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Microsoft Releases $189 Laptops For Schools
23 January 2018, 01:44 | Brenda Erickson
Microsoft looks to empower students and educators with HoloLens, new Windows 10 devices, Office 365 features
At the annual Bett education show in London, Microsoft launched a new Windows 10 and 10 S device priced between $189 and $300.
"Our new Windows 10 devices won't force schools to compromise on features, giving schools cutting-edge tools like touch, inking, and 3D as well as free accessibility technology like Learning Tools, which improve reading comprehension by 10 percentile points for students of all abilities".
In addition to this, Microsoft wants to expand the use of Hololens to classrooms by offering the HoloLens Commercial ($5,000) or Developer ($3,000) editions for 10% off in select markets until the 31st of May this year to educational institutions.
Other than these two laptops, Microsoft also announced two laptops from its biggest partner in emerging economies - JP. Microsoft said it's developing several updates for Windows 10 and Office 365 which will make the combination more attractive to teachers and students.
The cheapest all of the devices announced today is the new Lenovo 100e, powered by the Intel Celeron Apollo Lake, starting at only $189. The first is a $199 laptop called the Classmate Leap T303 with Windows Hello.
That said, the software alone could be worth more than $200.
"What we've heard a lot from districts is having a low-priced availability is important", said Mike Tholfsen, a product manager with Microsoft Education, in an interview with EdScoop.
Microsoft said the devices, from Lenovo and JP, are highly durable and spill resistant - qualities necessary for withstanding any K-12 classroom. And, of course, there are education-related updates to Office 365 for Education, because Microsoft.
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In an interview, Microsoft Vice President for Worldwide Education Anthony Salcito said the company has collected feedback from its K-12 users about what it can do better-and it is responding. Examples include dications in Office 365, to help students write more easily via voice, and an expanded immersive reader feature for Word for Mac, iPhone, Outlook Desktop, OneNote iPad and OneNote Mac. It has also partnered with textbook giant Pearson PLC to develop learning materials for the Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Teachers using PowerPoint can now record their lessons and slides, which can later be shared with their digital Teams classroom using Microsoft Stream. The company added that over 15 million new student notebooks have been made in OneNote Class Notebook since the start of the current academic year, indicating Microsoft's cloud suite is gaining a noticeable share of the education market.
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Fleetwood added that the tough conditions made it easier for him to focus. "It was important to come out and make sure I'm hungry. I just really wanted to win this one", said Fleetwood, who is expected to advance from 18th to 11th in the rankings on Monday.