Microsoft has announced the launch of Windows 11 SE for students in K-8 school years (ages 5-6 up to age 14). The new edition of Windows 11 has been designed with to meet the needs of students and was built with feedback from school IT admins who are responsible for managing the machines. In addition to Windows SE, Microsoft announced new Surface Laptop SE starting at $249 as well as hardware from other manufacturers.
With Windows 11 SE, Microsoft has optimised the system for the most used education tools including Microsoft 365 applications. It highlighted that more than 16 million students in K-12 do not have access to the internet outside of school so it has designed the Microsoft Office apps to work offline as part of their Microsoft 365 license. Files will be stored in OneDrive offline until they reconnect to the internet, at which point, Windows 11 SE will sync the offline changes automatically.
IT admins will be able to use a tool called Windows Autopilot which provides zero-touch device deployment. Admins can also use Intune for Education to deploy and manage Windows 11 SE devices from anywhere. With Intune for Education, admins can choose when to install updates so they don’t disrupt lessons and updates will be installed silently and automatically. With these devices, Microsoft says only IT admins can download and install apps and services to help keep them secure.
The new Surface Laptop SE is Microsoft’s most affordable Surface PC with a price of $249. It has been designed for kids at K-8 level and includes an 11.6” screen, a front-facing 720p HD camera and stereo speakers. Microsoft said it had tweaked parts of the system, including UEFI code, to maximise the battery life and says the device can run for 16 hours with typical use before it needs charging again.
The new Surface laptop will be joined by other devices being launched by Acer, ASUS, Dell, Dynabook, Fujitsu, HP, JK-IP, Lenovo and Positivo. They will be available through education channels later this year and next year.