Microsoft is back with Windows 11 SE to challenge Chromebooks
Over the years, Microsoft has been trying to replicate the success of Chrome OS on low-end devices. Windows RT is the company's first failed attempt on ARM devices, released nearly 10 years ago. At the same time, Windows 10 S mode tries to solve security problems by restricting application installation, while Windows 10X tries to simplify the entire operating system. But no one has ever backed down in the face of challenges, so Microsoft is back with another Chromebook competitor: Windows 11 SE.
The Windows 11 SE released today, together with some new Surface hardware, was designed for education from the beginning. There is no need to worry about whether users who purchase this platform will be confused and avoid the dilemma that RT and S modes face after the release. Windows 11 SE is designed for K-8 students and is very suitable for running on low-end hardware. If this sounds familiar, it's because Microsoft's move will choke Google's throat.
As an education-focused product, Windows 11 SE has a limited range of applications. The application starts in full-screen mode by default and is designed to limit distractions in the classroom. Cloud storage is built-in, so you don't have to rely on local content to complete assignments and projects. Unsurprisingly, application installations are also restricted-the only software on these computers is approved by the administrator. Third-party software can indeed run on the operating system, but Microsoft wants users to live in its ecosystem. For this reason, Microsoft 365 and Office applications are available out of the box.
A new Surface laptop will be released with Windows 11 SE to ensure that educators have the hardware to choose from. The Surface Laptop SE looks a lot like other low-end Chromebooks you see in school now, with a relatively low-resolution 720p 11.6-inch display and a curved and bulky chassis. Microsoft promises a maximum of 16 hours of battery life, which should be perfect for school days. It is powered by Intel Celeron N4020 or N4120, has a maximum memory of 8GB, and starts at only $250.
People who read this article cannot go to a retail store to buy it-it is designed for students and can only be purchased through corporate channels. Nonetheless, it is still an interesting competitor to Chrome OS, basically having the greatest success in Google's laptop field. With so many schools already using Chromebooks, it will be interesting to see if it is too late for Microsoft to find a foothold in this market. But compared with operating systems such as Windows RT and S Mode, the prospects for this version seem to be much better.