Microsoft brings Windows 11 SE for affordable school notebooks

With Windows 11 SE, Microsoft has presented a new version of its Windows 11 operating system, which was introduced last month. Windows 11 SE is adapted for ease of use and educational tasks. The new operating system version should only be available on inexpensive school notebooks that are primarily intended for children under 15 years of age. Microsoft’s flagship model is a Surface Laptop SE for $ 249.

Windows 11 SE should only be available as a pre-installed operating system. In addition to the Surface Laptop SE, which was announced at the same time Microsoft promises also other inexpensive notebooks with the new operating system version from other manufacturers such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, Dynabook, Fujitsu, HP and Lenovo. While the Surface Laptop SE uses an Intel Celeron processor, other notebooks in this class can also be based on AMD technology.

Windows 11 SE is combined on these systems with Office 365, Teams, OneNote and the Edge Internet browser. The Microsoft Store cannot be found in this operating system version. However, IT administrators can still install third-party software. These include the video conference app Zoom as well as the Chrome browser and its extensions, which are used by many schools.

After questioning many teachers and students, Microsoft also decided that apps in Windows 11 SE should always be opened in full screen mode instead of as a window. For this purpose, the so-called snap layouts for quick and easy window arrangement are reduced to the fact that the windows are only faded in side by side.

The Windows 11 widgets have also been removed from the SE version, as they would be a distraction in classrooms. The Microsoft Edge browser is preconfigured for Chrome extensions, which is switched off by default in normal Windows 11. In Windows 11 SE, documents are automatically saved in the cloud via OneDrive so that they can be processed more easily outside of the classroom.

The Surface Laptop SE serves as an example of Microsoft’s inexpensive notebook with Windows 11 SE. The basic model for 249 dollars is equipped with the Intel Celeron processor with 4 GB of main memory, 64 GB of eMMC storage space and an 11.6-inch screen. There is also a 720p webcam, microphone and stereo speaker for video telephony. The Surface Laptop SE also offers connections for a headset, USC-C and USB-A. Microsoft calls a battery life of up to 16 hours.

With Windows 11 SE, Microsoft is taking a similar direction as with Windows 10X. This project was Microsoft’s approach to providing a stripped-down Windows 10 for low-end devices, but Windows 10X fell out in May 2021. At the time, Microsoft stated that it would integrate important components of the technology developed for Windows 10X into other parts of Windows and products for companies so that the development that had been made would not be lost. That should materialize in Windows 11 SE when the first notebooks of this kind are available for schools and other educational institutions at the end of this year and beginning of next year.


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