Microsoft announced a new version of Windows 10 on Tuesday that is built specifically for use in schools. Windows 10 S is a slimmed down version of the popular operating system that narrows down what can be loaded onto the laptops by restricting users to only approved apps from the Windows Store. Should an educator need to load an app not from the store, they will have the option to do so as an administrator.
One of the more interesting features of Windows 10 S is a new USB key system that will allow them to configure the setup of a laptop, plug it in, and the computer will automatically be set up as the teacher wants. In one example Microsoft pointed to a school in Colorado that was able to set up 600 computers in one day by using only 30 USB keys.
Windows 10 S will be ready in the summer in time for educators to prepare their equipment for the start of the new school year in the fall. To help schools make the jump over to Windows 10 S, Microsoft is offering a free year of access to Minecraft Education Edition as well as Office 365 for Education.
Chromebooks have been popular with school districts for years now, but it’s clear Microsoft has fired a new salvo in the war to win over educators.