Microsoft EDU Event – Learn what’s next.

As many of you are aware today Microsoft hosted it’s “Learn what’s next.” education-focused event in New York City. Microsoft is putting a strong focus on education, mostly to compete with Google and Chromebooks in the classroom.

Microsoft announced the following during the event:

  • Office as modern universal Windows Apps (coming soon)
  • Windows 10 S
    • Streamlined for simplicity
    • Secure
    • Superior Performance
    • Runs only Store apps
    • Allows USB Provisioning for shared cart scenarios
    • Must be managed by Intune for Education
    • Runs on cheaper hardware options – all major OEM’s have jumped on board
  • Microsoft Intune for Education – broadly available today
    • Not a full-fledged replacement for Intune
    • Doesn’t manage iOS or Android devices/apps.
    • No integration with ConfigMgr yet
  • Code Builder for Minecraft EDU
  • View Mixed Reality
  • Microsoft Teams is getting new classroom collaboration tools
  • Surface Laptop
    • Beautiful device
    • High price-tag (starts at $999)

All in all the event was good, and it’s great to see Microsoft pushing forward in the education market. I continue to have hope for the future of their products in every classroom. After the event ended I still found myself wanting a little bit more from them. My main concern is the lack of apps in the Store and sub-par management for larger school districts and universities that consider Window 10 S. Hopefully with Joe Bellfiore’s return, they will continue to invest in education and stay true to their words “Technology should help, not hinder, teachers in the classroom” and “When technology and education come together, possibility becomes reality.” Regardless, I’m excited for the energy and momentum Microsoft provided today. I look forward to what’s next.

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