Will Microsoft Unveil Low-Cost Surface To Take On Chromebook In Schools?

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Microsoft has recently started sending invites for its upcoming press event. There are not many details about the “Learn What’s Next” event, which is going to take place on May 2 in New York City, but it looks like the big event will be for the education market.

Taking on Chromebook in schools

Microsoft is expected to make several announcements at the huge event, including a new managed Windows Cloud operating system, a new Surface device, and possibly some news about the next major Windows update, code-named Redstone 3.

It would probably be no coincidence if a low-cost Microsoft Surface with a cloud-based Windows operating system — something similar to Chromebook — found its way to the event, notes PCWorld. In U.S. schools, Windows PCs have already lost ground to Google’s browser-based laptops.

The clue comes from its title “Learn What’s Next” and the hashtag “#MicrosoftEDU,” indicating that the event could be focused around education. Many believe the event may be about the launch of the Windows 10 Cloud as well. However, there are only scant details about it, so we cannot be very certain.

What hints point to a low-cost cloud-based Surface?

Another hint comes from what Microsoft did earlier this year. In January, the Redmond-based company detailed Intune for Education, which is a cloud-based management system addressing one of the major shortcomings with regards to schools, notes TechCrunch. It offers easy setup and management in shared learning environments, something that has helped boost Chromebooks’ popularity.

Over the last several years, Chromebooks have seen a big rise in U.S. schools, partly because of the management system, which allows IT departments to configure and control a large number of devices simultaneously. The management system also makes it possible for them to swap devices between students without any weakness in security or privacy.

The most attractive selling point of the Chromebook is pricing, and to compete with them, Microsoft has already promised a $189 Windows 10 system. So there are good chances that it will showcase the device at the event, and it can be said that the Windows maker is weaving its products to offer an all-in-one education system that can easily compete with Chromebooks.

What to expect at Microsoft’s event

The other rumors about the event include Windows Mobile being replaced by some form of Windows Cloud and a quiet refresh of the Surface Pro 4 with a new seventh-generation Kaby Lake chip, notes PCWorld. There are also reports of a Surface Phone being present at the press conference, but it is highly unlikely, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley.

It appears unlikely that the company will shed any light on its Xbox Project Scorpio, the successor to the Xbox One, at the event either. Nevertheless, we can be sure of one thing: that both software and hardware will be present at Microsoft’s “Learn What’s Next” event.

Microsoft will be kicking off its Build 2017 developer conference just eight days after the “Learn What’s Next” event.

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