Microsoft Defends Windows 10 S, Teases Surface Phone

Microsoft has come under fire for some of the restrictions it places upon users in Windows 10 S, which comes pre-loaded on the new Surface Laptop. But in a recent interview, Microsoft said it believes it's on to something.

Speaking to Business Insider in an interview published on Friday (June 16), Microsoft general manager for Surface Ryan Gavin said that Windows 10S can be restrictive. But he noted that it's designed for certain environments and people, including schools and novice technology users, that really want "faster load times and better battery life."

Microsoft announced the new Surface Laptop last month. The device offers a sleek design with Alcantara fabric and a vibrant display, but the most controversial feature is that it runs Windows 10 S out of the box. The operating system is a pared down version of traditional Windows 10, and perhaps most importantly, won't let you download apps outside of the Windows Store.

MORE: Windows 10 S Locks You Into Edge and Bing, Out of Key Apps

Microsoft -- and Gavin -- argue that won't be a problem. Gavin noted that Microsoft built the computer with the slimmed-down operating system because the company's "customers wanted it." And Microsoft is also quick to note you can download a standard Windows 10 build to Surface Laptop if you're not fond of Windows 10 S.

But Gavin discussed much more than just Windows 10S. In fact, he quickly turned his attention to Apple, saying that the iPhone maker copied Microsoft with its iPad Pro.

"Think about it, if we had been looking at [Apple] we wouldn't have made a product like Surface Pro or Surface Book," Gavin told Business Insider. "We have been learning and perfecting our products in the 2-in-1 category for years now, [but] when Surface initially launched everyone was skeptical, including them. And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that."

Still, Gavin said that Microsoft doesn't "really look at Apple" and what it's doing.

Gavin ended his interview with some hints to the future, telling Business Insider that if Microsoft ever releases a Surface Phone, it won't "resemble what we know and think of as a phone today."

Gavin didn't say, however, whether Microsoft is considering a Surface Phone launch.

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