Microsoft is about to compete even more directly with Chromebooks. The software giant is reportedly preparing to launch a new low-cost Surface Laptop aimed at education markets, specifically K-12, alongside a new edition of Windows 11 named Windows 11 SE.
Windows Central reports that the upcoming Surface Laptop could also be named Surface Laptop SE and will likely include an 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) display, with Intel’s N4120 Celeron processor and up to 8GB of RAM. This budget laptop is designed for K-12 students and to be as low cost as possible, with a single USB-A and USB-C port.
While Microsoft has used the SE moniker for Windows versions before (hello Windows 98 SE), Windows 11 SE won’t be a second edition of Windows 11. Instead, it’s expected to be more like the S versions of Windows 10, which are designed for low-cost devices to compete with Chromebooks.
If this edition of Windows 11 is truly aimed at the education market, then it may need to borrow some of the ease of use features from Chrome OS. While Microsoft has been trying to compete with Chromebooks for years, Windows still lacks a simple way for educators to wipe and reuse laptops for classrooms.
It’s not clear when Microsoft plans to launch this new Surface Laptop, nor Windows 11 SE. Windows Central doesn’t offer any dates on when to expect a potential announcement or launch. Microsoft previously launched the Surface Go with S Mode, and it was aimed at the education market starting at $399 without the necessary $99 keyboard. It sounds like this Surface Laptop SE will be hitting a price point below $400 to compete with Dell, Lenovo, and HP that all ship similar Chromebook-like devices.