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Microsoft Goes After Chromebooks With $189 Windows 10 Notebooks

23 January 2018

The software juggernaut from Redmond took a moment today to announce some new low-priced portable machines from its manufacturing partners and publicize some of its efforts at creating software especially for young minds. The companies say the move will give teachers broader classroom management tools within Office 365.

"Our new Windows 10 devices won't force schools to compromise on features, giving schools cutting-edge tools like touch, inking, and 3D as well as free accessibility technology like Learning Tools, which improve reading comprehension by 10 percentile points for students of all abilities".

Lenovo is announcing the 100e, a new Intel Celeron Apollo Lake powered PC, starting at $189, and the Lenovo 300e, a 2-in-1 PC that comes with pen, starting at $299.

All four are rugged, spill-resistant, and have all-day battery life, Microsoft said. While the devices can be purchased by students, they are more than likely aimed at school systems making bulk purchases for schools. Dictation will be available across Word, Word Online, PowerPoint, Outlook Desktop, OneNote for Windows 10, and OneNote online in more than nine languages.

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Microsoft is also pushing its Microsoft 365 Education licenses, which allow access to Intune for Education and Office 365 for Education. Users of Microsoft Teams for Education will now have access to their classroom on Team from their iOS or Android device and be able to keep track of all the conversations, assignments, shared files, and more from their smartphones.

In nationwide survey results released by EdWeek Market Brief past year, K-12 officials said they preferred Chromebooks to Microsoft and Apple products in a number of areas, especially affordability.

Microsoft is continuing to increase its focus on schools and education with a number of new software and services updates which company officials are announcing at the Bett IT in education conference in London this week. Tholfsen said those six apps, which will cover six academic subjects, will be rolled out in March. Microsoft is introducing integrations for two of the most widely used information systems in schools, including SIMS in the UK, and PowerSchool in the United States.

Microsoft's Minecraft game is hugely popular with kids and students. Microsoft is announcing a new update for Minecraft: Education Edition today which will start rolling out this Spring.

Microsoft Goes After Chromebooks With $189 Windows 10 Notebooks