HP, Acer and Lenovo take aim at businesses with Windows 10 S devices

The devices will get the option to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode

HP, Acer and Lenovo are targeting enterprises' "firstline workers" with a series of low-cost laptops running Microsoft's Windows 10 S.

Microsoft said its OEMs are taking aim at "frontline" workers with their new devices, including the HP Stream 14 Pro, which will retail at $275, the Acer Aspire 1 at $299, Swift 1 at $349 and the Lenovo 330, which will also cost $349 (UK prices are yet to be confirmed).

The three companies said they want to minimise the cost of ownership, while securing devices against hackers and other malicious activity. To achieve this, Windows 10 S's Microsoft Edge browser offers security against phishing attacks and malicious software, while Microsoft argued that 10 S's habit of blocking non-Windows Store apps ensures the user is protected even when using an external network.

Blocking non-Windows Store apps has proved a sticking point with some critics of 10 S, though users will get the option to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise running "in S mode", Microsoft said, giving them Credential Guard, Application Guard and centralised management of the Windows Store. There's no price tag on that upgrade option yet, though.

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The four devices running on Windows 10 S also offer super-fast startup, integration with VMs and full integration with OneDrive, Microsoft said.

HP's Stream 14 will be the first device to arrive next month, while Acer's line-up will launch before Christmas. The Lenovo V330 won't be available until February next year.

"As we strive to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, we see a significant opportunity to bring technology to all workers, especially those on the front line," Bernardo Caldas, general manager of commercial marketing for Windows, said.

"These two billion Firstline Workers are the people who serve as the first point of contact between an organization and its customers or products. A critical part of empowering this workforce is providing custom technology experiences and streamlined, secure devices that help them get their work done and build skills.

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