Microsoft announces $249 Surface laptop that runs a new version of Windows 11 for schools

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  • Microsoft’s Surface Laptop SE computer will start at $249.
  • It runs a new version of Windows which is meant to be easier to use for students and easier for schools to manage security.

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Microsoft on Tuesday said it will release Windows 11 SE, a version of the recently released Windows 11 operating system intended for school use. Computer makers like Dell and HP will release new PCs with Windows 11 SE. Microsoft also announced its own Windows 11 SE computer, the Surface Laptop SE, which starts at $249 and will launch in early 2022.

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The moves show that Microsoft is looking to protect its market-leading Windows franchise by launching low-cost computers. This could help counter the threat from Google’s Chrome OS, which accounted for 10% of PC unit shipments in 2020, compared to about 83% for Windows, a representative for technology industry research company Gartner previously told Businesshala. Was.

Students quickly bought Chromebooks for online learning, often at low prices, after schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With teachers still conducting classes online, Microsoft is launching a version of Windows that is designed to be easier for students to use and less expensive than many general-purpose Windows computers.

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When people open File Explorer in Windows 11 SE to find programs and files, it will open in full-screen mode, so students don’t have to worry about adjusting the size of the app window. And instead of having six options to choose from when snapping app windows to different parts of the computer screen, there are only two to keep things simple.

Not all students have reliable connections at home, and new offerings are meant to accommodate that reality. PCs running Windows 11 SE with a Microsoft 365 productivity-software license will be able to save files locally, so students can open them while offline. When students get internet access again, the operating system will sync the changes.

And Windows 11 SE machines will be locked down for better security. “To help devices and students stay safe, only IT administrators can download and install apps and services directly on the device,” wrote Page Johnson, vice president of education marketing at Microsoft, in a blog post.

The base-model Surface Laptop SE packs an 11.6-inch display, an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Microsoft is making sure that computers will have only one version of an app like OneNote or PowerPoint installed, so students won’t need to select.

Microsoft expects most of the Windows 11 SE devices that PC makers plan to be available for schools later this year and in 2022, Johnson wrote.

Watch: Microsoft unveils Windows 11 – here are the key takeaways:

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