Microsoft announces new Surface Laptop SE, Windows 11 SE for schools

In the context of increased competition from Google and Apple in the education market, Microsoft on Tuesday announced the Surface Laptop SE and a new version of Windows 11 designed especially for schools. The tech giant said the Surface Laptop SE, its most affordable Surface computer, starts at $ 249 and will be available for purchase in early 2022. The new edition of Windows 11, meanwhile, is a release. streamlined version of the company’s latest Windows 11 desktop operating system, customized for the K-12 education market. The announcements were made during its Reimagine: What’s Next for Education virtual event.

“Surface Laptop SE attacks entry-level Chromebooks and iPads”

The arrival of the new Surface Laptop SE is a clear indication that Microsoft is feeling the heat in the education market lately with the rise of Chromebooks, a new generation of laptops running on the Chrome operating system. Google OS. They are not only faster but also cheaper than Windows laptops. Chromebooks are easy to use and are designed to run web applications like Google Classroom, a program that allows teachers and students to organize their work in a very easy way. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the popularity of Chromebooks is increasing, providing students with a cheaper alternative to online courses.

The Surface Laptop SE is Microsoft’s first computer designed for the K-8 education market running Windows 11 SE. It is a simple computer with a plastic chassis, unlike the company’s sophisticated Surface computers from Microsoft. The laptop has an 11.6-inch display, the same keyboard and trackpad as the Surface Laptop Go, a 720p front camera for video calls, a USB-A and USB-C port. , a barrel-type power connector and an Intel processor. Celeron processor (N4020 or 4120), 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM and 64 GB or 128 GB of eMMC storage. Microsoft claims 16 hours of “typical” battery life, and unlike most other Surface devices that have a 3: 2 aspect ratio, the Surface Laptop SE has a 16: 9 aspect ratio display. In addition, Microsoft makes the Laptop SE easy to repair, thanks to screws accessible at the bottom. It will be available in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.

While the SE laptop is a proprietary device from Microsoft, several OEMs, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and other PC makers, will be releasing their own Windows 11 SE PCs. Most of these devices are expected to be available later this year and into 2022.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has attempted to increase its presence in the crucial education market. Indeed, in 2018, it launched the Surface Go, a hybrid computer designed for the education market. While it started at $ 399, a low cost for a 2-in-1 device, the price wasn’t low enough to convince schools and students to upgrade to Surface Go which doesn’t come with a keyboard or a stylus. At the same time, Google and even Apple in recent years have continued to offer devices suitable for schools. Apple, for example, has been hyper-aggressive in the education market. It sells an entry-level iPad for $ 329 or $ 299 with an education discount.

Windows 11 SE laptops from major PC OEMs like Acer, Asus, and Dell are expected to hit education channels later this year and early 2022. (Image credit: Microsoft)

“Windows 11 SE is a simplified version of the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system”

Microsoft is also launching a version of Windows designed to provide a simplified environment, making it easy for students and school administration. Windows 11 SE will not include a built-in store for apps, but it will allow students / school administration to run curated third-party apps including Chrome and Zoom. Generally speaking, Windows 11 SE will push web-based learning applications. One of the strengths of Windows 11 SE is that PCs running this version of the operating system with licenses for Microsoft 365 productivity software will be able to save files locally, which means students can open them when they are. offline. Once the students have access to the Internet, they will be able to synchronize the changes.

Windows 11 SE will only be available preloaded on new devices for the education market. Simply put, Microsoft has no intention of making Windows 11 SE available on current devices via a software update or selling the new operating system separately in the market. PCs running Windows 11 SE will be available through Education Purchase Channels. The new operating system will not be sold to business consumers or consumers, according to Microsoft.

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