The news: Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, announced an optimized edition of Windows 11 built around the needs of the education market, as well as a new $250 laptop designed to compete with Google’s Chromebooks.
Why it’s worth watching: Microsoft is clearly targeting Google’s Chrome OS with Windows 11 SE, a lightweight version of their OS optimized for cloud management, as well as access to Office 365 and OneDrive education editions.
The bigger picture: We previously reported that the chip shortage, high demand for PCs, and a looming price hike pushed Microsoft’s Windows 11 launch into the back seat.
Refocusing on education helps Windows 11 get traction in a market long dominated by Google and affordable sub-$500 Chromebooks. Google Workspace for Education is used by 170 million students and educators globally.
What’s the catch? Microsoft is coming from behind in educational software, cloud services, and hardware and will likely need to heavily discount its services or offer additional incentives to pry away market share from Google.