Microsoft's Education Push: 5 Things To Know About Windows 10S And The Surface Laptop

Focus On Education

Microsoft on Tuesday announced a new push to get Windows 10 into more K-12 classrooms, along with a new Surface device targeted at college students. Microsoft is seeking to make its operating system a better fit for K-12 schools with a simplified new version, dubbed Windows 10S. And the company is positioning its new Surface Laptop as a sleek and powerful device running Windows 10S. Both moves are aimed at ramping up competition with other key players – with Google's Chrome OS and Chromebooks in K-12 education, and with Apple's MacBook line among college students.

In the following slides, we've rounded up five key things to know about the Windows 10S operating system and Surface Laptop.

Windows 10S: Apps

The big difference with Windows 10S from the standard Windows 10 operating system is that it will only run apps that are downloadable from the Windows Store. That simplifies the use of Windows in the K-12 classroom, and also means students can only use apps that are verified for security. If a school wants to enable other applications, however, devices running Windows 10S can still be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro.

Windows 10S: Device Configuration

Another plus for schools with Windows 10S is that staff members can more easily configure large numbers of devices. For instance, if a teacher wants to specify which applications will go on each student's device, they can create a USB key with all of the correct settings. Then, that USB key can be plugged into a device and will configure the device within 30 seconds.

Windows 10S: Availability And Devices

Microsoft said that Windows 10S will be available this summer, but didn't give a specific date. The operating system will be available for devices made by Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba, Microsoft said (Lenovo was not mentioned). Prices for the devices will start at $189. Windows 10S will be made available for free to schools that currently run Windows 10 Pro on PCs.

Surface Laptop: Key Specs

Microsoft is touting the Surface Laptop – which will come with Windows 10S – as a device without many trade-offs around specs. The 13.5-inch laptop features seventh-gen Intel processors, Core i5 or i7, and promises up to 14.5 hours of battery life. It weighs 2.76 pounds and measures 0.57 of an inch thick. The display uses PixelSense technology and is a touch screen, which Microsoft says is the thinnest LCD touch module on a laptop to date. The Surface Laptop also comes with up to 1TB of PCIe storage, and features Alcantara fabric around its keyboard, which has backlit keys with 1.5mm travel.

Surface Laptop: Price And Availability

Microsoft said pre-orders begin for the Surface Laptop as of Tuesday, and the laptop will be available on June 15. The starting price for the Surface Laptop is $999, with the seventh-gen Intel Core i5 processor. Microsoft didn't disclose further details around pricing. By comparison, the starting price for the Surface Book (with sixth-gen Core i5) is $1,499.