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Windows 10 S will not allow to install Chrome even if it is universal application

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Windows 10 S will not allow to install Chrome even if it is universal application

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google chrome windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s big bet on reaching a wider audience, thanks to offering the most limited operating system on cheaper computers. Although the Surface Laptop that opens it costs about $ 1090 or 999 Euros (without USB Type C, because Microsoft claims it confuses the user), PC makers have said they will launch products starting from $ 189.

Windows 10 S only supports universal applications

The main peculiarity of this operating system is that it is only compatible with UWP applications, that is, those that can be downloaded from the official Windows 10 Store. Thus, in Windows 10 S one cannot run Win32 programs outside of the System, such as Steam, Photoshop or other web browsers like Chrome or Firefox.

This is the main reason why Windows 10 S users can only use Edge to navigate. However it’s not the only change. With Windows 10 S, users cannot change their browser and not even their default browser and are therefore being forced to use Edge and Bing. Along with the artificiality of not being able to install another browser because it does not exist, Microsoft demands a series of requirements when a web browser can appear in the Windows 10 Store, which Chrome will never be able to meet.

Porting to UWP is more complicated than it seems by following the Microsoft guidelines

According to Microsoft guides, “an application cannot endanger the user’s safety, or the safe operation of the device or system. Applications that browse the web must use the HTML and JavaScript engines provided by the Windows platform.”

Windows 10 S

To port Win32 programs to UWP, Microsoft offers a toolkit called Project Islandwood. If Google would like to get the Win32 version of Chrome to the Windows Store, then they would need to use these tools. Additionally, they would have to redo the entire browser from scratch complying with the Microsoft’s requirements. Microsoft justifies these requirements for security reasons. Using its platform, Edge works in an isolated environment protected from malware and exploits.

That is why, a web browser downloaded from the Windows Store would not mean that it is safer but if the security conditions are met like Edge, the browser is a real UWP application that does not have access to all parts of the system as is the case with Win32 programs. Therefore, if a Store application works with “runFullTrust”, it can leave the closed environment and be subject to operations with malicious content, and therefore insecure.

However, it is likely that Google is also not keen to launch Chrome in UWP, as it currently has a large market share with its browser in Win32, and Microsoft would probably invent another limitation to justify that Edge is the only browser usable with Windows 10 S.

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