Schools Can Now Order Windows 10 S PCs

Posted on August 1, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 33 Comments

Schools Can Now Order Windows 10 S PCs

As part of a broader education initiative, Microsoft announced today that schools can now begin ordering third party PCs with Windows 10 S.

“In the coming months, our partners will introduce a number of many great devices for purchase, pre-installed with Windows 10 S,” a Microsoft representative told me. “The Lenovo N23 and N24 are available worldwide starting today.” Both devices cost under $300, Microsoft notes.

The third-party Windows 10 S-based PC offerings were overshadowed by the well-received Surface Laptop at Microsoft’s Education event back in May, and for good reason: These devices are all 11-inch low-end PCs and not in the same class as Surface Laptop. But on the flipside, they are also much less expensive and more likely to be adopted in schools.

The following Windows 10 S-based PCs will be available soon:

ASUS Vivobook W202. Available in the US, this device will cost $279.

Dell Latitude 3180/3189 Costing $229 and $299, respectively, this devices will ship in the US and Canada.

Fujitsu LIFEBOOK P727. Costing a sizable $999, this one will be available in the US and Canada.

HP ProBook x360 11EE. Available in the US, UK and Australia, this PC will cost $299.

Schools that would like to test Windows 10 S without buying new hardware can also do so on select existing PCs.


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Comments (34)

34 responses to “Schools Can Now Order Windows 10 S PCs”

  1. Daekar

    If they have more than 2GB of memory, the Asus and Dell machines sound like just the ticket for many people

    • bbold

      In reply to Daekar:

      Exactly, I can see these $300 PC's with Windows 10 S selling like hotcakes. The $50 upgrade to W10Pro doesn't seem too bad when you're spending so little.

    • hometoy

      In reply to Daekar:

      Not really. I mean, the price is enticing but I can speak from some experience that with lower-end machines the weaker hardware will eventually rear its ugly head even with running the lower-resource Windows Store apps.

      On my duo-core with 4 GB of RAM, no extensions and on Windows 10 home, Edge grinds to a halt that kills everything until I can manage to force it closed. At least I have options (Firefox and Chrome, if I can wait for Chrome to open), while Windows 10 S doesn't.

      Now for people who have simpler needs this looks like a deal on paper but from trying to get people to try Linux, when everybody is talking of an app that isn't available on 10S because its not in the store, that cheaper price loses some of its luster.

      Now I admit, I can be completely wrong and somewhat I hope I am, but it will either be luck or a lot more work from Microsoft than what I have seen from them lately (*cough* Windows 10 phone *cough*).

  2. Marius Muntean

    Hope schools are not that stupid to buy into this mediocre crap.

  3. John Scott

    My wife a teacher can better answer this then I can. She says content access will be a issue with 10S as many testing apps and vocational software won't run on a 10S system. This is a serious deal breaker for schools who are many times further behind in technology then enterprise is. Unfortunately Microsoft like Apple became clueless about what education needed and even cheap Chromebook's do not really replace a full Windows OS in running software that education uses. Then you have hardware like Smartboard's and projection devices that have software that won't run on 10S. Why would any school buy a handicapped product when their experience has taught them to choose wisely in technology. Security is great, but the device is useless if it doesn't run what you need it to run.

    • StevenLayton

      In reply to John_Scott:

      If a school was going to roll out Windows 10S devices, I'd assume that these would be student only devices, either 1:1, or class sets. I'd imagine that the staff PCs would continue to run Enterprise/Education.

      The lease on our fleet of Chromebooks expires in 12 months. Windows 10S devices as shared student devices is interesting, and would prove a more seamless experience for students. Moving between the desktop PCs with Windows 10 Enterprise in the IT Suites, and the banks of Chromebooks in some classrooms can be jarring for some.

      I'm not going to rush into dumping our Chromebooks, but Windows 10S is something I'll evaluate carefully over the next year.

  4. hrlngrv

    What school district would try to use Windows 10 S laptops for the 2017-8 school year with only a month to test them before the start of the school year? Unlikely many will be purchased this year.

    • Roger Ramjet

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      I think this is correct, but this is also probably the right time to release them for the upcoming Fall trade show season (all industries, but that includes school boards, teachers, admins etc), which will start just after schools open too.

  5. Daniel D

    Just pointless. This is just going to hurt the Windows brand more.

  6. harmjr

    "Schools can now begin ordering" I hope they will not be selling these to individuals unless they offer free Windows 10 Pro. I read this article and had flashbacks of telling college students is this a Windows RT device take it back... Having them angry at me because they cannot use Pearson or McGraw Hill software.

  7. hrlngrv

    As of 1 Aug 2017 at 17:53 Zulu, Lenovo's web site doesn't show either the N23 or N24 available with Windows 10 S. Would schools have to buy in quantity then sell to students?

  8. Winner

    And what are they planning to run? The browser?

  9. Nicholas Kathrein

    Agree that nothing changes here for MS and schools. Google put together a grass roots movement with many schools and teachers creating Facebook and other social media groups centered around this. They suggested enhancement to Googles school software. I'm not seeing any of that here. This will be a dud. You need a lot of dedicated people with resources to get schools and teachers on board and you need a product that is significantly better than Googles to change this.

  10. Tony Barrett

    Schools spent a lot of effort moving away from Windows for very good reasons. Nothing I see here makes it any more likely they'll go back. ChromeOS makes a lot of sense for many, and Windows is still Windows at the end of the day.

    • Roger Ramjet

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Microsoft has maintained virtually the same marketshare in US K12 for quite a while, even when Windows was Windows.

      If you are looking for the schools that "spent a lot of effort moving away from Windows for very good reasons", you will find them if you substitute the actual OSs that lost the share. 

      The thesis of your comment is incorrect, and Win10S is an incremental improvement in Security, Manageability & Cost on what Microsoft offered prior, and can therefore make some progress for them in the K12 market.

      It remains to be seen, especially after they launch WoARM machines with always connected cellular.

      • skane2600

        In reply to Roger Ramjet:

        There's no indication that Win10S PCs are going to be cheaper than current low-end Windows PCs. The prices Paul quotes don't support that conclusion. Windows on ARM remains a development project rather than a real product so far and not necessarily a Win10S option (why bother emulating Win32 apps on ARM when the intended focus is UWP apps?). Always connected cellular sounds like a poor match for a school environment - probably more expensive than a traditional approach and harder to administer.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Roger Ramjet:

        The data plan for always connected cellular would cost how much? Would those WoARM PCs default to metered connection setting?

      • Waethorn

        In reply to Roger Ramjet:

        And who's going to pay for those mobile plans? You think schools are going to???

        • Roger Ramjet

          In reply to Waethorn:

          Not sure it matters. In the case I sited, the school is buying all the known benefits of ARM vs. x86 chips running Windows. If they don't want to pay for mobile plans, they won't forgo other benefits because of that. The student might see the benefits of adding the mobile to their parent's plan, or not (actually, the cellular PC initiative is not just for ARM, it includes x86 as well). I am sure not every device will get the built-in mobile turned on, but lets wait and see what Microsoft have in mind. I don't think they are merely planning to dump always on internet connection capability without some gravy to go with that dog food.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Is it Chrome OS which makes more sense, or the admin/management tools for Chromebooks/Chromeboxes which makes them a better deal?

  11. bbold

    Now that's more like it! Price range is perfect for the struggling students.

    • Dan1986ist

      In reply to bbold:

      Agreed, now the question I have is how much disk storage and RAM do these low-end Windows 10 S devices come with at the $229 price for example?

      • harmjr

        In reply to Dan1986ist:

        Most of them seem to be 32 to 64gb.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to Waethorn:

            Add a big SD card (if these machines have SD card slots) and they might be usable . . . until the first big 'upgrade'. If upgrade files need to be stored on C: or Windows 10 S defaults to saving the older version to make it possible to revert, 32GB would definitely be too little.

            • Waethorn

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              32GB isn't enough for "Windows as a Service". Lots of stuff has to be stored on your system drive, and no secondary storage media will fix that.

              32GB works for Chrome OS. Hell, my Chromebook has 16GB and it's still enough to do full system upgrades - and I don't have to clear anything off it to make room either. This is the part where I mention that Chrome OS takes less storage space than Windows, which means that Chromebooks can be lower-end hardware, and thus cheaper than Windows PC's, and still work fine. If schools have to pay more for higher-end hardware just to switch [back] to Windows, what do you think they'll say about that?

              Can you imagine running Windows on a 2GB/16GB low-end dual-core processor? Yet Chrome OS can run well on that kind of device with about 10 solid browser tabs open. How many grade school kids do you know of that have more than that open at any given time? If you need more tabs than that, then you get a system with 4GB, which allows you to open more tabs without having to reload pages. I opted to get 4GB for mine. And BTW: It's a Chromebook Flip, it's 2 years old, and it's actually FASTER than the day I got it because of Chrome OS optimizations over the past few years. And it runs Android apps to boot (not that I use many of them - mostly just my POS apps for a backup in case I can't pull them up on my phone).

  12. Elizabeth_Roger

    Indeed! Windows 10 S Pcs is not the best operating system for the education of our students. When I was choosing business research topics, I decided that I should study and write an article about Windows 10 S Pcs. It is not much different from W10 Professional, except that one item in the settings is a ban on installing applications, you can do it only by the store. Personally, I did not see any optimizers anymore.

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