We believe technology can inspire creativity in today’s classrooms, where the makers of tomorrow reside. This next generation of creators embrace technology as their first language; learn by collaborating and communicating with anyone in the world; and create with touch, command with voice, and conceptualize in 3D.
Preparing each of these creators for the jobs of tomorrow is one of our biggest societal challenges and greatest opportunities. Today, only 3% of college degrees in the US are in computer science and 65% of today’s students will have jobs that do not yet exist.
At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. As part of that mission, we believe technology can be used as a tool to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow.
Introducing Windows 10 S – a new Windows experience inspired by teachers and students
Our mission with Windows is to build a platform that inspires creativity in each of us.
In the classroom, Windows is the leading education platform worldwide, as teachers choose it for rich creativity inspiring applications, like Autodesk SketchBook, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Minecraft, and the rich Office 365 (not the mobile experience), which is coming soon to the Windows Store. Teachers also choose Windows for rich peripheral support, including amazing new STEM lesson plans with Arduino boards, LEGO® Education WeDo® 2.0, tools to enable accessibility, virtual reality headsets, interactive whiteboards, and more.
To understand how we could do more, our teams traveled the world to talk with school administrators, teachers, and students using Windows in the classroom. Teachers were consistent—kids can get distracted easily and don’t always follow direction. They asked for their Windows to be more resilient to hundreds of different youthful kids interacting with each device during the school year, maintaining the same great battery life and fast login time on the first day of school as the last. On the administrator front, I recall how Ricardo Garmendia from the Renton School District described how his department supports 850 classrooms with 11,000 Windows devices—he was overwhelmed with the ongoing setup of new devices, and management of the current devices in the classroom.
Windows 10 S is inspired by students and teachers, streamlined for simplicity, security and superior performance. I believe it best reflects the soul of Windows.
With Windows 10 S, all the applications which teachers and students download come from the Windows Store where they are first verified for security, and then locally they each run in a safe “container”, ensuring consistent performance of the system. In the classroom, this ensures fast login times and consistent performance, enabling everyone in the classroom to start learning quickly, and stay focused without distraction.
Windows 10 S can run any browser in the Windows Store. And we have been focused on making Microsoft Edge great for the classroom, ensuring compatibility with the sites educators use, like Google Docs. New features in Microsoft Edge like the new Tab Preview Bar make it easy for students to research and manage school projects. With Windows Ink in Microsoft Edge, students can easily make notes directly on a web page and share them with a classmate.
For Ricardo, and other school IT admins around the world, we also now have the Set Up School PC app in the Windows Store, enabling set up of entire classrooms of devices with customized experiences using a USB stick, in as little as 30 seconds per device. And with Microsoft Intune for Education – available today – we now have a complete end-to-end solution for teachers and schools to configure and manage all their student’s PCs.
With Windows 10 S, we’ve ensured that a teacher or administrator who understands the risks of downloading any app from the Internet, can do so. At any time, they can go to the Windows Store and switch to Windows 10 Pro. This is a one-way switch, as when a user is running Windows 10 Pro they can install anything—but this is the magic of the open Windows platform, which we plan to always continue to make available alongside Windows 10 S.
Inspired by teachers and students, Windows 10 S is a new Windows experience. I believe at its core, Windows 10 S is the soul of today’s Windows.
Windows 10 PCs for Education starting at $189
Our goal with Windows 10 S is to develop the open vibrant partner-centric ecosystem we have today. Our partners, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for Education today – starting at $189. In the coming months, these partners will offer a range of Windows 10 S devices—from powerful and affordable Windows Ink and touch PCs to beautiful premium devices.