Microsoft learned the hard way that the approach it took with Windows 10 S in schools wasn’t quite right. That version of Windows only allowed the installation of apps from the Windows Store, which did not convince educational staff in the face of the greater freedom that ChromeOS brought. Now in Redmond, they want to try again with a new reformulated Windows 11 SE.

An educational Windows 11 that once again allows third-party applications.

This Windows 11 SE is an operating system designed solely and exclusively for education, so it will only be used in schools. It will be installed on computers intended for them with rather basic specifications (it has been optimized to work with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage) and will come with several Microsoft applications pre-installed including Office, Teams, and OneNote. To round out the move, Microsoft has also officially unveiled the Surface Laptop SE, which had already been rumored for a few days.

The change from Windows 10X is that Windows 11 SE will indeed allow the installation of third-party applications, such as Zoom, which should make the job easier for students, teachers, and IT managers who are in charge of distributing and configuring all the computers.

In fact, Paige Johnson of Microsoft has already confirmed that Windows 11 SE will be able to be updated automatically outside school hours in order to interfere as little as possible with classes. Other adaptations that have been made by Microsoft listening to teachers’ feedback are to remove the widgets section for being too distracting and to integrate Chrome extensions with the Edge browser.

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The idea, as they comment in Verge, is that each student can enter their credentials to log in and access their data and applications from any of these devices. If the logistical crisis does not prevent it we should see the first school devices with Windows 11 SE before the end of the year and more massively during 2022.

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