Microsoft has set it sights on the education market, in earnest this time and Google is likely going to be plonked in the line of fire.

The secret weapon in Microsoft’s bid for the education market is a new operating system (OS) or rather a new version of Windows 10 known as Windows 10 S.

The latest version of Microsoft’s OS is stripped back and locked down. In short this means that users won’t be able to install programs which aren’t available through the Windows Store. To be clear apps can be installed outside of the confines of the Store but they need to be available through it.

The reason for this is safety. If Windows 10 S is to be used in schools malware could potentially spread like wild fire, locking the OS down may help to prevent that but time will tell.

Users can bump up their Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro for $49 (~R652) and if they’re a student Microsoft will upgrade the OS for free.

Windows 10 S is also a lot faster thanks to its lean design. Gizmodo reports that a notebook running Windows 10 S will load a user profile 15 seconds faster than it would on the same notebook running Windows 10 Pro.

Microsoft’s new OS is slated for release in the northern hemisphere’s summer (that’s our winter) this year which is spitting distance away. The OS will ship with notebooks from Dell, HP and Acer and the cheapest notebook running the OS starts at $189 (~R2517) which is rather cheap.

Windows 10 S will also ship with one year of access to Minecraft Education Edition and Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams. What’s more is that if a school already has Windows 10 Pro they can switch to 10 S for free.

We will admit that locking down an operating system seems like a bad idea except in the case of a school. Preventing students from downloading and installing any program their hearts desire is smart and might tempt schools away from the Chromebooks they might have been using until now.