Windows 11 SE is here; designed for budget laptops, but omits key features
Windows 11 SE is the newest version of Windows 11 and it has only one intention: to replace Chromebooks from schools and educational institutions. The OS is debuting on Microsoft’s Surface Laptop SE and will be available only on low-end devices meant for education use. Microsoft gives IT admins and managers more control over this OS than the regular version of Windows 11. And, as a result, there are some key omissions.
One of them includes, or rather excludes, the Microsoft Store. Yes, the star feature of the Windows 11 OS is getting booted out. Instead, IT admins will be able to add the necessary apps and software on the device. Windows 11 SE is highly optimized for Microsoft apps but it can run any third-party apps and services, including Chrome.
Windows 11 SE is after Chromebooks
As part of the educational modifications, some of the distractions from Windows 11 have been removed. The Widgets panel, for example, is gone and so are the snap layouts; every app will open directly in fullscreen mode. Also, users will either see OneNote or MS Teams installed on the devices.
However, there will be a lot of other features added on Windows 11 SE. Apps like Teams, Office, OneNote, Minecraft for Education, and Flipgrid will be pre-installed on Windows 11 SE laptops. The Edge browser will now accept Chrome extensions as standard, which is a way to bring more people to use and stay on the Chromium-based Edge. Oh, and there’s also a new wallpaper.
Windows 11 SE is tuned for low-end devices well and Microsoft says that most laptops with 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC storage and low-res displays. It remains to be seen whether this lean version of Windows 11 manages to stay as fast as Chrome OS in the long run.
Although Microsoft debuts Windows 11 SE on a $249 (INR 18,450) Surface Laptop SE, other manufacturers such as Dell, Asus, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Acer and others will also use the OS on their affordable student laptops. The affordable end of the Windows laptops market is set to spice up again.