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Microsoft's new push into education is the right move — at the right time

MS logo
MS logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

On May 2, all eyes will be on Microsoft at its New York City event. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is expected to take the stage and unveil a new push into the education market, likely focused on the U.S. initially.

Google has been making big inroads into the K-12 education sector with its low-cost and easy-to-manage Chromebooks. According to IDC's latest numbers, Chromebooks represented 49 percent of that market last year, up from 40 percent in 2015 and just 9 percent in 2013.

Another research firm, Futuresource, puts the number even higher at 58 percent, up from 50 percent in 2015.

Apple, which has taken the brunt of the damage from the Chromebook wave in education in the U.S, meanwhile lost significant momentum in recent years. Apple's iOS, featured on the waning iPad series, went from a peak of 26 percent of the market in 2014 to just 14 percent last year, according to Futuresource.

Microsoft's Windows, by comparison, did better, dropping from 25 percent to 22 percent in that same time period.

For non-U.S. markets, the tale is very different. There, 65 percent of the education market is Windows, with Chrome OS at just six percent and Android at 17 percent. Apple held steady at just nine percent of the global education K-12 markets.

The timing is right for Windows 10 Cloud

Google is on to something with its Chromebook line, at least in the U.S. Combined with hardware support from major manufacturers, a mature app ecosystem, and ease of IT management, Chromebooks are the preferred choice for school IT departments.

In speaking with some local school IT administrators – both public and private – here in Marlborough, Mass., it is the ability to lock down and secure Chromebooks, followed by cost, that is driving Chromebook adoption.

7 things you need to know about Windows 10 Cloud

Microsoft is poised, however, to get back into education. Windows RT was a disaster for the company on many levels, including its confusing name, poor marketing, software limitations, and pricing.

The Windows 10 Cloud OS, which may go by the name "Windows 10 S" when unveiled on May 2, is a different scenario. This time, Microsoft has a story to tell and a strategy to market this version of Windows to the right audience.

Key differences between Windows RT and Windows 10 Cloud OSes include:

  • A more mature Store for Windows Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps.
  • The ability for the OS to be upgraded to a Home or Pro license.
  • Capacity to run Win32 apps via "Project Centennial" bridge apps via the Store.
  • A hardware team that's more in tune with commercial and consumer needs and desires.

Combined with advancements in hardware and improvements to the OS, Microsoft has clear goals it wants to achieve with Windows 10 Cloud.

In an internal document obtained by Windows Central (above), we can see exactly how Microsoft views Windows 10 Cloud as competing against Chromebooks in performance benchmarks.

Additionally, recommended minimum specifications for a Windows 10 "CloudBook" are listed for hardware manufacturers:

  • Quad-core (Celeron or better) processor.
  • 4GB of RAM.
  • 32GB of storage (64GB for 64-bit).
  • A battery larger than 40 WHr.
  • Fast eMMC or solid state drive (SSD) for storage technology.
  • Pen and touch (optional).

Microsoft is focusing heavily on all-day battery life, as evidenced by its new "Power Throttling" initiative that's being tested in recent Windows Insider Program previews for the "Redstone 3" release expected this fall.

Windows 10 on ARM will go further

Windows 10 on ARM is another big step for Microsoft that is expected to come to fruition this fall, as well. With the ability to run what was an x86/64 OS on mobile ARM processors, the company can further drive down hardware costs, improve battery efficiency, and make thinner and lighter devices.

Intel is making significant strides in reducing battery consumption, and Microsoft's Power Throttling goes further. According to the company, its Power Throttling support will be extended to other processor types (currently it is limited to 6th and 7th Generation Intel processors), which likely includes ARM.

The Achilles heel of Windows laptops has always been two-fold: poor battery life, and risk management due to viruses and installing .exe software. Both of those problems are now being ameliorated through Windows 10 Cloud.

Windows 10 on ARM devices are expected at the end of 2017 in the fourth quarter.

Today's Surface Book is too expensive

The current problem for Microsoft and its Surface line is the price.

At Microsoft's Surface Studio event in October 2016, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Devices Panos Panay used a photo of his son to demonstrate how children naturally adopt digital inking on a PC. In the picture, presented as a backdrop, the child is using a Surface Book. That device starts at $1,600 and increases to more than $3,000 for the high-end version.

Kids love inking and the Surface Book, but how do you get it into schools?

Kids love inking and the Surface Book, but how do you get it into schools?

While in a perfect world all kids would be able to afford a Microsoft Surface Book, the chances of that happening are minuscule. Clearly, Microsoft needs a lower-cost, entry-level device that provides a similar experience with an emphasis on a touchscreen and digital pen.

A new "Surface Laptop" running Windows 10 Cloud is the ideal solution, if it meets the minimum hardware specifications mentioned earlier. It also could also replace the now deprecated non-pro Surface 3.

Microsoft is expected to announce such a device on May 2, though some of our sources say the new hardware may not come until Microsoft's Build conference the following week.

A traditional laptop without a detachable keyboard would keep production costs down (fewer product SKUs), and it would work for schools, where losing a keyboard (or breaking it) could cause headaches for IT staff. As a solution to making the laptop more Surface-like, the keyboard could rotate around like Lenovo's Yoga series or HP's x360 line.

I also suspect a Surface Pen will be a part of any Surface Laptop, because the recent Creators Update focuses on inking.

The new EPUB support in Windows 10 makes sense when you think of a push into education for Microsoft.

The new EPUB support in Windows 10 makes sense when you think of a push into education for Microsoft.

Likewise, the seemingly odd addition of EPUB support for the Edge web browser and corresponding digital book section in the Windows Store makes more sense once you bring education into the equation.

However, one issue Microsoft could face in schools is app selection. While UWP is evolving and improving the selection of quality apps specifically related to education, it cannot possibly match the Google Play Store. That could change over time, and perhaps Microsoft has some strategies in place to help lure companies to create apps specifically for this genre.

Windows 10 Cloud and Surface for schools makes sense

Recently, a nephew of mine who is nine years old saw my Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. He said, "That looks like my Chromebook." I jokingly corrected him by stating "No, your Chromebook looks like my PC laptop."

The point should be obvious: The education market is critical to Microsoft's future based purely on familiarity. The debate between macOS and Windows preference, for instance, almost always comes down to what you were exposed to first. Rarely in today's world do adults try both OSes, evaluate them equally and come to rational decisions.

Chromebook or PC? The answer may be age dependent.

Chromebook or PC? The answer may be age dependent.

If Google is already at 50 percent adoption in the U.S. education market, that is a generation that's now in the Google and Android ecosystem. Microsoft needs a plan to take that on and, for once, I feel like it may have some significant advantages with Windows 10 Cloud and a new Surface. The recent announcement that it will align the servicing models for Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus, and System Center Configuration Manager also likely plays a part in this plan.

Windows 10 Redstone 3: Everything we know so far

Microsoft's hardware partners are likely to pick up the slack and deliver even lower cost hardware to run Windows 10 Cloud in the coming months in preparation for fall 2017. All of that combined with Apple's declining popularity in schools is a perfect opportunity for Redmond.

As such, Microsoft's May 2 event could be the start of a significant push for the company — one that will have a lasting effect on a new generation.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • It's great to see 4Gb RAM is the minimum...
  • One thing I really wish MSFT do is only require 64-bit OS to be installed going forward so that there is less headaches for devs and better hardware support.
  • They literally just announced windows on arm 64 last december. win32 is going to be here for quite some time to come. 
  • When they announce this, they also need to announce partnership with major educational material suppliers.
  • Very TRUE hopmedic. It should be an education ecosystem to rival Google's they present at the event and not just a single product (device and/or OS) and stories.
  • Just a thought, since Microsoft has recently implemented Books service for purchase, they already have the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS available for academic press, university libraries and other academic instututions to begin agreements with Microsoft to have their books available in online libraries which could be secured with Azure authentication and authorization services.  This would be a Win Win scenario for both professors and students as they can read books using Microsoft's cloud services.
  • Here in the Netherlands I've seen more Windows phones than Chromebooks out in the world.
  • Same here, in Hungary 😀
  • Here in Thailand, we don't know what is Chromebooks.
  • @Arthur Netherlands is a smart country with smart peoples...
  • Here in Canada, the only place Chromebooks are popular are with senior care centres and public libraries. Everywhere else, it's still Windows 10 vs Mac OSX.
  • You are mistaken.  Most schoolboards are using Chromebooks at an alarming rate due to their price, ease of use and ease of management.  We as a board have about 800 out and we are considered small.  We do have a few kids that just dont touch Microsoft devices on a daily basis.  
  • Schoolboards on Mars haha
  • MS tends to forget there is a 770 million people market in Europe - indeed with a lot of different languages but still a fairly large consumer market with money to spend.
  • In Ireland chrome book is no where.  BUT sadly irish are sheep and they all have iphone and galaxy 
  • I love Ireland how can you talk about your people like that man! Respect for Irish people, my heart is in the heights! oh! That's Scotland 😄
  • get your countries right first before commenting.
  • I wasn't commenting on you 😎 🤳🏽
  • In new zealand, basically no one has chromebooks. 
  • If they want this to happen in the UK then they will need to get ePUB support into Edge and eBooks onto the store here.
  • That would be the easiest thing ti do on the planet really. Edge already supports ePubs and eBooks in store would just be a matter of license negotiation. Pretty sure more complicated things are needed than that. Mainly, getting the schools to want to carry these computers.
  • Microsoft already offers books in a new app in Creators Update, however this is not a library, its a bookstore, so IMO Microsoft should reuse this SaaS but let universities to publish their online books into this library secured by Microsoft's authentication services, this would let professors know their students which have a registration in the University or Highschool, can have access to the library using Microsoft's Book apps suited as a library. 
  • How should I interpret the performance of quad core "celeron" compared to arm (say snapdragon 800 or 835)?
  • The Qualcomm SD810 v2, or SD617 would be comparable to a Celeron (2013), or Intel Core M3 (1st gen), or even a Core i3 (2nd gen)
    Of course, from there you would be able to tell the newer ARM processors would be much closer to newer Intel Core M5, Core i3/i5, etc.
    Just a heads up: The entire Intel Atom lineup was probably as powerful as a Qualcomm SD 400, 410, or 605.
  • For future reference, what do you base this on? I'd like to be able to do these types of comparisons myself. Thanks
  • 600 & 800 series. Low end is 200 & 400 which should be avoided in future unless its for a specific purpose built device.
  • What does this have to do with the topic?
  • It does, you better be reading the article before commenting.
  • Microsoft should do well enough in ths environment.  I kind of think of the education market as a tye of enterprise market.  If they can prove that is is cheap to install and maintain, they have a comelling sales pitch.  Could anyone please comment on the differences between the utility of a chromebook and Windows device.  Seems to me the windows device has higher utility.  For instance, inking seems to be a big advantage.  If you have a school that is K-12, the differences in computer needs of a senior taking AP physics versus a 1st grader should be significant.  Thus, going form a $200 chromebook to a $1500 surface could be easily managed in a Windows Clould environement.
  • I work at a school where google is everything, they even gave the students google emails. It is terrible. When they try to do something productive, such as write a résumé, I always tell them to get on word. They are forced to use google docs and it is so limited compared to word. They even have older versions of word on older computers, and those are more powerful than google docs. Another thing I don't understand is why do the teachers use Windows 10 and the students use chrome books 🤔. They clearly know Windows is more productive and they decide to give students google services.
  • it's frreeeeeee... (whisper)
  • No. I know for a fact they pay for the services. Students get emails and drive storage just like Microsoft does with exchange and OneDrive. It's the exact same service, but worse. If anything, it's probably cheaper because it is worse.
  • There is probably a huge Linux fanboy running the IT department at your school that finally has the ultimate tool (Chrome OS) for him to use in his holy crusade against Microsofts evil dominance ;-)
  • Lol. I tried. They say its better for the students and I just don't see how its better.
  • It is good for the students and definitely easier for the staff. Chromebooks require almost no support. They basically just need WiFi and an account created for each student. Windows historically isn't anywhere near as easy to manage and requires dedicated IT support. When students log into a Chromebook it automatically has all their settings and files available, no matter what machine they are on. It is really simple and each user has their own separate experience. Windows is getting better here, but it still takes some time when you first log in and Microsoft's services (especially Edge) just aren't really designed for this style of cloud computing. I think this is where Microsoft really needs to improve. Logging in with your Microsoft ID should quickly give you the same experience on any device without having any setup required to use their services. Chromebooks accel here. There are certainly tasks that are tougher to complete on a Chromebook. Computer programming, video editing, CAD, etc. just aren't great experiences. These types of niche classes require niche hardware and services. For the vast majority of tasks required of students, mainly document creation and research, Chromebooks are more than enough.
  • WOW, "They basically just need WiFi and an account created for each student. Windows historically isn't anywhere near as easy to manage and requires dedicated IT support."   What you meant to say is to fully utilize a Chromebook, Wi-Fi/Internet is REQUIRED otherwise its a paperweight!   All too many on here tout the chromebook as good for the student which is CRAP, its cheap and easy for the school to cut corners and further indoctrinate the youth toward a product that has absolutly NO PLACE in the business world or upper education for that matter.  I for one hope MS knocks their introduction out of the park and boot these CRAPbooks to the curb!  I do business with many schools and they all agree, they went with the chromebooks because they were cheap and about the only alternative to textbooks, but they now see the issues with FREE and Google and how they control, track and monitor activities of chromebook users and collect that data so they can use it to sell to companies for marketing purposes.  Google Drive and Gmail, there aren't any bigger security issues in the world than thats two repositories for the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.  To better prepare students for the work place, using a chromebook and google docs is doing them a disservice...PERIOD!  
  • Schools have so much to hide from the CIA, FBI, etc. Do you hear what you are saying! There is no difference between a child typing a report in Google Docs vs Word. Google Docs is overkill for that function!
  • Google Suite was better for cloud computing 5 years ago when Microsoft had only Outlook and SkyDrive. MSFT Office had to be installed on the computer.
    Now MSFT has caught up and gotten way better as a cloud computing platform compared to others like GSuite or IBM.
  • Google Suite is cheaper compared to Microsoft Azure services
  • Does it matter? Do students actually need every single feature in Word? They need to learn typing, proper sentence structure, APA formatting, etc. That can be done just as well within Google Docs as it can within Word. 
  • I personally feel word is better, but that's what I grew up with. The issue isn't that word is better, the issue is that they are using software that is not at industry standards. So when they go to the work force, they won't have the knowledge to use company software (in today's industry it being MS office).
  • So, my school used Windows XP and Office 2003. When I got to the working world, my company used Windows 7 and Office 2007 - now Windows 2013. There's still a learning curve between the different versions of Office, and I still have to walk people through finding some feature because its location changed from a previous version of Office.  If someone can adjust to the layout of a new version of Office, they can adjust to Office coming from Google Apps. 
  • That I do not know about. If you have enough faith that students can handle change, then so be it. But at the moment we have students who don't understand how the cloud works, or even save a file to a computer. Both of which I learned in high school.
  • so true. some teens even young adults think bad WiFi connection or Cloud Storage problems happens because it's raining outside.
    All the kids these days - all dummies
  • And then there is my employer that grew up in the 1970s and thinks that we should all be using Corel Writer or OpenOffice.
  • Long live Word Perfect!
  • Clearly you have not tried Google docs. It is much more functional than word, much better for collaboration and works any where. Office products stagnate innovation. Teachers use Windows because teachers struggle to change with the times. They prefer to stay in their comfort zone. I have been a teacher for 30 years, have used Microsoft since the beginning and then moved on to Google. The whole ecosystem is far superior to MS. It works and works well. The only changes to Office  over the last 10 years have been minor and superficial. Kids brought up on G Suite have no problem transitioning to Office because they are adaptable. Office users are very rigid in their thinking and to be truthful rather dated
  • You clearly haven't used the recent office as microsoft has collaboration as well. They updated and have added online word, excel that allows multiple users to edit the same document (just like Google). I have tried to use Google docs as I often have to explain it to students.
  • I can agree with you on Office XP till Office 2010, but the newest Office 365 version is so much better and more adaptable to how you want it.
  • Yes but it's playing catchup! You know you guys in here if you're really smart you could wish all the best for chrome as an OS! Competition is better for users, stop with your fanboysm stuff just be smart! Now you are bragging about office 365 having collaborations do you think micrsoft could've brought it if it weren't for competition? Wish all the best to the substitute services you are not using!  i use all OS and I HATE FANBOYS!
  • Really?  A lot of the teachers I know have Macs through their school, not Windows.  Must depend on the district. I agree about Word versus anything else, though.
  • Google Suite (Gmail, Drive, Google Docs) is cheaper per user than Microsoft Azure (Office 365+OneDrive+Outlook). Last time I looked in 2014 the pricing was:
    Google = $9 per user per month
    MSFT = $12 per user per month
    Apple = $8 per user per month (but limited to only Apple devices so no company/school chooses this)
  • We'll have to see what MS offers schools. MS often operates as a charity, and I expect they will see the humanitarian side of this. I'd put money on them creating a special deal for schools. 
  • Is there any evidence that inking is beneficial from a learning point of view? Its a nice idea (and gives a good marketing story) but if it comes at added expense perhaps schools should be wary of spending extra money on devices with inking support, especially after so many wasted money on ill-considered iPads. At least until there is evidence of benefit.
  • You're kidding right? I guess you never thought that a student could take notes with a pen. It is so much easier to handwrite notes and the ability to add diagrams and drawings is phenominal! A Windows 2-1 device and OneNote will draw circles around a Chromebook any day. Chromebook is last century in comparison. Teachers can share their lecture notes with students. Students can share notes with oneanother - all without ever needing to use a keyboard! Every subject benefits from easy pen input. Science, Math, History, Art. Everywhere you have more than just words a pen is a great idea. Try drawing a diagram for physics with a keyboard. Or doing math problems. Or Art. You will quickly understand what I mean. Modern versions of Windows on 2-in-1 devices are exactly what students need in the classroom. They provide almost every conceivable manner of input that a student might need and they do it well. The only thing Chromebooks had going for it was cost, setup and a strong ABM (anything but Microsoft) attitude. Modern Windows 2-in-1 devices can do both and so much more. Schools were burned by iPads, and when they see how much more they can do with Windows 2-in-1 devices than Chromebooks it will be like the iPad all over again.
  • I didn't ask what the idea behind it is. I asked if there is any evidence that it actually benefits learning. The idea is obvious but just because something sounds appealing in theory does not mean it is actually beneficial in practice. If there have been any convincing studies that show learning is enhanced by student use of a stylus equipped computing device (compared to just traditional pen and notebook for notetaking) please link me to them.  If they don't yet exist, I would question the wisdom of schools investmenting in stylus-equipped devices for students just because they sound good in theory. Stylus-equipped devices for teachers is a different issue, and would presumably make much less of a contribution to overall expenditure anyway.
  • It allows you to take your own notes, adding notes to web pages, documents, etc. If notation and note taking is considered useful, which of course it is, then ink is useful. I think the price difference, will be trivial. Adding acrive stylus support to a display doesn't cost a lot for a manufacturer. We are talking sort of 20 bucks here. 
  • $20 to the manufacturer, but what about the added cost to the schools, factoring in inevitable regular loss and damage to styluses? Surely more than the cost of pen and paper. Hence my question above as to whether there is evidence it provides added learning benefit over notetaking via pen and paper.
  • Schools spend quite a bit of money on printing, so I think that pretty much neutralises out. It's basically its people making notes on digital stuff, rather than paper. So on the website, or document, or map, rather than printing it out and doing the same. So its basically more accessible digitally. You get some great digital art programs on windows too, which offers a new subject currently not given much focus, but of high commercial importance - digital media.  I doubt anyones done any studies on this though.   
  • Well, windows cloud, I imagine a free license product running on the cheaper ARM chipsets, will be basically the same cost as a chromebook. It'll be cheap. Windows has touch capability, stylus capability, and Ink. It also has the ability to upgrade to full windows 10. 
  • "Windows 10 S"?  That would be just as confusing as Windows RT.  I hope they keep Cloud in the name, even though that is not exactly what this is.  Although "Cloud" is more of a concept, so it does make sense to use here.
  • To be honest, we thought Edge was a bad name for the browser, specially compared to Spartan. But we got used to it quick.
  • I still call it Project Spartan
  • Yes, but the average consumer might not adopt it in the same way as those who regularly stay on top of Windows news. Personally, I think the S doesn't signify anything if it isn't marketed very well, people might think it stands for something like 'Speed' or 'Special'. If they called it 'Lite' or 'Education' it would at least get the point across in some respects.
  • Maybe win10 lite? (i know, i know, 0 creativity... I know where the door is)
  • Then use the door to get out :)
  • All ten of you?
  • Words mean something. I think "clould" is a fine name, but not for an OS that is in no way clud based or even tied to the cloud. I think for once MS should pick a clear, meaning name. Perhaps Windows 10 Secure == W10S. I think this is the intent of being locked to teh store. As I recall enterprises, or schools, are allowed to curate their own store apps.
  • The problem with the proposed name "Windows 10 Secure" is that Microsoft already claims that Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows to date (which it probably is.) Windows 10 for Classrooms might be be better since it's obviously for use in classrooms and stuff, but I don't know.
  • That all true. I do not think School (S) or Classroom (C) are great because this sort of OS, while being annouced fro education would also be good elsewhere. Other used kiosks, compuiters in public places, like libraries, government office public areas, etc. Also this OS would be approporite for many business users. Possible optiona are. Currated (C), Kiosk (K) or Public (P). I nt does not matter to me. I am sure (wel .. hoopeful) that MS is thnking about this. I do not however, rule out the possibilty that the name will be chosen by by rolling Boggle dice and taking the first 6 letters.
  • Windows 1st Class?
  • Windows is not first class anymore. Now we go back to DOS!
  • Windows Economy Class?
  • Windows Economy Class was Vista
  • Windows Budget Edition?
  • Sorry to break your luck, Windows Budget Edition is Windows 8.1 with Bing
  • Damn it! How about Windows "We've run out of ideas" Edition?
  • Brilliant
  • May be S for Students?
  • Windows School? 
  • I don't disagree. But the numbers, to me, show that Microsoft's strategy of "US only" or "US first" is as wrong as it gets. Yes, the growth of ChromeOS in the USA may be worrisome to Redmond BUT the USA is just ONE country in 196. In 195 countries, Chromebooks are absolutely irrelevant. Now you may say "well, that's why they should focus on the US". But that's, to me, the wrong strategy. They hold a large margin worldwide but if they continue to treat the US as special and focusing all their offerings and services only on the US, all that Google or any other competitor needs to do is to open those same types of services to people in the other 195 countries. We can take a couple of examples from history: - Microsoft has always treated Europe as a second-rate (or third, or fourth) market for the Xbox (and most other things, really). As a result, Sony's PlayStation rules in Europe with over 70% marketshare (in some countries over 90%). They've sold over 22 million consoles in Europe. Xbox? Less than 8 million. - Nokia's Eflop years saw the company leave their European/Asian focus and move it to the US. Because "Europe was guaranteed". As a result, sales in Europe continuously declined without the US market growth making up for it. - Sony's Xperia phones, at the same time, saw great growth in the European market because Sony made an effort instead of bothering with focusing in just one country (the US). When Sony decided to change that - around the time of the Xperia Z4 - and start trying to focus in the US market alone, sales of Xperia devices started to come down.   So whilst it's important that Microsoft shows aggressiveness in the US market to combat the Chromebook infestation that has installed itself on Uncle Sam's lands, it will be a major flaw if they limit the efforts to the USA. In Europe and other Western or Westernised markets, if Microsoft doesn't make an effort to show some parity of treatment with the US, they risk Google or someone else to come along and show that parity. And then they'll not only risk not gaining back anything in the US, they'll be losing market in those other countries. It's also worth noting that the educational system in Europe and Western markets is far better than the American and more likely to adopt new technologies to tackle on new educational challenges. Microsoft simply can't let that pass and not take the chance.
  • Simple... The focus on the US is not because of the US. It's because schools here offer items to their students and are ready to pay some money for that. None of the schools I personally know in France for example offer them to students. They have some in dedicated rooms and the libraries, but none in class. Pretty sure it's the same or close in other countries. Reason is schools and tuitions are too cheap in most European countries to allow for these expenses. Most of the time of course. Im sure some school can offer them, just MUCH less than US.
  • Over here we do. So that can't be the reason. Also deals for pure personal use. It's the US being cheap. We, rich Europe, can have proper laptops/2in1 devices. Chromebooks are for poor students/schools really.
  • It would be interesting to see the whole world including US. From the graphs above, there's not enough information to know. If what you said is right, @Azizelh, then you would expect global figures to track much more based on the US figures, simply because the US budget would dominate. On the other hand, if the total global numbers appeared similar to the "rest of the world" half of the graph, then @DJCBS would be right.
  • To me, the time is already late. Both in Education sector as well as Mobile sector. Kids are going to use their parents' iPhone or Android and so they will also get similar one. Let's see how Microsoft might do things further.
  • This has nothing to do with phones.
  • Actually this can affect phone usage in the enterprise. If kids grow up using Chromebooks then once in the enterprise they're likely to push Android and Chromebooks to their employees when they become the next CEOs and it'll become even harder to crack the enterprise market.
  • I don't think that's relevant. Chromebooks and Enterprise is a big mismatch.
  • Not really. Most enterprise users need their laptop to do two things: 1) Remote into Citrix (or other provider) 2) Remote wipe if stolen.  Chromebooks do both of those things, and they're much easier to set up. 
  • Tom, exactly.... run iOS/Android mobile.... use Chromebooks, Android and iOS devices if one is a power user for remoting to a virtual windows machine.    Most workers don't even need a naive windows machine anymore.
  • Not really. And need to do some more and Chrome books fail. I know I work for many many enterprises. Also, for those cases they have Thin/Zero clients. Chromebooks are not even taken as a choice. On the road they want proper devices. That's why I still have to see the very first Chromebook at Enterprises I work for (IT Consultant/Senior Engineer) What is happening is a growth of Ultrabooks/
    Surfaces for mobile employees.
  • Depends on what that "some more" is. For the businesses I know of that don't use Citrix or a similar service, all their internal applications are already web based. Obviously it won't work in every case. 
  • Do an inventory of used applications and you'll know better. Very few companies can do web apps only. I visit A LOT of companies and none of them can. Most applications? Yes. All? In most cases mission impossible. Perhaps smaller companies a little sooner, but for medium-large no way. In my actual experience.
  • I don't really buy that argument. Anyone who can't use a windows machine will be at a severe disadvantage in university and in the workplace, environments where ChromeOS, android, iOS doesn't have a shot in hell of replacing Windows, because of all the dedicated software that runs on windows for science, engineering, 3d design, databasing, creativity and so on. I don't think kids are growing up "unfamiliar with windows" at all. They seem equally saavy with windows and android.   
  • actually it does since Windows 10 is a converged OS and that what you use on your laptop is similar to what you see on phone, game console, etc.
    Google is doing the same with Chromebooks running Android apps and behaving more like an Android device.
  • Yeah except android apps don't scale, and no one writes them for laptops or desktops. 
  • -or tablets
  • Sounds like a well thought out plan by Microsoft.  I used to work in a school district and this type of machine would have been a godsend 15 years ago.  It was a nightmare with a multitude of computers running Windows 98 or XP hooked up to a Novell server.  Kids (and teachers) would screw up the machines daily. The one point I will disagree on is the inclusion of a Surface Pen.  Those things are $60 each and require a battery to work.  An active digitizer is also going to add cost to the laptop.  Education isn't an area where Microsoft can focus on the top end, a strictly middle-of-the road laptop that is inexpensive and easy to manage will be key.  I bet their mainstream education hardware product will have a capacative touch screen so any $5 passive stylus will work for inking.  Most students aren't going to need the accuracy, pressure sensativity, or buttons on the stylus that an active pen provides.  Passive inking will be fine for almost every education scenario.
  • Then they should include the digitizer but make the pen a separate purchase
  • then none of the schools would buy it.
  • They'll include a pen+digitizer that nobody wants and price themselves out.  Kinect 2.0.  
  • They've made Surface Pen optional even on Surface Book (entry SKU), so unlikely to force it on anyone. Even if they did, WHO CARES. You forgot that HP, Dell, and others will have a chance to make these devices too. That's like saying Google "priced themselves out of the education market with the $1200 Chromebook Pixel". That's just an ignorant thing to hang your hat on. C'mon, try harder. "Kinect 2.0" is not an argument.
  • thanks :)
  • Maybe not the exact Surface Pen, but an N-Trig pen with a less expensive casing to bring the cost down. 
  • The above document says "touch and inking optional". MS won't be the only one's making these, there will be plenty of options.
  • High hopes but I don't have faith this will turn out as well as they hope it does.
  • I guess we all have to start somewhere and doing some test on a large enough sacle before expanding and Microsoft also happens to be American, so. I agree they should pay more attention to the rest of the world, but i think they are aware of the situation and i believe their Education Focus line of hardwares will expand to the rest of the wrold very quickly. They should focus on Poor Countries like Cambodia, Laos some Africans countries and so on... after US because it's there that children need education at a cheap price the most...
  • Couldn't agree more. What will happen for all these children is they will try to get out in the workforce attempting to use Chrome OS, when 85%+ of the workforce uses Microsoft Windows. Our U.S. children now are already at a significant disadvantage, and they have no idea. Good call, Microsoft!
  • Well, most of the workforce 98%+ are already using Android/iOS on their phones and tablets.   Windows in business are used primarily for win32 and legacy apps on desktop.   All this is, is WinRT 2.0, good luck with that.   Generally speaking, no real reason to drop Chromebooks if they are already in use... on the business side.... win32 is still important but everyday loses a  little bit of importance.    Some of the businesses I am involved in, most of the work is actually on iOS/Android in the field, everyone else is virtualized windows environment... move a way from windows over the long-haul.   If you don't need win32 they just rely on iOS mostly.    This product will eventually end up like RT and abandoned, as will UWP.  imo
  • Not sure on what corporate planet you are living but you sure cannot compare 1.2 million people using Microsoft Office and other productivity software with 1 billion android phones. And the acclaimed presence of "corporate" chromebooks is a myth. If you watch American movies you also might think 90% of corporate America is on Mac, well that's a myth too. Don't confuse product placement in movies or marketing blabla with the corporate reality. And that is that 90% of all corporate desktops are running on a Windows platform.
  • Not sure what planet you are on if you think I said what you claimed I said.   Very confused by your comments. As far as WinRT 2.0... DOA is my guess.... UWP is already dead as far as I can see, just a matter of a few years till the remaining Koolaid drinkers figure it out.   (Just my guess of course)   Win10 holding serve, Office 365 doing okay, WinPhone dead, Band dead, GWFL dead, UWP on life support, Zune dead, mobile other than a few million surfaces dead, etc. MS is an enterprise legacy software company... most product/technologies the develop end up in the trash can.... the list is huge.   This OS will be DOA just like RT1.0.   No real reason for schools to dump Chromebooks that I can see.   
  • You just lost a lot of credibility. Chromebooks fail for a lot of reasons for the Enterprise. For a reason. Think about it.
  • Hoekie, not sure if you are talking to me.... but not sure I ever said that in that context. Companies are invested about 99.9% in iOS/Android for mobile, as far as desktop, yes Windows is still used but many companies, depending on the type of business are eliminating the need for Windows devices for many workers.   Obvious, win32 is still an important legacy framework, but over time less people need windows, and very very few need it naively... although not all businesses are setup the same.... my take would be if you don't need a person to run win32... don't deploy them a windows machine.  (its a slow process of course, mobile is nearly 100% iOS/Android excluding some cos. might have some surfaces... not sure I consider the surface a mobile device, more a 2n1). If one is starting a company from scratch, or one wants to get of windows as much as possible... web service is the way to go.... basically browser machines for desktops.
  • People are still using terminal software written in the 1980s because the company can't afford the development costs. No one wants to spend large wads of cash they don't have to. Software like Photoshop, video editing suites, illustrator, oracle databasing - anything that the enterprise world needs for its business practice, all exists only in windows. There is zero sign of gradual change. A few businesses and governments have funded expensive ios apps. That is the total extent of "change from win32". This shift you speak of, will never, ever happen. Enterprise, universities are utterly dependant on windows (or at minimum OSX), and if you don't know how to use it, you are at an educational disadvantage. 
  • How did you get so strangely dark and gloomy? 
  • a) Businesses DO NOT use android tablets. If anything at all, they use ipads, or microsoft tablets.  b) enterprise and university software is written for windows. You can't run this specialised software on an andriod or ios phone. There is literally no way an android or ios device can substitute in areas like business databasing, management, science, engineering, 3d design, creativity or any of those areas. If schools are depriving their kids of windows machines, they are robbing them of vital life skills.   
  • I can't agree more. Android on tablets doesn't work. I can see desktop staying for a long time because they view websites fully, that's just one of many reasons. 
  • I grew up in the generation that had Windows in their schools, and most everyone I know still doesn't know how to use a computer. Growing up with Chromebooks would do nothing to change that. 
  • Absolutely. We don't use chromebooks here, but if US schools are robbing students of windows familiarity, they are robbing them of vital life skills. No university or workplace is EVER going to use ChromeOS. 
  • People in the US are really SMART, not like us the rest of the world! THEY tend not to settle for one solution and bury their heads in the sand not see what evolves around them! The rest of the world well you know whatever worked yesterday works okay today, also the level of competence in the IT ENGINEERING sectors in the rest of the world is very limited hence they settle for less!
  • Nobody in enterprise or university is EVER going to use chromeOS, android or iOS to replace windows 10. There is zero chance of that, none. I mean you wanna talk about an app gap, 16 million legacy applications that windows has for science, business etc... Find me a single business that uses chromeOS instead of windows, lol. At least teach them how to use a mac. Nothing smart at all about robbing your students of life skills. I feel sorry for the students, genuinely, their teachers are approaching IT like an easily impressed 12 year old with no understanding of how the world actually works. 
  • I don't think Microsoft has ever taken the edu space seriously, I think they believed it was a given like they do with corporate and Chromebooks have come in and knocked them off their footing.  As a school IT Director, I made the leap to iPads instead of Chromebooks years ago due to their limitations.  Even though we were a google apps school, the iPads offered more along the lines of what I and teachers wanted, which was inking and the ability to work on creative projects like videos, etc.  The Surface was not there yet, it was still an immature product and we decided to skip Windows 8 so it was a nonstarter. So let's establish something, schools are enterprise.  You try managing thousands of these devices in the hands of children, it is a nightmare.  Apple's management utilities left a lot to be desired whereas Google knocked it out of the park with Chromebooks.  Chromebooks have significant advantages over Windows, OS X and iOS in the eyes of school IT decision makers: They are ridiculously inexpensive per unit.  You can buy 2 chromebooks for the cost of 1 iPad or PC. Hardware support warranties are inexpensive per unit. Management is all in Google's cloud and it is incredibly easy to maintain, control, distribute apps, secure and lock down these machines.  It is also low to almost no cost for the Chromebook management tools.  Most schools decided to focus their engineering time on faculty/staff machines that require more advanced workflows. Chromebooks are 100% integrated with Google Apps.  Google Apps is/was far more aligned with consumer needs and experiences than Office 365, so lots of people gravitate towards it because it feels less intimidating to them.   Lightweight, great battery life and are very reliable for teachers that have crafted their lesson plans around this piece of technology.  Consumers today expect more intuitive software and design that to them feels more natural.  What they get at work or school is just frustration, because they cannot reconcile the duality that this iPad at home works great, why can't my IT staff make it work this great here.  Chromebooks never had that problem, they are the same natural, simple experience both at home and at work or school. The consumerisation of IT is real, expectations have changed dramatically and has made the job of IT administrators harder everywhere. I see this new Microsoft device as the start of the great iPad and Chromebook purge, IF they can get the management right and work on their consumer experiences. Intune, Azure AD, Windows 10 and Office 365 together looks to be a winning combination for IT decision makers that is evolving every day.  I have already began moving in that direction at my school, it remains to be seen if other school IT decision makers will follow suit.
  • Great insights jblank46! The ball is in Microsoft's court now.
  • I'm a game programmer. Place I work... more than 4000 employees, only Windows. Most of us (programmers, designers, planners, people from business division, etc) here use Visual Studio, MS Office (we've just switch to office365 few months ago), Skype, Adobe applications, 3dsMax, Unreal, Unity, DirectX, etc.
    Just curious, do you teach kids programming? I don't think Visual Studio (now free and with free private repo, project management tools, etc) is available on ChromeBook tho...
    What if those kids enter high school or university? Won't they need to (re)adapt?
  • I'm not sure what there is to adapt to... at what point where you strip out the core OS.... is the OS not the OS anymore?   Exactly why would they have to adapt, I don't spend too much time on iOS devices yet when I get on one I have no real problem doing what I need to.
  • We do teach coding.  It's not an official academic course, but in clubs and other extracurricular programs.  We teach basic programming principles (logic, iterators, etc), html and javascript although I believe they've moved onto game design using gamemaker and eventually, unity.  They're not using the MS development stack, although I'm pushing them to try Visual Studio Code as it's my favourite new code editor. Chromebooks are just chrome.  On a PC or mac they end up using chrome anyway so what Google did was genius.  They made Chrome universal.  We switched kids from iPads to Surface and they adapted fast with the help of teachers.  We're going to build on this next by pushing for a proper coding course, teaching something like python, javascript or c#.
  • Google are killing chrome app support for OSX, Linux and Windows - everything except ChromeOS. This begins this year, and is completely phased out in 2018. Just thought you should know, seeing as ChromeOS being universal, is about to be a relic of the past. They are pushing developers off to web apps. 
  • And when they get out into the workplace and they only know how to use an ipad or chromebook? I can't imagine thinking thats a good idea as an educator, that people should learn what is "freindly" rather than what enterprise and universities actually use., and because of development costs, and software they depend on, will always use. 
  • the workplace is changing to mostly web based apps for data entry and retrevial for large companies. Insuance, banking. ISP's, Government, all are using web based apps for the majoity of their employees. as a taxpayer, i expect my elected officials to be as frugal as possible. there is simply no need for full blown windows machines or macbooks to do data entry or retrevial. if win10cloud machines could be deployed to save the taxpayers money, then i approve. as a shareholder, i expect the same.  development costs, and software are  now part of the budget for a small, select few groups.  the workplace today, for the vast majority of the working public, is all about the ability to access corporate websites.  Windows, simply put, is not as relevant to enterprise as it once was. small business today is more about the web than ever.  big business is about web based stuff to keep costs as low as possible. post secondary education is specific to the courses being taught, assuming you are not doing it online, in which case all you need is a browser. 
  • If only Microsoft responded with equal rubustness to the needs of its non-US customers...
  • If this windows 10 cloud ☁ OS is success. Then more developer will give importance to app. This will decline app gap then here comes the Surface Phone .
  • Very interesting read.   I am one of those adults who tried all OS'es.   WIndows beats both chromeOS and MacOS by a large margin in the desktop space.  
  • I agree, and I think Windows 10 Cloud can be better than ChromeOS running Ubuntu regarding scientific and education software, however we need education software companies to publish their apps through Centennial platform, so software like Matlab, Autodesk or Adobe can have their software available to be purchased by Universities through the Windows Store.  
  • And why would they want a competitor store, as of right now they keep 100% of revenue?   The large development houses have a negative incentive to see the Windows Store succeed.... we're approaching 2 years on Win10 and I don't see anything more successful vs. what they were doing with Win8 store. Most of the large software distributors want their own store, their own control, and 100% of the revenue.  (for obivous reasons)
  • "And why would they want a competitor store, as of right now they keep 100% of revenue? "
    Simple, it's a tradeoff. You promise/deliver more access and exposure via Store and new devices, which offsets the cost incurred from Microsoft. That's literally how ALL app stores work in the world. Sell 5,000 licenses for $1 or sell 10,000 licenses for $0.70. It's simple math based on size of reachable audience.
  • That really doesn't answer the question.   I help build a massive weapon which then my enemy can use against me... MS is their competitor not their friend.   You give up control, you give your competitor more weapons to do harm and you give up revenue.... adobe is probably losing close to zero money not being on the MS's store.   I don't think you'll will see Valve products either... its really a no brainer.   The big developers have zero reason for the MS store to be successful especially if they have their own store.  Smaller developers, sure, they don't have their own store, don't have the means so another distribution path could be a benefit... big developers have a negative incentive.   There is actually a less incentive then it was to distribute via GFWL as at least with that... we were dealing with open and Win32.   MS is a competitor to Adobe, Autodesk, Valve, Epic, etc. not a friend, although their might be partnerships from time to time.   Which is why many of them have spoken harshly about UWP and the Store.
  • Daniel, another comment.   The reason why this site keeps getting excited then disappointed by MS product sales and adoption, and ultimate leads to the dropping of the tech/product is.... most of this is the opposite of what these articles saying.   What I mean is you are geared towards your own consumer incentives... but when it comes to Windows, consumers have either dropped it or ignore it. Let me give you an example, you think this Cloud OS is a good idea, but basically its RT2.0.... fair enough, that is what you think.   But in the real world, in my experience at the enterprise level.... businesses have or want to strip not the Win32 stuff out but the UWP/Store from Windows 10.   So, I work with a medium size company that wants to deploy Win10 from Win7 which is virtualized and users use citrix.   Now do you want to know what those builds look like now in testing.... everything you write about in these articles are being stripped out... whether its the Store app, OneDrive, UWP, tablet mode, etc.   Windows without Win32 and open is kind of like Kate Upton without the rack, what's the point?   Windows with UWP might as well be a Chromebook, either way I doubt the consumer is going to come back in mass. What MS is doing is throwing a bunch a mud at the wall hoping the consumer is coming back, the problem is.... reality is much different.   
  • I work for a company that is considered medium (almost 500+ people) and we are moving to Windows 10 Enterprise at a fast pace. We are 80% Windows 10, 5% Windows 8, and 15% Windows 7(will be upgraded within the next 2 months), so we are close to a full Windows 10 ecosystem. We do lock the app store for now until we publish our own apps into it but we don't strip anything else out there is no need. Companies who do remove everything are just fooling themselves that it helps or is better to do it. These are the same companies that can't figure out why they are always behind or they do know but put their head in the sand. I agree that it will take time and I see your point.
  • CMDR, every company is different, and I would hate to limit paths for success but apps on windows is not why businesses have Windows.   Apps on virtualized desktops really offer nothing to the company, and actually bring up security problems i.e. ability to share files too easily in most instances at a corporation level.   If apps is why companies thought apps were the real reason to run windows, those windows machines would have went extinct like the windows phone.    The reason why most companies run win32 is legacy and they need programs not apps... most of the large developers have negative incentive to publish to the MS store or support UWP.    The author responded to me talking about $1 "apps", that is his problem... he doesn't realize the corporate world runs a good portion of their enterprise off of enterprise programs... which sometimes cost into the $1,000s per seat.   Different companies run different ways and have different requirements so I know what you are saying... but at the end of the day... if I think if corporations just needed apps.... Windows would be going extinct right now like the Windows Phone.     iOS/Android for mobile i.e. phones and tablets.   Windows for power users on the go, Virtualized Windows for power users in office.... and try and reduce the number of Windows seats.   I am not sure on an enterprise level what the MS Store helps.... if apps is what you need then you ditch Windows completely imo.  
  • Universities are already using windows. Although it would be nice for students to be able to buy cheap devices, they could always go for windows on arm instead. I do think it'd be great to see more power user software in the store. People are slowly coming over. Theirs some professional video and photo software there already. 
  • There's 1 MAJOR advantage Chromebooks have in the Educational market that Windows 10 currently has nothing to match; NEVER need to reboot to update the OS. Chromebooks merely being the Chrome web browser on Windows means that to install security patches/updates, all that has to happen is the user closes the browser and the security updates are installed automatically without requiring ANY reboot. That is automatically and seamlessly done whenever a user logs out the system, and if a security patch didn't get the time to install prior to the chromebook going to sleep, that's easily and quickly done on next resume from sleep. So, literally 0 need for reboot to stay secure, literally 0 need for IT department keeping tabs on them for security reasons. Compare that to Windows 10 where when you wake it up from sleep, you'll be getting that stupid "Updating Windows, don't turn off your computer" message for several minutes, especailly when they've not been updated in a while due to them not being used in a classroom. Imagine getting that when you're about to write an online Exam (which is the only place where Chromebooks were used on my Campus, everything else is Windows). Unless an IT department is being paid to keep those Windows 10 Cloud Laptops up to date, or those Laptops never turn off (in which case they can do the restart when the user logs off and thinks they've put the Laptop to sleep), Windows 10 Cloud won't be able to remain secure, making them a security threat to the Campus.
  • Microsoft's policy is to not require a reboot for an update more than once every 4 weeks. I really don't see that as a big deal these days. Additionally, the Unified Update Platform (UUP) goes a long way to helping with this as well.
  • It's not much of a concern as a consumer, 'cause I'm only dealing with 1 PC (a Surface Pro 2 in my case), and I can easily take a moment to configure Windows Updates to match my workflow for the rest of my use of the Windows PC. No problem with that. In the case of a school campus, where there's 1000s of them - all of which don't get used for months until an Exam is coming up - it becomes a big concern in terms of both time and security. You'll need to pay an IT department to mange each and every one of those Windows Laptops/Convertibles, 'cause unlike Windows Desktops, they're not connected to a LAN 24/7, and thus can't be updated remotely. If you don't pay an IT department to do that, you risk having significant delays or interuptions when the Laptops are needed; during an online Exam. That's the major advantage Chromebooks have; savings in both IT department costs and time. With Chromebooks, any Teacher (regadless of background) could just grab a Laptop cart (contains about 50 Chomebooks I think) from some IT room (where the cart was plugged in charging the Laptops) at anytime of the year, bring it to the classroom, students simply unplug 1 of them and take to their desk, log-in, and can begin the exam (no waiting for any updates). Once they're done, they sign out, take the Laptop back to the cart and just plug in its power cable. To get the same with most of todays Windows Laptops, you'll need to be fussing with both power and ethernet cables for each and every one of those Laptops in some specialized cart, so that when in the IT room, they can be connected to the LAN and kept up to date remotely when not in use for months. That adds more room for human error, unless the campus pays some premium to get a custom Windows Laptop and Laptop cart that can get both power and ethernet over 1 connection. On top of that, would still need to pay an IT department to be keeping tabs on them remotely. None of which is a concern with Chromebooks. PS: First time I'm getting a reply from Daniel Rubino :D
  • Running everything as a web app, is also a pretty severe limitation. You can't code for peripherals, you can't run anything powerful.  BTW, if you use hibernate, it doesn't update, and you can trigger them manually. There's also a load of control settings for updates. 
  • A limitation my campus never faced, ''cause they were only used for online exams. Nothing limited there compared to a Windows PC. Putting it in hibernate avoids updates, yet leaves the company wide open to security threats. No point risking that, and no need to with Chromebooks.
  • >Likewise, the seemingly odd addition of EPUB support for the Edge web browser and corresponding digital book section in the Windows Store makes more sense once you bring education into the equation. Ah, ok 👌, I see how that makes sense.
  • "The education market is critical to Microsoft's future...".
    Microsoft already gave up on another market that was "critical" to their future. Phones. Let's see how long they go after this market and then give up after Google trounces them...
  • MS basically drops most things which are not legacy based.   Anything where they have to gain ground on a competitor is usually a no go.   Then the resort to buying competitors if they are smaller.   Its a classic IBM/MaBell situation.     I think some of the online stuff Office 365 and Azure is okay, but as far as most of their products... if a competitor beats them to the market.... MS is usually not competive and eventually drops the tech/product.
  • Doom, gloom, darkness, and sadness! boo, hisss, grumble!
  • So it shows again tech journalist should look at the World and not the US. Because again the US is not representative. Hopefully tech journalist will realise this sooner than later.
  • I specifically mention and discuss non-US market share for Chromebooks, Windows, and Apple.
    "For non-U.S. markets, the tale is very different. There, 65 percent of the education market is Windows, with Chrome OS at just six percent and Android at 17 percent. Apple held steady at just nine percent of the global education K-12 markets."
    And I live in the US, with access to public and private school IT heads who I spoke to about this topic. Why should I not write on the US where I live, our site is based, and where this product will likely have the most push?
  • Only the start should be different. It is the world first.
    The rest is positively refreshing. So no complaints there.
    Second paragraph, point taken.
    I'm very much looking forward to see what Microsoft comes up with May 2. So thanks for the heads up.
  • It's the truth, Hoekie sucks
  • This is a good strategy from Microsoft, as Chromebooks have been receiving more storage based on SSD (128GB models) and TI could use them with Crouton to boot Ubuntu Linux which is a disadvantage against Microsoft since it can run open source education software that could steal Microsoft education market.  With this move, all Microsoft needs is to provide Centenial apps to education software companies like Mathworks, Autodesk, Adobe, RStudio, Eclipse foundation, KNIME, Weka University, etc so their software can be published into Microsoft store.
  • Grats Microsoft, way to follow Apples coat tales. They were courting EDU since what 2000?
  • Apple is down big time. Especially look at the US numbers. Wow.
  • Maybe I'm a dewy eyed fool for wishing there could be a united effort for students instead of market driven competition.
  • The end of chrome OS will arrive faster than windows mobile.
  • Right, because Google are sleeping. You are so cute
  • Chrome apps have already been pulled from the chrome browser, as a failure. So developers are leaving the platform. Android apps don't scale, and people don't write them for education, as much as people write educational apps for windows. Add in windows cloud with its stylus, touch support, faster local apps, robust educational apps, ability to run win32 and upgradeability, and I think you are right. I think this will kill the Chromebook in a few years flat. The fact that chromeos is only popular in a small part of the world, really doesn't help the developer base, and googles recent move to remove them from other OS's has put a lot of developers off, as they were only interested when it was universal. Really too, there is absolutely nothing google can do, to make chromebooks competitive with those points. If it did, it would pretty much be playing blackberry. 
  • Also iPads in US schools is down big time. Sucks to be an Apple user at schools.
  • i will wait at least for 2yrs to see if they ditch it or try it or embrace it.
  • If MS want success in education they should stop charging edu for using the software. Make it free to education and we'll deploy more which gets more students using it. Other companies have already figured this out.
  • 99% sure Windows 10 Cloud is free. They already give big discounts on other software and services.
  • Windows 10 Cloud might be free, but charging education for other apps is big profit. Our MS campus bill is over £30k per year.
  • MSFT would be bankrupt if they made all their services free to everyone.
  • Getting teens using MS software by making it accessible to state education is exactly how they WONT go bankrupt. This is very simple to understand. Autodesk finally figured this out a few years back when they stopped charging edu, if you want to increase your future sales, give it to edu for free and they train the next generation of customers on your behalf. Its not rocket science.
  • Would be nice if they had a phone to compliment this, and gain market share :(
  • This is not about phones. Wasn't that obvious?
  • "On May 2, all eyes will be on Microsoft at its New York City event."
    Truth is no matter if you like/admit it or not, Daniel, all eyes are on Apple and Google. Very few people are giving a tuck about Microsoft these days. Tech media websites barely reflect Microsoft on consumer space with stories and articles for more than 1-2 days then everything is quiet and back to normal, which means news only about Apple and Google. Microsoft is slowly becoming a dinosaur that rarely someone cares for
  • Truth's just your opion. Fact: A major, perhaps biggest, Dutch newssite even already linked to this article. And it's not even May 2.
  • Go out and get some sunshine mate. You are clearly a bit gloomy!
  • Dan, does the screen on the Surface Book Panay's son was using look a bit small when compaired to the Microsoft Pen?
  • I'm sorry Dan, but i respectfully disagree, they need win 10 on arm with the ability to run 32bit apps, education will not look at a Windows store only intel pc, believe me and i can show you how different setting up and managing chrome books are compared to pcs. This will fail and schools need so much more to prove windows is better and they don't care that google is an advertising company and minds data, they just don't care.
  • No you don't. Yet.
  • Funny. One day, Surface line is "to show manufacturers how to build PCs (price is high because MS doesnt want numbers) and the other day they are too expensive to get numbers. Whichever meets your arguments better, right?!
  • No common sense. Try harder.
  • full common sense no need to try
  • You'd think for $3000, the Surface Book would teach Panos' son how to hold a pen correctly :-D
  • "In an internal document obtained by Windows Central (above), we can see exactly how Microsoft views Windows 10 Cloud as competing against Chromebooks in performance benchmarks." ... is it just me, or in Windows 10 cloud either equal to, or behind, Chromebooks in every one of those performance benchmarks?
  • Those are targets for Windows Cloud vs. Chromebooks. Who knows how close MS is to achieving those targets? Incidentally, my 2-years-old Chromebook Flip cold boots in 7 seconds. So Chromebook numbers are a little skewed to lower the bar for MS. It's interesting though that MS is trying to re-invent the Chromebook, only it will cost more, be less secure, and be restricted to a much smaller and lower quality application pool.
  • Cost more? Why would it cost more? It's using the same chipsets, the same type of hardware, and likely a free license.  Personally I wouldn't say that's better app quality, when the app pool (android apps) isn't even designed for the FF, and they are more geared to social networking and bus stop games than education. Chrome apps themselves number a paltry 10,000. Admitedly for the education sector, windows might have a small catch up, but its not exactly huge, nor are education apps demanding functionality. For the most part people use web browsers, and word processors.  The whole point of difference for Windows could is - its touch enabled, its ink and stylus enabled and its fully upgradable to full windows. Which makes chromebook seem kind of sad by comparison IMO, as an educational tool. 
  • Yes, but they don't do much so
  • Get'em while they are young... How about also working on the consumer market too?
  • They are, what do you think windows on arm is for? - its for cheaper LTE enabled desktops, all in ones, tablets, laptops and hybrids. Thats basically MS whole strategy this year - affordable, long battery life cellular larger screen devices. And its a damn good play, because it will get the UWP developer engine grinding. 
  • I've heard of many schools here in Australia wanting to drop the Chromebooks because they either didn't realise that they couldn't do **** or realised later in using them. They are just gimmicks, and have already been swapped for Surface Pros in some places, so what MS is doing is perfect in this situation.
  • please quote your sources ( otherwise untrue / did not happen / fake news ).  
  • sd
  • As importantly, the tablet market where windows on arm is targeted, is a sector where only windows and budget are growing amonst consumers. By making a budget hybrid, perhaps something like the transformer book, windows can be positioned in BOTH of the growth sectors of tablets, when both samsung and apple have been slipping for four years. a serious foothold in tablets will drive UWP development, as will any substantial sales of a cloudbook. Re-positioning Windows to re-enter the fray for pocket cellular devices.  So this year, I expect not simple a surface pro, but a budget model. I'm hoping with a transformer book design, so it can be also more laptop like. And without the ridiculous screen sizes - perhaps a happy 10.1 inches, or even apple like 9.7. I expect this is why the rumours on surface suggest both arm, and intel - it'll be both.  Basically its the whole budget thing that is MS's entire pathway back to market dominance, in particular larger touchscreen devices. And that's also the point of difference for a cloud book - its touch enabled, its stylus enabled (as you say, a rotatable design would suit education best). If windows can make gains on bigger screen touch devices, that breathes life into UWP. And you can see the push for UWP in all of MS's recent moves - the option to lock windows down to store only, the cloud device, and the cheaper arm devices. THIS is how they are tackling the app gap - by fighting in an area where they have strenth - bigger screens.  
  • So MS is playing catch-up once again? It turned out really well last time (looks at Windows Phone/Mobile).
  • This article doesn't mention exactly where schools are saving money with Chromebooks. I don't think it is cost of the hardware. It is likely cost of supporting and managing Windows machines. There are plenty of low cost Windows machine as available today, but they are not easy for a school with limited resources to deploy. Microsoft needs to further simplify Windows and match the services available on Chromebooks. We will hear how Microsoft will handle this, but it seems they are being short sighted.
  • removed
  • So, serious question, has Microsoft cleared the gap in maintenance/management between Windows and Chrome OS?
  • I wouldn't exactly say this is the right time, pc's and tablets are already well and truly engraved in the education sector.
  • <p>I hope MS succeeds in the educational marked. But do I believe it?</p> <p>* To succeed, I assume MS also aims at non-English speaking countries.<br />
    * Does MS aim at primarl school only, or also at colleges/universities?</p> <p>MS faces some challenges..</p> <p>1. Living in Europe with a non-English mother language/keyboard, I still have chosen English as UI language in Windows 10. Why?<br />
    * Why even ask? It is my own choice! Nevertheless...<br />
    * Easier to google/bing for help to solve problems, and I recognize the names of settings, etc. in English<br />
    * I use programs/applications with English-only UI, and it is easier when there is consistency across applications and Windows<br />
    * I teach for international students (EU exchange students, students from Africa, Asia, Latin America, etc.) both at home and abroad. I need these students to understand settings in Excel, etc.</p> <p>2. Windows Cloud, based on UWP apps in my teaching? Not possible for now!<br />
    * Windows 10 currently installs UWP apps on my computer where the UI language is either based on the region, my physical internet address, or the keyboard. In other words: using my national language.<br />
    * This means that the installed apps use a different UI language than Windows. My students don&#39;t understand the UI language of my apps (e.g., OneNote)!<br />
    * Most likely, the international students will face the same problem as I do -- at least if their computer is bought locally (with our national keyboard). This doesn&#39;t cut it.</p> <p>3. Other language &quot;challenges&quot;...<br />
    * Several UWP apps choose spelling checker based on keyboard.&nbsp;<br />
    * This is ok. in tablet mode, where I can use virtual keyboards on screen, and can easily switch keyboard by the flick of my finger.<br />
    * This idea is absolutely horrendous when working with a physical keyboard!<br />
    * And -- NO! The language auto detection doesn&#39;t work well. And I&#39;m tired to manually having to go through menus to change spelling checker language...<br />
    * Yes, I can handle more than one language. I do write in my mother tongue. I do write in English. I sometimes write in German. I sometimes write in Spanish. And I do not change physical keyboard -- it is not possible (except for, e.g., Surface Pro, but I don&#39;t want to lug around a stack of TypeCovers...)</p> <p>4. And then there is Excel...<br />
    * Yes, the situation *is* improving. A few years ago, Windows installed MS Office in my national language irrespective of the Windows UI language.&nbsp;<br />
    * When the language problem with Office was fixed so that I got English UI language in Office, Excel *still* insisted on installing plug-ins (e.g., Solver) with my national language as UI... OK, that has been fixed (I hope...).<br />
    * Current problem: tomorrow, I will give a class in Spain using Excel. I *hope* I can use my own laptop with English as UI language (I&#39;m not that fluent in Spanish). And I&#39;ll demonstrate some calculations using Excel.<br />
    * Big problem: the function for random number generation (rand) has a different name in Spanish (aleatorio, or something). Programming constructs have different names, e.g., &quot;if&quot; is not denoted &quot;if&quot; in the Spanish version of Excel.<br />
    * OK -- I can live with this, as long as I don&#39;t have to use a local computer -- and as long as the students can figure out what these constructs are called, but this is really, really bad when teaching.<br />
    * OK -- can I make my Excel programs/sheets available to the students? In other words, do my sheets written for the English UI version of Excel work when opened in a Spanish language version? Are commands such as &quot;aleatorio&quot; automatically translated to &quot;rand&quot;? Maybe, but I do not feel confident...</p>
  • (I spite of the fact that I chose "Text format" to be "Plain text", the "system" inserted HTML tags...)
  • I really want to see this go well..moreover they should also focus on other emerging markets like india and china....where people are constantly using windows laptops and tablets...they should be assisting children in those countries to get the hands on experience and also the advantages...
  • I really want to see this go well..moreover they should also focus on other emerging markets like india and china....where people are constantly using windows laptops and tablets...they should be assisting children in those countries to get the hands on experience and also the advantages...
  • my favorite portion of windows 10 cloud is its ease in changing to win 10 full os
  • I'm glad that Microsoft isn't wresting on its laurels, but i feel they are failing to understand their clientel.  Most Educational deparments are run by Principals and not your average Tech driven pioneer from a fortune 500 Company.   They have a better grasp of Google because they own Google phones and think that Windows Phone is a Nokia created OS.   For crying out loud no one in my dstrict has a clue that you can run Excel, word or PowerPoint for free by opening a hotmail account.   Our HS Engineering Teacher who runs robotics (loves Excel) didn't even know you could run excel for free.    If Microsoft wants to punch its way into districts, they need to come out with a better strategy.   My first opinion of my Dell touch Chromebooks is that they were a heaping pile of crap.  Then i figured out how to use Symbaloo and now I'm on my way to creating links to (Free) educational software that is made for smart boards.   My biggest problem with Bing and Google is the algorithms they use to search the web.  Its freakin difficult to find touch enabled websites that are educational based.   The first company that figures out how to create an algorithm that locates sites that are touch friendly and can be run from the web will win my vote and millions of educators.  So get to it Microsoft for once beat Google at its own game.