Microsoft has announced a new edition of Windows 11 called Windows 11 SE, purpose-built to support the K-8 classroom. Windows 11 SE was designed and built during the pandemic to address the most fundamental challenges schools will face in the blended learning world, says Microsoft. In addition, Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Laptop SE.
It brings performance enhancements that optimize resources on low-cost devices to deliver more comprehensive learning experiences and is simple to deploy and manage. Furthermore, it has announced an ecosystem of Windows 11 SE devices. This includes the new Surface Laptop SE, custom-built for students and starting at $249 (approx Rs 18,400) and devices coming from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Dynabook Fujitsu, HP, JP-IK, Lenovo, and Positivo—powered by Intel and AMD.
Windows 11 SE complemented Microsoft’s current Windows 11 devices for learning and was built with feedback from teachers who need a simple, distraction-free environment for their students. The Windows 11 SE has been optimized for the most used education experiences, including Microsoft 365 applications, supporting online and offline capabilities.
Windows 11 SE also comes with broad support for web-based learning apps. Windows 11 SE also supports third-party apps, including Zoom and Chrome. For IT admins, Windows Autopilot provides zero-touch device deployment. In contrast, Intune for Education provides a secure and straightforward cloud management solution allowing the IT admin to deploy and manage Windows 11 SE devices from anywhere, right out of the box. Also, this means that Windows 11 SE lacks the Microsoft Store found on the regular version of Windows 11.
When managed via the cloud, devices are always up to date. They update silently, automatically, and outside of class time via policies set in Intune for Education to minimize disruptions. Microsoft says Intune for Education also allows IT admins to securely deliver the right apps and policies to every student device. To help ensure the device and students stay secure, only IT admins can download and install apps and services directly to the device.
Microsoft Surface Laptop SE
As for the Surface Laptop SE, it is the most affordable Surface PC ever at $249. It’s the first Surface specifically made for K-8 students, with an 11.6″ screen, front-facing 720p HD camera and stereo speakers. The company has edited details like UEFI code to squeeze the most out of power management, allowing Surface Laptop SE to provide up to 16 hours of battery life with typical use.
The Surface Laptop SE offers enhanced levels of repairability for IT admins. That means vital components like the display, battery, keyboard—even the motherboard—can be easily repaired onsite, saving time and money for IT admins and schools.
“Microsoft has built a high-definition camera and improved facial awareness to unlock high-quality video conferencing and enable students to interact, collaborate, and absorb information with clarity”, says Microsoft. It has also tuned and optimized the thermals to keep Surface Laptop SE working in different environmental conditions.