Report: Microsoft is engaged on an inexpensive Floor laptop computer and “Home windows 11 SE”
Enlarge / The Surface Laptop Go.
According to a rumor from Windows Central, Microsoft could make another Surface announcement before the end of the year. The report claims that Microsoft is working on an inexpensive, education-centric device, code-named “Tenjin”, to compete with Chromebooks in schools. The laptop could “be announced before the end of this year if plans don’t change,” the report said. It would also run a new variant of Windows 11 called “Windows 11 SE”.
The laptop would come with a low-end quad-core Intel Celeron N4120 processor, “up to” 8 GB of memory, an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display, and an all-plastic case. It would avoid the normal Surface Connect port in favor of a single USB-A port, a USB-C port, and a “barrel style AC port”. Presumably, the laptop could be charged via either the AC port or the USB-C port, as current Surface devices do.
One such laptop would fit under the 12.4-inch Surface Laptop Go for $ 549 in Microsoft’s lineup. This would explain the use of a two-year-old underpowered Celeron processor and a low-resolution 16: 9 display, which breaks with the Surface range’s long-standing tradition of using screens with a higher aspect ratio of 3: 2. The laptop may not even be available through typical retail channels, reflecting a strategy Microsoft is already using on certain business-centric Surface configurations and certain models like the Surface Pro 7+. Only if the machine was offered in large quantities at educational institutions could the price be reduced further.
While the Windows Central report is very specific to the laptop’s hardware, it offers few details about Windows 11 SE. It could just be a successor to Windows 10 in S mode that only runs apps from the Microsoft Store, but can be updated to a normal Windows 10 version for free with just a few clicks. An older mention of Windows 11 SE detailed by XDA, on the other hand, suggests that it is a pure enterprise version of Windows with no Microsoft Store and some other restrictions on apps and settings.
Microsoft has long offered limited, low-cost Windows versions for the cheaper end of the PC market up to Windows 7 Starter Edition, “Windows 8.1 with Bing” and Windows 10 in S mode. However, this would be the company’s first entry into this market with its own hardware, rather than allowing other hardware manufacturers to offer Windows systems for less money.
A Microsoft representative had nothing to say about this laptop or Windows 11 SE when asked for comment.