Per previously reported schedule, Microsoft has started its Minecraft: Education Edition beta testing on time. And while the school-related spin off is only officially available to schools and educators, links to official provisioning packages (version 0.14.2) were posted to Twitter via keen-eyed Microsoft enthusiast @WalkingCat.
With some clever hackery, we were able to get the game fully operational for an early look.
If you’re familiar with Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, this will all look very familiar. Because it is. But there are some subtle differences, such as the availability of Education Skins (which are free, by the way), the notion of Classmates instead of Friends, and the removal of Realms and Achievements — not exactly something that belongs in a classroom focused client.
Tucked away in the backend code were the notions of VR and Holographic modes, which presumably tap into compatible devices. But it’s unclear how those features work or if they’ll be in this edition, as they weren’t immediately available for test.
Of course, we’ll keep you updated as game development progresses.