Microsoft Announces a Lighter Windows 11 SE, a New ChromeOS Competitor

You can download the wallpaper for free and use it on your PC now!

You can download the wallpaper for free and use it on your PC now!

Windows 11 SE Wallpaper
Image: Microsoft

This new edition of Windows 11 has been created by Microsoft for schools and students. Windows 11 SE will ship exclusively on low-cost laptops that are especially built for K-8 online learning classrooms. This is another attempt by Microsoft to take on Google’s famous Chromebooks and to counter them the new Surface Laptop SE was announced along with the new version of windows 11. Claims made by the tech giants say that this new Surface Laptop will start at $249, and will be available to buy in early 2022.

The new Windows 11 is a simplified or a scaled down version of the company’s full-fledged windows 11, except the catch is that its specifically designed for schools, it offers online and offline access to Office 365 applications running on the newly announced Microsoft Surface Laptop SE. Microsoft said the education-focused OS was created to meet demand for simpler and more secure devices to use by students.

"Windows 11 SE was designed and built during the pandemic to address the most fundamental challenges that schools will face in the blended learning world. It brings performance enhancements that optimize resources on low-cost devices to deliver more comprehensive learning experiences and is simple to deploy and manage," wrote Paige Johnson, Vice President, Microsoft Education, in a blog post online.

This announcement is a direct dig at education-based Chromebooks however, unlike Google's custom OS, Windows 11 SE will run offline, which will help the children who don't have persistent Internet access out of their classrooms. While it will be a more limited OS compared to Windows 11, Microsoft did confirm that the use of custom and third-party apps including those like Zoom and Chrome. With this, schools can easily configure what all they want to install on the systems and when to upgrade these apps will be allowed in Windows 11 SE, Windows 11 SE also accepts Chrome extensions.

The biggest noticeable difference between Windows 11 SE and the full OS is the removal of the central widget toolbar. Instead, a more traditional layout toolbar consisting of installed apps will take over the bottom toolbar real estate in Windows 11 SE. This version of Windows comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office out of the box, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and OneDrive, which can also be used offline as part of a Microsoft 365 license.

Microsoft has also limited some of the multitasking features, including reducing the number of apps that can be snapped on screen at once to just two; side by side. The Microsoft Store app is also disabled. Windows 11 SE also automatically runs apps in full-screen, it also removes access to the "This PC" area in File Explorer by default, as it's an area most students don't need to access when working on school work.

Windows 11 SE is "cloud backed" meaning it will mirror all your saved documents stored locally to the cloud. Windows 11 SE has been designed for low-cost devices and Microsoft says that OEMs likes Asus, HP, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo are already working on Windows 11 SE laptops which should arrive in the coming months. Currently, only the Surface Laptop SE will be able to run this scaled down version of Windows.

You can download the Wallpaper of Windows 11 SE from Microsoft for free. You may use it on your PC if you like

by Talha Shaikhani