Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows 11 that will be tailored specifically for pupils in elementary and middle school.
Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 SE on Tuesday, the operating system that will be used to power a kid-friendly school computer called the Surface Laptop SE.
According to Paige Johnson, Vice President of Education Marketing for Microsoft, “It’s the first Surface specifically made for K-8 students, with an 11.6-inch screen, front-facing 720p HD camera, and stereo speakers,” which was stated in the announcement. “It’s the first Surface specifically made for K-8 students,”
The product will go on sale at the beginning of the following year with a starting price of $249. Despite this, Microsoft has decided not to sell the new Surface Laptop SE through its retail partners. Instead, Microsoft intends to limit sales of the product to educational establishments, including as schools and universities, through its education sales channels. (In the meantime, the company plans to keep selling the Surface Laptop Go and Surface Go to individual customers as well as institutions of higher learning.)
When it comes to Windows 11 SE, the operating system has a UI that is very similar to that of Windows 11. Nevertheless, Microsoft has made a few changes to make it easier for children to use, both within and outside of the classroom.
Windows 11 S Essentials will automatically open individual apps into full-screen mode in order to accomplish this goal. A function known as “snap” can also open two app windows next to one another, making it simple for a learner to view two different programs at the same time.
Because the Edge browser that comes along with Windows 11 Starter Edition is powered by Chromium, Google Chrome add-ons will be compatible with it.
Additionally, school IT managers have the ability to remotely push third-party applications to the operating system. These applications may include Chrome, Zoom, and any other local education programs. In the meanwhile, teachers are able to remotely set dedicated buttons on the operating system that will open a web page with a single click. This eliminates the need for students to type a lengthy URL into the address bar of their browser.
In addition, the various Office applications, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, are able to function even when an internet connection is not present. As soon as the laptop is connected to a dependable internet connection, any school projects that are saved on the applications will also automatically sync to the cloud.
The announcement is Microsoft’s most recent attempt to compete with Google’s Chromebooks, which have grown particularly popular as a low-cost option to supply schools with laptops. The Chromebooks are targeted specifically at the educational market.
The Surface Laptop SE has a screen resolution of 1,366 by 768 pixels, an Intel Celeron CPU, and either 4 gigabytes or 8 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM). The notebook weighs 2.45 pounds and has an Intel Celeron processor. However, Microsoft claims that the product’s repairability is one of its most compelling selling points. In order to eliminate the necessity of transporting the product to a specialized repair facility, the manufacturer of the Surface Laptop SE made it so that school personnel can change out components at the institution themselves.
Microsoft also intends to distribute the OS via education computers manufactured and sold by third parties. PC manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, and Lenovo are all hard at work developing machines that will be compatible with Windows 11 SE and will use either Intel or AMD chips.
According to the additional information provided by the company, “We believe that the majority of devices will be available for ordering through education channels later this year and into 2022,” which is linked with the education buying season. There are some third-party devices that will also begin at the $249 price point.
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