Microsoft unveils their Surface laptop

Pablo Tucker
May 13, 2017

In the end, the Surface Laptop and the Windows 10 S have to balance everything out in order to become a serious rival for the Chromebooks.

Microsoft unveiled its latest Surface device yesterday, with Panos Panay showing off the Surface Laptop at an education focused event in New York City. Although the Surface laptop is designed for Windows 10 S operating system, it can be upgraded towards Windows 10 Pro but at an extra cost. Gizmodo reports that a notebook running Windows 10 S will load a user profile 15 seconds faster than it would on the same notebook running Windows 10 Pro.

The transition from full-fledged Win32 Office apps to Windows Store counterparts relies on Microsoft's Project Centennial, a toolset announced in April 2015 that allows developers to port existing Win32 apps and convert them into Universal Windows Platform (UWP) equivalents. The company has taken the wraps off perhaps its broadest effort yet to accomplish that goal.

Windows 10 S can also manage UWP apps more aggressively, rather like Android does.

Australian pricing is yet to be released, but in the United States, the Surface Laptop starts at US$999 (A$1324) for a Core i5 processor system with 4GB memory and 128GB solid state storage.

The new device represents Microsoft's first classic clamshell computer -previous versions were either a tablet or a hybrid tablet/notebook.

The announcement was targeted squarely at the education market where Google's Chrome has a stronghold.

Microsoft also announced a partnership with educational company Pearson to integrate 3D and mixed reality experiences into higher level curriculum.

Now, this is a risky decision on Microsoft's part to implement for a product that has to carry the company's hopes of beating the Chromebook and MacBook at its own game. The systems are priced in the same general range as Microsoft's current Surface Pro 4 line.

The Surface Laptop is targetted towards education, and so is Windows 10 S which powers the laptop. Windows 10 S PCs are also fully manageable when utilizing a mobile device management software, including Microsoft Intune. It has got sleek looks and is just 14.47 mm at the thickest point. A Surface Laptop with an i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD is priced at $2,199.

He gave a list of partners that included Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba, and said Windows 10 S devices priced as low as $189 should be available in coming months.

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