Windows 11 SE won’t be sold separately, can’t be reinstalled once removed

Enlarge / Home windows 11 SE’s default wallpaper.


Microsoft is taking the combat to Chromebooks in colleges with the $250 Surface Laptop SE, however cheap {hardware} is just a part of the equation. One purpose Chromebooks have succeeded in schooling is due to Chrome OS, which is well-suited for lower-end {hardware}, simple for IT directors to handle, and arduous to interrupt with errant apps or malware.

Microsoft’s reply to Chrome OS is Windows 11 SE. Not like previous efforts like Home windows in S mode (which continues to be its personal separate factor), Home windows 11 SE is not only a common model of Home windows with a less expensive license or a cut-down model that runs fewer apps. Home windows 11 SE defaults to saving all information (together with consumer profile data) to college students’ OneDrive accounts, and it has had some normal Home windows 11 options eliminated to make sure a “distraction-free” studying atmosphere that performs higher on low-end gadgets. The working system additionally offers IT directors unique management over the apps and browser extensions that may be put in and run through Microsoft Intune.

When you’re a faculty IT administrator with a fleet of PC laptops or desktops, you may marvel if you should buy and set up Home windows 11 SE on {hardware} you have already got so you’ll be able to profit from its modifications with out shopping for new {hardware}. The reply, Microsoft tells us, is not any. The one option to get Home windows 11 SE is on laptops that ship with Home windows 11 SE. And should you re-image a Home windows 11 SE system with a special model of Home windows 10 or Home windows 11, it will not even be doable to reinstall Home windows 11 SE after that.

The state of affairs is just like the best way that Microsoft licenses the ARM variations of Home windows 10 and Home windows 11—these variations can be found on new {hardware} bought from PC makers, however people and organizations cannot purchase licenses to put in on their very own ARM {hardware}, just like the Raspberry Pi or Apple Silicon Macs.

It is true that the usual editions of Home windows will also be managed through Intune in order that these older laptops and desktops can nonetheless be managed utilizing the identical instruments that directors will use for Home windows 11 SE. Nevertheless it looks as if a missed alternative to permit college IT directors to create a single Home windows 11 SE OS picture to deploy throughout the entire {hardware} they’re managing. And this might have been one promoting level for Home windows 11 SE over Chrome OS, which additionally cannot be put in on present PC {hardware}; third-party options like Neverware’s CloudReady are as shut as you may get to a model of Chrome OS that may run on something.

Microsoft has printed documentation (PDF) that extra totally explains the variations between Home windows 11 SE and the opposite editions of Home windows (together with Home windows in S mode).

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