Microsoft has launched a new edition of Windows 11 which is known as Window 11 SE specifically created for the K-8 education sector. This new edition of Windows 11 is designed to address fundamental challenges that schools are facing day to day with improved performance, optimized resources, and simple to deploy and manage. This will on the other help the company stay competitive in the educational sector.
While launching the new Windows 11 edition, Microsoft says it has optimized it for education-focused low-cost PCs, most of which start at the affordable price of $249 and are powered by low-end Intel and AMD chips. The Windows 11 SE was designed with feedback from teachers and school IT admins in mind.
The new Windows 11edition unlike the normal Windows 11, comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office out of the box, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and OneDrive, which can also be used offline as part of a Microsoft 365 license. Microsoft has also limited some of the multitasking features, including reducing the number of apps that can be snapped on screen at once to just two; side by side. The Microsoft Store app is also disabled.
Microsoft has launched a new Windows 11 called ” Windows 11 SE” to stay competitive in the educational sector.
Also, it automatically runs apps full-screen, which makes sense considering most Windows 11 SE PCs will feature small 11-inch displays. It also removes access to the “This PC” area in File Explorer by default, as it’s an area most students don’t need to access when working on school work. Windows 11 SE is “cloud backed” meaning it will mirror all your saved documents stored locally to the cloud.
It is further observed that the Windows 11 SE is designed with Windows Autopilot in mind, with Intune for Education providing a simple and secure cloud management solution allowing IT admins to deploy and manage Windows 11 SE PCs from anywhere. Windows 11 SE devices also updates silently and automatically, with policies that can be set so that these updates only take place outside of classroom hours.
Unfortunately, there’s not much else in the form of optimizations taking place to the underlying OS to improve it for educational use. The new Windows 11 SE is still based on classic Windows and therefore has slow Windows Updates and no way to fast wipe and provision, new users, two huge sticking points for IT admins deploying education PCs.
Microsoft says that there is an ecosystem of Windows 11 SE PCs launching, including its own Surface Laptop SE in addition to PCs from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Dynabook, Fujitsu, HP, JK-IP, Lenovo, and Positivo. But there is no announcement of any ARM-based education PCs.
Many of these new Windows 11 SE devices will begin being available to order through education channels later this year and into 2022.