Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Microsoft launches new education PCs and apps from $189

Microsoft launches new education PCs and apps from $189

Microsoft has an edge globally when it comes to classroom PCs, but the Google Chrome OS rules in the U.S. To capture that important market and take on Google's low-priced Chromebooks, Microsoft has partnered with Lenovo and JP to launch a new series of cheap PCs, which starts from just $189. The apps work with Microsoft HoloLens and will be rolled out across the year. It's now stepping up its stance against Google by focusing on how Windows hardware and software can improve education experiences.

The cheapest system, the Lenovo 100e, starts at US$189 (A$236) and features an Intel Celeron Apollo Lake processor, 2GB of memory, 32GB storage, and an 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 pixel screen that folds flat.

Even the new $280 Lenovo 300e doesn't run MR, but at least it's a 360-degree convertible which supports inking and 3D.

Microsoft and LEGO Education will also be offering a new free online Hacking STEM lesson plan, which has students use the Pythagorean Theorem to explore and measure topography in 2D/3D space.

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In addition to devices, Microsoft is adding new capabilities to Office 365 for Education.

Affordability is the top priority for many schools. Teachers will be able to connect Office to solutions including SIMS Capita, popular in the United Kingdom, and PowerSchool, a leading USA alternative.

Microsoft's Minecraft game is hugely popular with kids and students. The company is now simply doing the same as part of its latest EDU push, and it's not mincing words when it comes to explaining its target audience: "schools who don't want to compromise on Chromebooks". The company introduced a range of different, affordable Windows 10 S laptops previous year, and it's introducing four new Windows 10 laptops from Lenovo and JP today to further expand the lineup. READ NEXT:Google launches service to automate machine learning "Our ongoing commitment to empower every student to create the world of tomorrow continues today with several new announcements for education", said Microsoft. Pearson will be releasing 6 new applications for the HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality in March that will provide schools with new immersive educational experiences for students.

Microsoft is pushing augmented and virtual reality headsets as being a key tool for education, dropping the price for its Hololens headsets for academic institutions until the end of May this year.

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