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The answer is yes. And no.
Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS, Google’s stripped-down web-browser-cum-operating-system, which has slowly wormed its way into the hearts of consumers and schools.
In an attempt to match the Chromebooks’ locked-down-tight approach, Windows 10 S will only allow users to install apps that are hosted in the Windows Store. These can be both the Universal-type apps that are commonly found on mobile platforms (Twitter, Candy Crush and the like) and traditional Win32 apps (Microsoft Office, Photoshop Elements, Halo etc), but they must be listed in the Store. You’ll be blocked if you attempt to run a .exe file you’ve downloaded off a website, even if it’s something as innocent as the Firefox browser.
Or, indeed, the PC version of Minecraft.
Yes, even though Microsoft paid a couple of billion dollars for Minecraft back in 2014, it hasn’t put the full-blown version of Minecraft into its own Store. Instead, it offers the Windows 10 Edition of the game, which is built from the same codebase as Pocket Edition for iOS and Android. The Windows 10/Pocket Edition of Minecraft has definitely grown more powerful over the past couple of years, but it’s still not a patch on the PC version.
So, if you’re thinking of buying a Windows 10 S machine – including the £1,000 Surface laptop that Microsoft announced yesterday – just remember that it won’t be able to play what’s still the biggest selling game on Windows today. The game that’s owned by Microsoft. Go figure.