Microsoft announces Windows 11 SE cloud-first operating system, and a Surface Laptop SE that costs $249

Nov 11, 2021

Microsoft has announced Windows 11 SE, a cloud-first operating system that has been built for education. The software giant says the Azure-powered OS is intended for K-8 classroom students and teachers.

Windows 11 SE announced

The new OS has the same GUI design as the regular Windows 11 operating system, with an identical Start Menu, centered taskbar. Windows 11 SE will support Microsoft Edge (with extensions), Paint, and third-party apps like Zoom, Chrome, etc. The announcement article states that devices with a Microsoft 365 subscription, will be able to use Office apps offline, this includes the likes of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and OneDrive. All Office apps support Immersive Reader for a distraction-free experience, and other accessibility options such as magnifier, color filters, and high contrast modes.

Windows 11 SE is designed for low-cost devices with limited storage, and has restrictions to the kind of app it can run. In other words, it will compete with Chrome OS. This should come as great news for schools, since online classes have become the norm due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Take a look at this comparison chart, which explains the differences between Windows 11 and Windows 11 SE.

Windows 11 vs Windows 11 SE differences

The important thing to note here is that only IT Admins can install apps on the computers, which will help keep the devices secure and up-to-date. They can manage the devices using Intune for Education, while Windows Autopilot makes devices ready-to-use out of the box.

Surface Laptop SE

Surface Laptop SE with Windows 11 SE

The Redmond Company also unveiled a new device in its Surface lineup, the Surface Laptop SE, that runs Windows 11 SE. The Chromebook rival, has a 11.6-inches display, with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, 135 PPI, 16:9 aspect ratio. The device has an integrated GPU, which is the Intel UHD Graphics 600. The Surface Laptop SE will be available in 2 variants: with 4GB DDR4 RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, and 8GB DDR RAM with 128GB of storage.

The laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron Processor (N4020/4120). The Surface Laptop SE has a USB Type-C port, a USB Type-A connector, a Barrel type DC connector, a 3.5mm headphone jack, 2W stereo speakers, a microphone, a Hall-effect Sensor, a TPM 2.0 security chip, and a 1MP front camera that supports 720p 30fps video. Connectivity-wise, it supports Bluetooth 5.0 LE, Wi-Fi: 802.11ac (2x2). The device weighs 2.45 lb (1,112.4 g), and measures 11.17” x 7.6” x 0.70” (283.70 mm x 193.05 mm x 17.85 mm). The laptop has a 135° open angle hinge. The battery capacity is not mentioned in the specs sheet, but it does say that the laptop offers up to 16 hours of typical usage.

Microsoft has priced the Surface Laptop SE starting at just $249, that is quite an affordable price tag, especially if you compare it with the Surface Go 3 which retails for $449.99, though to be fair the latter has a touch-screen display. Here is a video that highlights the laptop's design and key features.

That isn't the only laptop which features the new operating system, a bunch of computers from other OEMs like ASUS, ACER, DELL, HP and Lenovo, that run on Windows 11 SE, have also been announced. You can find them on Microsoft's website.

If you like the new colorful Bloom wallpaper, you can find it here. (courtesy: reddit).

Does your school use a Chromebook, or would you prefer Windows 11 SE?

Microsoft announces Windows 11 SE, a cloud-based OS
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Microsoft announces Windows 11 SE, a cloud-based OS
What is Windows 11 SE? Let's find out what the cloud-first operating system has to offer.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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