Compared to iOS, Chrome OS, and even Android, Windows is a powerful platform that lets users install almost anything and do anything they need to get things done. Microsoft, however, has had the ironic problem that it has trouble locking Windows down and selling it that way to businesses and schools. Not that it didn’t try but it has repeatedly failed before finally reaching a compromise in Windows 10 in S Mode. Given that history and the company’s flip-flopping policy, users may have started panicking when they couldn’t get out of S Mode. The good news is that it’s apparently just a bug. The bad news: Microsoft still hasn’t fixed it yet.
Microsoft first tried a locked-down version of Windows with Windows RT which, since it was running on an alien (to Windows) ARM processor, was limited to installing apps only from the Windows Store. That failed and Microsoft tried again with Windows 10 S, a special edition of Windows for x86 machines with the same limitations. It failed yet again to sell that edition or the laptops that had it pre-installed.
The problem with Windows RT and Windows 10 S was two-fold. First was the dearth of Windows Store apps, which has improved slightly over the years. The second was that the majority of Windows users expect the ability to install the software they need to get work or play done. Windows 10 S Mode was a sort of compromise. It wasn’t a separate edition but just a mode that authorized users can get out of permanently.
Unfortunately, users are reporting that’s no longer the case. Visiting the Microsoft Store page to unlock full Windows 10 is coming up blank, preventing them from doing so. Naturally, users have started worrying that Microsoft is silently making S Mode a permanent thing, which is fortunately not the case.
Windows Latest reports that a Microsoft representative confirms that this is not expected behaviour nor is it a problem with the affected PC. Microsoft is already on the case and will update the Microsoft Store with a fix when one is available. Unfortunately, there is reportedly no estimate on when that will happen.