Microsoft Releases $189 Laptops For Schools

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The software giant has unveiled a number of education-focused laptops at the Bett education show in London.

Google has all but captured the market for American classrooms - analyst firm Futuresource estimates that in the third quarter of 2017, Google's low-priced Chromebooks accounted for 59.8% of the laptop market for K-12 education, compared to Microsoft Windows devices' 22.3% share.

Speaking to EdSurge, Anthony Salcito, Microsoft's Vice President of Worldwide Education, said that the Windows devices can offer both teachers and students more room and variety of tools to use. Lenovo will offer the $189 device in the form of the e100 Windows 10 laptop complete with 11.6-inch display, Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, either 64GB or 128GB of storage, and 10 hour battery life. These two laptops are a Windows Hello laptop priced at $199 and a pen and touch device at $299.

Microsoft's goal for Windows Mixed Reality has always been to make affordable headsets with great virtual and augmented reality experiences that could scale for regular, normal people.

"Affordability is the top priority for many schools", said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's corporate vice president for the Windows and device group, in a blog post detailing the new changes.

Each of these new devices are spill resistant and ruggedized, and has been created to have have long battery life and 2x2 Wi-Fi for faster connectivity.

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Microsoft is partnering with the world's largest education company, Pearson, to bring a new range of VR and AR educational experiences to the HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook, a collection of handouts and shared work for classes, has been updated to include assignment and grade integration with the most widely used School Information Systems in the UK, SIMS Capita, and U.S., PowerSchool.

Next up, with Office 365 Education, Microsoft will add new features to further help students and educators use the software. This will make writing and collaborating with your classmates easy. Microsoft also is expanding the company's Immersive Reader assistive technology to Word for Mac, iPhone, Outlook Desktop, OneNote iPad and OneNote Mac.

Last year, Microsoft announced a new, bundled package of education tools and apps, designed in part to streamline the purchasing and management of its products for K-12 systems.

PowerPoint now lets teachers record lessons and then publish them to their Teams classrooms so students can see them at any time.

This spring, Microsoft is adding a new Chemistry Update to Minecraft: Education, plus new science curricula for MakeCode for Minecraft.

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