Microsoft seems to have taken a cue from the growing popularity of Google’s Chromebooks in schools. On Thursday, the Redmond-based software giant announced several new features and apps that will be coming as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. And most of them are aimed at students and teachers. Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s EVP of Windows and Devices Group, said the company’s goal was to make Windows the best platform for teaching and the best place to learn.
New features in Windows 10 Anniversary Update
Chrome’s popularity in schools is mainly because of the ease of setup and configuration for teachers and students. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, teachers will be able to configure devices within minutes on their own using the “Set Up School PCs” app. Microsoft added that it will also reduce the time it takes to log into a new account for the first time to just 26 seconds. After that, logins shouldn’t take more than 6 seconds.
The Anniversary Update will also make it much easier for teachers to discover and purchase apps. Schools will be able to purchase and deploy apps in bulk, eliminating the need for teachers to buy them separately. And then there will be Windows Ink to enhance stylus support for devices. Microsoft said Windows Ink would enable students to write on their devices, create sticky notes, and draw on a whiteboard.
New tools for Office 365 for education
Microsoft is also introducing Classroom as part of Office 365 for education. It will let teachers manage their classroom workflow from a single location. Educational institutions can also use the School Data Sync (SDS) to integrate Classroom tool with their existing data systems. Microsoft also announced a new “Take a Test” app that will allow teachers to administer secure exams.
There will also be an Office 365 app called Forms that teachers can use to put together surveys and quizzes. Most of the new features and tools should be a welcome for schools. But experts believe that Microsoft should have delivered some of these features sooner because most schools and teachers need a month or two to integrate new tools into their curriculum