Report: Microsoft is working on a low-cost Surface Laptop and “Windows 11 SE”

Enlarge / The Floor Laptop computer Go.

Jeff Dunn

Microsoft might have one other Floor announcement to make earlier than the tip of the yr, in response to a rumor from Windows Central. The report claims that Microsoft is engaged on a low-cost, education-focused machine, codenamed “Tenjin,” designed to compete with Chromebooks in colleges. The laptop computer might be “introduced earlier than the tip of this yr if plans do not change,” the report says. It will additionally run a brand new variant of Home windows 11, dubbed “Home windows 11 SE.”

The laptop computer would include a low-end quad-core Intel Celeron N4120 processor, “as much as” 8 GB of reminiscence, an 11.6-inch 1366×768 show, and an all-plastic physique. It will eschew the traditional Floor Join port in favor of a single USB-A port, a USB-C port, and a “barrel-style AC port.” Presumably, the laptop computer might cost by both the AC port or the USB-C port, as present Floor units do.

Such a laptop computer would slot in beneath the $549 12.4-inch Surface Laptop Go in Microsoft’s lineup, and carrying out that in in the present day’s supply-crunched, chip-shortage-afflicted PC market would undoubtedly require some cost-cutting. That may clarify the machine’s use of a two-year-old underpowered Celeron processor and a low-resolution 16:9 show, breaking with the Floor lineup’s longstanding custom of utilizing screens with a taller 3:2 side ratio. The laptop computer might not even be out there by typical retail channels, mirroring a method Microsoft already makes use of with sure business-focused Floor configurations and particular fashions just like the Surface Pro 7+. Solely providing the machine in bulk to instructional establishments might additional scale back the value.

Although the Home windows Central report could be very particular in regards to the laptop computer’s {hardware}, it presents few particulars on Home windows 11 SE. It might simply be a successor to Home windows 10 in S Mode, which can solely run apps from the Microsoft Retailer however will be upgraded to an everyday Home windows 10 model for free of charge with a number of clicks. An older mention of Windows 11 SE detailed by XDA, then again, means that it’s an enterprise-only model of Home windows with no Microsoft Retailer and another restrictions on apps and settings.

Microsoft has a protracted historical past of providing restricted, low-cost Home windows variations for the cheaper finish of the PC market, going all the way in which again to when it began providing cheap Windows XP licenses for netbooks during the Windows Vista era in the late 2000s and persevering with up by Windows 7 Starter Edition, “Windows 8.1 with Bing,” and Windows 10 in S Mode. However this may be the corporate’s first stab at that market with its personal {hardware} relatively than merely enabling different {hardware} makers to supply Home windows programs for much less cash.

A Microsoft consultant had nothing to share about this laptop computer or Home windows 11 SE when contacted for remark.

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