suggest that Windows 11 SE might be even more restrictive than Windows 10 in S mode. For example, a few pages have been omitted from the native Settings app, and the system setup process requires an account. Microsoft to begin with. Also, the workaround for using local account without internet connection available in Windows 10 seems to be missing in Windows 11 SE. Windows 10 users (both in vanilla Home SKUs and in S mode) are already pushed by the operating system to rely on a Microsoft account during the setup process, so it’s no surprise to see the same being transferred to Windows 11 SE. Design-wise, Windows 11 SE will be almost identical to every detail of Sun Valley’s redesign leaked over the past few months.
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