Microsoft just launched its new Surface Laptop with Windows 10 S onboard in line with recent leaks reported by IBTimes SG. The laptop is aimed at the education market, which is currently dominated by Google Chromebooks and Apple MacBook Pro.
At the launch event, the corporate VP for Surface at Microsoft Panas Panay said that the new laptop would give students a personal experience and would last them throughout the college years. Challenging Apple directly, Panas also said that, "The Surface Laptop is lighter and thinner than any MacBook Air or MacBook Pro currently available and it's faster and has longer battery life than any MacBook on sale today. We want you to be proud of your laptop when you pull it out of the bag."
The $999 laptop boasts an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD storage and will be available on and from June 15. The 1.2 kg laptop comes with a 13.5 inch touch-screen and features four different colours, which we had already reported earlier, as some images of the laptop leaked ahead of its release.
Despite having a standard USB-A port, mini DisplayPort, a headphones socket and Microsoft's proprietary power connector, it does not come with the newer USB-C, which is a minor drawback considering that it has become a norm for smartphones and computers.
Surface runs an entirely new operating system named Windows 10 S and it supports apps that are directly installed from the Windows Store. According to the company this locked-down approach will ensure the security, stability and the overall speed and performance of the devices that run the said OS.
"Windows 10 S is streamlined for simplicity, security and speed, so that it runs as well on day one as it does on day 1,000. But the full Windows peripheral ecosystem is available, meaning you can still plug things into Windows 10 S, from STEM tools and lesson plans to robots," said Terry Myreson, the EVP of Microsoft's Windows and and devices group, according to The Guardian.
By this summer Microsoft will include its full Office suit in the Windows Store so that the computers with Windows 10 S can run it.
According to Jeff Orr, research director, ABI Research, it's going to be a tough competition for Microsoft, as both Google and Apple have intentionally integrated "a combination of hardware and software" in their Chromebooks and MacBooks that can keep Microsoft from becoming prevalent in the education space as it is in the workplaces. "The affordability of Chromebooks and the benefits of cloud services has propelled the low-cost laptop use case even further," added Orr.
However, Microsoft is totally hopeful about establishing a strong presence among teachers and students, where other big names have earlier failed. Keeping the education space in mind Microsoft has made the new version of Windows compatible with any computer, ranging from cheap to premium laptops. If you buy a Surface Laptop with pre-installed Windows 10 S, you will be able to upgrade it to Windows 10 S Pro for just a one-time fee.