MicrosoftEdu Is About Education Not Just Hardware.
MicrosoftEdu 2017 Is On May 2nd
MicrosoftEdu will kick-off tomorrow in New York and whilst the hashtag and event name indicate an education-centric theme many are predicting a big hardware announcement.
For those who want to follow the Livestream, the begins at May 2nd, 6:30 a.m. Pacific Time / 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
The technology announced will focus on the education market which is a highly competitive market. Microsoft and Google (and to some extent Apple) are fighting over school districts, teachers and students. Until now, the focus was on learning platforms and productivity suites / apps with Google holding the upper hand in the device market.
Google Chromebooks make a great hardware solution for schools who buy into the Google ecosystem. Until now, Microsoft could only counter this with OEM budget laptops but these came with full Windows 10. An Intel Atom device with an SSD certainly gave more bang for buck but was it the economical choice?
What Can We Expect Then?
Microsoft are expected to announce new hardware and going out on a limb, I predict the following at MicrosoftEdu:
- Microsoft Surface Cloudbook:
- A Chromebook killer / competitor.
- Highly portable but probably classic clamshell laptop style.
- Windows 10 Cloud:
- The Surface Cloudbook will only work if it has cloud-centric OS. What else would we expect from the Nadella era Microsoft?
- Office 365 Education bundled in the price and pre-installed as Live Tiles.
- Built on elements of Windows 10 Creators Update e.g. the new Paint 3D app:
- Strong integration with Microsoft Classroom which is already cross-device supported. Microsoft has shown repeatedly that they understand and own cross-platform.
The Warptest POV
If MicrosoftEdu delivers a hardware — software ecosystem designed for educators and students in Surface design then this will light a fire under the existing fight for this market.
A Surface Cloudbook for education must be aggressively priced to compete and win over schools on old-style LMS looking to upgrade. Things Microsoft should be delivering at MicrosoftEdu to seal the deal:
- Cortana for kids and or integrated into Microsoft Classroom. Especially with app integrations like homework reminders from Cortana & child filtered research for projects.
- A strategic partnership with a multimedia content platform that can compete with YouTube.
- Early adopters deal bundling Surface Dial with the Surface Cloudbook and added cloud storage.
- Mixed Reality for education: if you jump to the HoloLens page, directly below the intro video is a link to the MicrosoftEdu event. Why? What could be more natural than to leverage HoloLens and the OEM Windows 10 headsets for the education market?
I’m ready to be wowed, how about you?