Microsoft goes after Chromebooks with a lighter, cloud-focused version of Windows 11


Recap: Home windows 10 S was Microsoft’s most up-to-date try at swaying lecturers and college students away from Google Chromebooks. Whereas the stripped-down OS variant was met with lukewarm reception because of a very restrictive person expertise and a lackluster app retailer, Microsoft is now making an attempt once more with a particular version of Home windows 11 that’s meant to be extra open to third-party apps and can ship with out the Microsoft Retailer.

Microsoft is trying to problem Google within the Okay-8 classroom with a particular, education-focused model of Home windows 11, which it hopes will turn out to be in style with faculties and college students. This time round, the corporate can also be launching accompanying {hardware}, particularly the Floor Laptop computer SE.

Different OEMs like Lenovo and Acer have additionally listed their SE fashions, nevertheless it’s the $249 Floor Laptop computer that realizes Microsoft’s imaginative and prescient for Home windows 11 and training by way of software program and {hardware}. As anticipated, the system packs the naked minimal of specs, which embrace an Intel Celeron chip (dual-core or quad-core), 4GB/8GB RAM, 64GB/128GB eMMC storage and an 11.6-inch show with a 1,366 x 768 decision.

Connectivity is enabled by Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, a 3.5mm jack, 1 x USB-A and USB-C cable, alongside a proprietary energy connector. There’s additionally a 720p webcam and stereo audio system to assist with on-line studying, whereas Microsoft’s 365 suite with Phrase, OneDrive and different productiveness apps ought to take a look at the aforementioned {hardware} to its limits.

Throughout regular use, the laptop computer is predicted to final for as much as 16 hours on a single cost. Microsoft additionally highlighted the Floor’s high-quality typing expertise at a finances worth, efficiency enhancements for useful resource optimization, and {hardware} repairability. Main elements like show, battery, motherboard, and keyboard might be simply repaired onsite, in response to the corporate.

Curiously, Home windows 11 SE ditches the Microsoft Retailer and can help third-party apps, together with Chrome and Zoom. The OS will enable these apps to open in full-screen mode and comes with a simplified Snap Format that solely permits apps to be positioned aspect by aspect. There’s additionally a colourful new wallpaper for college students to note.

Microsoft says that Home windows 11 SE will solely be shipped on low-cost laptops meant for varsity and pupil use. The corporate expects extra OEM fashions with various specs and worth factors to turn out to be obtainable all through this 12 months and into 2022 because the training shopping for season approaches. Contemplating the declining demand for entry-level laptops, it’s going to be fascinating to see how (and if) Microsoft’s push with Home windows 11 SE and low-cost {hardware} can have an effect on the pattern.

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