Microsoft takes on Google, Apple in education market with new Surface Laptop

Microsoft

Panos Panay, device chief for Microsoft, got up on the stage today and explained what led to the creation of the Surface Laptop: "We talk to a lot of them (students)... they're asking for a laptop, they're asking for a Surface laptop,".

It features a 13.5-inch touch-screen display, 14.5 hours of battery life, and boasts a quick startup, fast performance, and luxury fit and finish.

The operating system will come on board a number of new machines in the future, including the company's freshly-announced Surface Laptop.

Microsoft's new Surface Laptop features a stark disproportion of price versus specs that mirror Apple's hardware playback: the cheapest Surface Laptop costs $999, and comes with a measily 4GB of RAM (DDR3 or DDR4 or frequency not specified), a seventh-gen Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake CPU with Intel HD Graphics 620 eGPU, and a 128GB SSD.

Leaked on Monday night and officially announced and introduced on Tuesday at Microsoft's EDU event, the news Surface Laptop serves as the flagship device that will run Windows 10 S, an operating system that is specifically aimed at the education industry, according to Engadget.

All of the big-name Microsoft partners are said to be offering Windows 10 S PCs starting at $189, including Samsung, HP, and Dell.

Windows 10 S runs on any laptop that can run regular Windows 10, including the Surface Book and any entry-level notebook.

What's more, you'll likely have add to that the 50 quid you'll b e forced cough up for an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro you realise that you wan't to download apps - probably Chrome - outside of the Windows Store. Windows 10 S will work with all computers and accessories that are supported by Windows 10 and can be installed through a USB.

Also, Windows 10 S will be free for all schools that are now running Windows 10 Pro PCs, and include free Office 365 education with Microsoft Teams.

There is a rather big caveat with Windows 10 S, in that it'll only run external apps that are available on Windows own digital store. And the laptop will be available in four colors: platinum, graphite gold, cobalt blue, and burgundy. Microsoft made that perfectly clear during the presentation.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, framed the day's product announcements as being part of the company's mission to "democratize the educational opportunity for every student". Simply plug it in, and Windows 10 S will configure itself accordingly. When Windows 10 S is launched in June, users will find that apps such as Apple iTunes and Google Chrome will not be available, with Microsoft's Edge the only available browser.

"At any time, they can go to the Windows Store and switch to Windows 10 Pro", Myerson said.

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