Rivers of ink are running these days on what could be Microsoft’s new operating system. And although there is nothing officially confirmed, rumors suggest that Redmond would be preparing a modified version of Windows 11, intended for students and teams with modest technical specifications: Windows 11 SE
If the story sounds familiar, it is because of course, it is not the first time that Microsoft has tried to compete with Google and its Chromebooks in the education sector. Windows RT first, the disastrous Windows 10 S later (later known as S Mode) and a never-released Windows 10X (it would become the basis for Windows 11), they are part of a story, in which the company has accumulated one failure after another.
If the experience is useful and if indeed Microsoft wants to try again with this supposed Windows 11 SE, it will have to do things differently. As Tech Radar points out, on the way to this new adventure, there are a few mistakes you can avoid making… again.
Do not do it by halves
One of the main reasons why Windows RT became a flop And why Windows 10 S also never succeeded, it is because they were neither operating systems intended to meet the requirements of students and educational institutions, nor were they adapted to the technical characteristics of the most modest computers.
In reality, the only thing Microsoft offered was a reduced version of the operating system from which it started (Windows 8, Windows 10), also presenting important limitations in its operation … the most notable being the only being able to install applications from the Microsoft Store.
In fact, the base code remained the same, so that computers with modest specifications continued to have difficulty running an OS as large and heavy as for example Windows 10. The result is that Windows 10 S offered an experience which combined the worst of both worlds: a trimmed operating system, which also offered mediocre performance on cheap hardware.
Learn from ChromeOS
On the other hand, if ChromeOS has become a success and triumph among students, it is because it has managed to do exactly the opposite: offer excellent performance in equipment with basic features.
It is true that over time, brands such as Samsung, Acer, HP or Lenovo have come to present Chromebooks with much more advanced features and that can compete in specifications with mid-range Windows laptops. But it is also, that the starting point to be able to access a great Chrome OS experience it’s really affordable.
For just over 200 euros, we can find computers that with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage, offer students everything they need, without penalizing their experience. Do you know how Windows 10 behaves on a 200 euro computer?
If Google’s strategy works, it is because it surrounds the Chromebook experience with an excellent suite of applications in the cloud, which also integrate dramatically on the desktop. As it is also a very light operating system, autonomy shoots up, allowing students to come and go from their center without having to recharge the battery.
When Microsoft decided that only apps from the Microsoft Store could be installed on Windows 10S, it may have had just this in mind. However, experience later showed that the autonomy of these computers was what it was and that with dozens of Windows 1st processes running in the background, not much more could be done.
Now, Microsoft has shown itself to be very capable of making a great browser with Microsoft Edge, improving, for example, its resource consumption compared to Google Chrome. A Windows 11 SE experience that precisely revolved around Edge and Redmond’s online services might make sense.
What do students need?
Finally, Microsoft has to be able to understand the needs of the students, in order to then be able to present them with an attractive offer. It certainly makes sense to say that limiting the installation of applications to what they can find in the Microsoft Store is a way to improve the security of the platform.
Now, at the same time that this statement is made, the company has to make sure that students are going to find attractive, popular applications on that platform that they are willing to use because they provide them with real value. We all know that so far this has not been the case.
Here, however, there are reasons for hope. The Windows 11 app store has not only opened its doors so that virtually any developer can monetize their programs in any way they see fit, but support for Android apps has also begun, which could represent a huge boost in this. ground.
Among the rumors surrounding this launch, it stands out that the company would allow the installation of applications on this occasion Win32, which are by far the most numerous for the Microsoft OS. In return, Windows 11 SE would remove some of the most distracting items for students, such as widgets, ads promoting the use of Edge and Bing and the app «Your Phone», thus making it easier for students to put their mobile phones aside in class.
Computers ready for Windows 11 SE
Now, if Microsoft wants its strategy to work this time, it not only has to be able to design an attractive OS, but also have the right equipment to run it. As it has done with the Surface range, which it has made a reference to show what Windows 10 and Windows 11 should be, it would not be bad if Windows 11 SE had its own frame of reference.
According to Tom’s Hardware, at some point in 2022, the company could surprise with a special Surface for students, probably based on the design and features it already offers in its Go line. If this happens and the launch is good, it will be great news for the entire industry.