windows 10 s

Microsoft announced its Chrome OS competitor at an education focused, NYC event today. Called Windows 10 S, the operating system is a toned down version of the original Windows 10 that enables you to make the most of less powerful hardware. While the Surface laptop that Microsoft has announced as its 10 S bearing flagship could make you think twice with its $999 price tag, other devices rocking the OS are going to be much cheaper.

With a few seriously awesome announcements, Microsoft also checked off a laundry list of stuff it now has in the field against Google’s offerings. For Chrome OS, Microsoft now has a Windows 10 S and against the Chromebook, it can now field a new Surface laptop. The said laptop however, is pretty expensive at $999 and you can add a couple hundred bucks to grab a full-fledged Mac.

Microsoft probably realizes this and that is why it has announced that a whole bunch of OEMs will be manufacturing and shipping devices with the 10 S software inside, starting this summer. Manufacturers working on the devices include Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba. What’s more, the entry level devices will cost merely $189. This way, schools will be able to grab a whole bunch of laptops for their students.

All of these devices will come with a free one year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition. What’s more, the laptops will also pack free Office 365 applications for both students and teachers. And of course, you get the Windows 10 S inside. So not a bad deal, all things considered.

These devices are slated to start shipping in the Summer, and to me they appeared as the only silver lining in Microsoft’s plan to conquer the K-12 market that has Chromebooks and iPads as their favorite products. Launching a $999 device for a market that buys products in bulks could have been a mistake. Particularly when you consider the fact that technology is evolving rapidly and the stuff under the surface of the Surface isn’t exactly state of the art in the first place.

However, its Microsoft we are talking about and the company always has a couple of plans running at the same time. Even if the Surface laptop does not see volume sales, the plan to flood the market with $189 devices could have its merits. Let’s see if they help Microsoft take on Chromebooks.

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