Windows 10 Signature Edition – a Stronger, Faster, Longer-lasting, Bloatware-free version of Windows 10

Windows 10 Signature Edition – a Stronger, Faster, Longer-lasting, Bloatware-free version of Windows 10

Microsoft doesn’t publicize it much, but there is a better version of Windows 10 which is stronger, faster, longer-lasting and bloatware-free. It is called a Microsoft Signature Edition PC(Windows 10 Signature Edition) and it is the best version of Windows 10 available.

The Signature program goes as far back as Windows 7. Despite touting Signature as “Windows at its best,” even the Redmond, Washington-based company was surprisingly tight-lipped. ‘Microsoft Signature defines a Microsoft-crafted software experience for new Windows PCs’, a Microsoft spokesperson said. ‘We ensure new PCs meet our strict standards, do not contain any third-party trial programs, junkware, extraneous utilities, toolbars and screensavers. Every machine marked Signature has been tested and certified for optimal hardware and software performance, and has a pre-installed, ready to go anti-virus program that never expires. From anti-virus to firewall to anti- technologies, Windows provides more security features and ongoing updates for the supported lifetime of your device. All PCs sold by Microsoft Store are Signature Edition machines’. In short, a laptop with Signature Edition is supposed to be a faster, cleaner machine. All laptops sold at Microsoft Stores use this version of Windows, but so do some laptops sold through other outlets.

If you could get a version of Windows to make your PC faster, you would like to get it. But it doesn’t seem quantifiable. Microsoft didn’t justify how much faster Signature PCs are, nor what the tests or optimizations are. Without that information, it is impossible to know what’s going on on the software side, or if it’s all attributable to a lack of bloatware.

Windows Signature PCs have less third-party software in the start menu, but several pieces of Microsoft-loaded crapware remain. Reporter and Windows expert Ed Bott suggests that it is the lack of antivirus and other drivers from third-party companies that may increase performance, as well as fewer programs launching upon startup. ‘I suspect you can take the claimed performance benefit as a best-case scenario but it’s still a valuable thing assuming you are not paying an excessive [for the privilege]’, Bott said.

Apps in the Create, Explore and Play sections in the Start Menu, like Drawboard PDF, Candy Crush Soda Saga and Bubble Witch 3 Saga, appear on every Signature edition laptop. A representative from one notebook vendor said that Microsoft, not the company that makes the laptop, controls what goes in these slots in both vendor and Signature images of Windows, so they aren’t tied to the Signature program. Microsoft didn’t comment on how apps are chosen for those slots, except that they’ve been approved.

Microsoft has started bloating up the OS with a lot of games and applications that many users might not really want, said Stephen Kleynhans, analyst and vice president of the mobile and client computing group at Gartner. ‘So while PC makers are reducing bloatware on new machines, the perception is that Microsoft is increasing it’. Kleynhans pointed out that this issue is especially bad for small business users that can’t afford the enterprise edition of Windows 10, which lacks this bloatware. “Not everyone wants Candy Crush,” he said. The one upside is that the bloatware Microsoft puts in doesn’t affect system performance. ‘It is worth noting that all of those apps are Windows Store apps, and many of them are just shortcuts’, Bott said. ‘The good thing about Store apps is that they use zero resources unless you actually run them. They can’t auto-start and they don’t have any system drivers that can impact performance. You can uninstall them with a menu option by right-clicking each one, and the uninstall is super clean. So as ‘bloatware’ goes you’re out a relatively small amount of disk space, and that’s it’.

Microsoft touts that all laptops sold in its retail stores are Signature machines, and that’s true. In fact, many people buy laptops from Microsoft each year and have no idea they are even getting it or its benefits. The Microsoft Store website claims that Signature Edition PCs are ‘Only at Microsoft Store’, but that’s misleading.

This year, has sent several review units running Signature Edition, including the Flip S UX370. An rep confirmed that the Flip S is being sold in the United States only as a Signature Edition machine. Dell, on the other hand, doesn’t sell any Signature Edition laptops through its own website. As of this writing, you can get the Dell XPS 13, XPS 15, Inspiron 15 5000, Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 with Windows 10 Signature Edition at Microsoft’s Store. You can also buy machines from Acer, MSI, Toshiba and Porsche Design through Microsoft.

Signature, as it appears, is a small change, and likely one you can achieve by yourself, through uninstalling third-party software or reinstalling the OS. If there are other changes, no one could say. This results in systems that doesn’t have a lot of nagware or unwanted programs that a user has to spend a lot of time uninstalling. The benefits to the user of Signature program become weaker over time – Stephen Kleynhans, Gartner analyst and VP. His prediction is that the future of Windows 10 won’t have actual preloaded software, but ads that push you to the Windows Store (this has already started with some games, but not all apps). If that’s the case, he said, end users get more control over what’s installed on their machine, and with the ads tiles being easy to remove, “the benefits to the user of Signature program become weaker over time.”



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