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Microsoft has unveiled a new range of laptops aimed at schools and students. With prices starting at just $189, these new Windows 10 devices are designed to crush the Chromebook rebellion currently threatening to topple the Microsoft empire. Or whatever analogy works for you.
The Chromebook has become a common sight in classrooms around the world, but especially in the U.S. These cheap and cheerful Chrome OS devices offer an alternative to Windows, and students are embracing this change. However, Microsoft isn’t going to give up without a fight…
Microsoft Makes Plans for 2018
Microsoft has announced its plans for education for 2018. Which involves new low-cost Windows 10 devices from Lenovo and JP, new updates for Office 365 Education, and a free update for Minecraft: Education Edition designed to help “engage students of all ages in chemistry”.
The cheapest of the new laptops is the Lenovo 100e, which is powered by the Intel Celeron Apollo Lake and priced at $189. There’s also the 2-in-1 300e for $279, the Classmate Leap T303 with Windows Hello for $199, and the Trigono V401 2-in-1 with pen and touch priced at $299.
Hear all about What’s New in EDU including exciting new additions for Minecraft: Education Edition, new Office 365 Education updates, and Windows 10 device offers. Plus, exciting new mixed reality news & partnerships all announced today from #MicrosoftEDU https://t.co/ZXoPMq3Tna pic.twitter.com/XD6EEcNkKS
— Microsoft Education (@MicrosoftEDU) January 22, 2018
On the software front, Microsoft has a host of updates lined up for Office 365 Education. These include a dictation feature, the ability for teachers to lock pages in Class Notebooks, and the ability to record lessons in PowerPoint, with Stream adding automatic captioning.
Finally, there’s the free Chemistry Update coming to Minecraft in the spring. This update will mean that “through hands-on experimentation, students can learn everything from building compounds to more difficult topics like stable isotopes.” All using the familiar world of Minecraft.
Is Minecraft Enough of a Pull?
The new devices Microsoft has unveiled look fine. And because they run on Windows 10 they offer some advantages over Chromebooks. However, many students seem to prefer the simple and secure alternative that is Chrome OS. Which means Microsoft needs to offer something extra to compete. Whether the free Chemistry Update for Minecraft is enough of a pull remains to be seen.
What do you think of Microsoft’s strategy to entice schools back to using Windows? Can Microsoft beat Google at its own game? Or are Chromebooks now established as an alternative for students? Are you tempted by the new devices? Please let us know in the comments below!