Microsoft Launches New Windows OS For Low-Cost Laptops; Not For Personal Use!

It can be bought via education purchasing channels.

Microsoft has launched its latest product which is an OS specially designed for low-cost laptops meant for students and schools.

The new edition of Windows 11 called Windows 11 SE can be seen as an attempt to unsettle the dominance enjoyed by Google’s Chromebooks.


Schools Only

The OS will be available exclusively on new low-cost devices and only for schools and education customers.

This means that there is no possibility of upgrading to the SE from other versions of Windows and neither will it be sold separately.

Keeping the target audience in mind, it has built the SE with a streamlined interface and restricted, education-first app choices.

Therefore it is out of bounds for personal users since they “would find Windows SE too restrictive on a personal device.”

Managed By Admins

In order to ensure steady performance all year, things like “application installation, advanced features, and setting changes are controlled by IT administrators rather than end users”.

IT admins can decide what apps get installed and can manage devices to quietly update outside of class time.

They don’t have to install apps like Teams, Office, OneNote, Minecraft for Education, and Flipgrid separately since they are bundled.

Ease Of Use And Repair

There is no app store since there is no requirement for any apps to be installed.

Students then simply have to switch on the laptop, type in their login credentials and get instant access to their apps and cloud documents.

Microsoft’s Surface laptops containing the SE will also be easy to repair, allowing school ITs to swap the display, battery, keyboard, and motherboard.

Microsoft itself can provide the replacement parts.

App Support

The SE is optimized for Microsoft Edge, Office, and Microsoft’s cloud-based services and also third-party apps, including Zoom and Chrome.

It won’t ship with the Microsoft Store but will allow certain third-party apps for IT admins to provision on SE devices.

Though Microsoft hasn’t shared its final list of approved apps yet, Chrome and Zoom are included.

Tweaks And Adjustments

The product was developed on the back of feedback from teachers and students on low-cost Windows laptops from the past 18 months.

Some of the suggestions implemented were to make apps always launch in fullscreen mode.

It has also removed the multiple Snap Layouts and replaced it with a single mode that lets you place apps side by side.

The new Widgets section of Windows 11 has been removed since it causes distractions in a classroom environment.

It also backs up documents to OneDrive by default and provides offline support so that students can use the laptops outside the classrooms.

SE-Powered Laptops

The laptops it will be available on will be made by Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, Fujitsu, HP, JK-IP, Lenovo, and Positivo.

Microsoft has introduced its own Surface Laptop SE costing $249, the company’s cheapest.

The base model ships with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC storage, and an 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) display.

It should arrive early 2022 in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan and can be bought via education purchasing channels.

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