Microsoft announces Windows 11 SE cloud-first operating system, and a Surface Laptop SE that costs $249
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.
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.
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
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.
Does your school use a Chromebook, or would you prefer Windows 11 SE?Advertisement