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Surface Book And Other Windows 10 S Devices Will Not Run Linux Apps

20 May 2017, 8:56 am EDT By Eric Brackett Tech Times
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Microsoft has some bad news for fans of Linux. The company clarified that Windows 10 S, which powers the Surface Book, will not run Linux distributions.  ( Drew Angerer | Getty Images )

Microsoft has clarified that Windows 10 S will not run Linux distributions, or distros, despite the app package being available in the Windows Store. Previously, the company had announced that Windows 10 S would run any app in the Windows Store.

Microsoft said that Ubuntu, Fedora, and SUSE would be available as apps in the Windows Store. Understandably, this prompted some users to speculate that Windows 10 S would be able to run those programs. However, Microsoft has explained why that will not be the case.

"Just because an 'app' comes from the Windows Store does NOT automatically mean that it's safe [and] suitable for running in Windows 10 S," wrote Microsoft's Rich Turner. "There are some apps that are not allowed to run on Windows 10 S, including all command-line apps, shells, and Consoles."

Turner's statement implies that there may be some sort of additional screening process before apps are approved for Windows 10 S in order to ensure they fit with the company's stated goals for the platform.

Linux Distros Not Meant For Windows 10 S

Microsoft's reasoning here is fairly straightforward and understandable. In short, Windows 10 S is meant for non-technical users who do not want to spend time messing around with command lines, which is something Linux distros require.

Speaking of command lines, Microsoft also said that Windows 10 S is not even capable of running Linux because of the system's reliance on command lines.

"While Linux will be available in the Store, it will not be capable of running on Win 10 S because it requires Windows Subsystem for Linux, which it does not have," said Turner. "This feature is intentionally left out of Windows 10 S because Microsoft considers Linux distros to be 'command-line tools' that run outside of the Universal Windows Platform."

Microsoft's recommended solution for this problem is that users who wish to use these apps upgrade Windows 10 S to the full version of Windows 10, which will be available for free to all users of Windows 10 S.

Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is, in short, Microsoft's answer to Google's Chrome OS, which powers the popular Chromebook line. It is a lightweight, secure, and limited version of Windows designed for students, teachers, and others who prefer a simplified OS.

As an alternative to Chromebooks, Windows 10 S will be featured on a number of low-cost laptops, but there are some premium models available such as the Surface Book.

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Eric Brackett Tech Times editor Eric Brackett is a tech junkie and a gamer, covering science and technology. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for updates and his random thoughts on the latest trends in gaming, tech, and comic books.

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