Many expected Microsoft to deliver an announcement about a hardware device for education on Tuesday, May 2 that would go head-to-head with Google’s low-cost Chromebook. Instead the company announced the Surface Laptop, which is priced out of reach for most students and educational organizations. Starting at $999 USD and heading into the $2k range at the top end, the Surface Laptop is available for pre-order now and will be generally available starting on June 15th. The Surface Laptop fits squarely as a competitor to Apple’s MacBook and not the education focused Chromebook. It comes in four colors (Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue, Graphite Gold), sports a fabric-covered keyboard, a touchscreen, and touts battery life of around 14 hours. Microsoft is offering a 10% discount for students, faculty, and staff – but that discount extends to the entire Surface device line not just the newly christened laptop.
Instead of using its own resources to compete against the Chromebook hardware, Microsoft is relying on partner devices running its new Windows 10 S operating system designed for educational organizations…
Our partners, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba already offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for Education today – starting at $189. These partners will also offer a range of PCs with Windows 10 S – from beautiful, premium devices to highly affordable devices starting at $229 – starting this summer.
Microsoft’s own announcement for education was centered around a new Windows 10 edition called Windows 10 S, which boasts a new Windows experience, inspired by students and teachers, is streamlined for security and superior performance. When partnered with Intune for Education, Windows 10 S will enable schools to ramp up and manage computers in the classroom cost-effectively and quickly.
Additionally, Microsoft announced:
- Microsoft Teams in the classroom – Adding to Office 365 for Education, Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that encourages active learning while helping students develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future.
- Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition – A new in-game feature for “Minecraft: Education Edition” that inspires educators and students to learn to write code to explore, create and play in the full 3D Minecraft world.
Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!