Microsoft launches Windows 11 SE for education markets • The Register


Microsoft prepared a version of Windows 11, dubbed Windows 11 SE, primarily for schools and their students, and designed a $ 250 Surface SE laptop to go with it.

To us, it looks like the operating system is Windows S but with a twist. While Windows 10 and 11 in S mode only allow users to install apps from Microsoft’s official online store, Windows 11 SE does not even come with an app store and allows school IT administrators to deploy software only from a Microsoft controlled list that is not currently fully public.

Chrome and Zoom made the cut, so these can be installed. Microsoft Education veep Paige Johnson noted On Tuesday, the Windows giant will attempt “to extend support for third-party applications to include the most common testing, accessibility, content filtering and orchestration applications in the classroom.”

Other than that, you get Microsoft Edge for web tools and extensions, and you can paste Microsoft 365 apps into it, which will work if the device is offline, we’re told. Appropriate license is required, natch. Once the PC is online, it should sync all offline changes to its OneDrive cloud storage.

Administrators can use Windows Autopilot and Intune for Education to remotely provision and manage devices, select their apps from the approved list, and set when updates can be installed so that lessons aren’t interrupted by downloads and restarts. Only administrators can configure machines and select the software that runs on them.

This minimal approach, with only a few approved apps running as needed, is supposed to lengthen the time between battery charges and not tax the hardware – and Windows 11 SE is primarily aimed at low-end laptops intended for classrooms. and bedrooms. In the case of the Surface SE, Microsoft claims 16 hours of operation between charges.

The Surface Laptop SE, priced at $ 250 for the base spec, sports an Intel N4020 or N4120 Celeron processor, 4 or 8 GB of RAM, and 64 or 128 GB of storage. The 11.6-inch screen should be fine for children. There are USB ports, stereo speakers, a 720p front camera, and a venerable 3.5mm headphone jack.

Microsoft said it has optimized the operating system – which is essentially Windows 11 Home with a streamlined user interface – to run up to 4GB of RAM and an Atom-class processor. It’s supposed to be a godsend for teachers, parents, and school IT administrators, and will be hell for anyone trying to use it as a traditional office environment.

And so it appears with this software and hardware specification that Microsoft has Google’s Chromebooks in its sights. Laptops running Chrome OS have made a roaring trade in the U.S. education market, at least, which Redmond can’t be too happy about.

Microsoft believes that its Surface SE has an advantage over competing equipment that will delight IT administrators in schools: its repairability. Since kids aren’t the best at protecting their kit, the Surface Laptop SE is designed to be taken apart using standard tools, and the screen, battery, keyboard, and motherboard can all be taken apart. easily replaced, with parts available through an authorized service. suppliers. We wish the rest of the Surface line had that, not to mention Google and Apple gear.

The Surface SE is expected to land later this year or early 2022. See the promo video below for more details.

Youtube video

In addition, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS and Acer will be to bring out laptops with Windows 11 SE bundled together, and the budget theme continues. None cost more than $ 350, and Dell and ASUS have laptops that match Microsoft’s Surface price tag.

The education market is an interesting battleground for operating system vendors. As the philosopher Aristotle, or Saint Ignatius of Loyola, whichever you believe, said: “Give me a child until he is seven years old and I will show you the man.”

There is the argument that people tend to stick with the operating system they grew up with, or at least spent their school years with. Another argument is that schools choose the operating system that students will need to know when they go to work or college. Then there’s the turnover and negotiation by salespeople to make sure their wares are what line the classrooms.

However it works, Windows 11 SE is clearly designed not only to compete with Chrome OS in education, but also to make kids addicted to Microsoft 365 for life. ®


Sam D. Gomez