To compete with Google’s Chromebook in the education market, Microsoft’s latest offering is called Classroom Pen. It has been launched alongside 7 new low-cost Windows 10 Education devices, including laptops and 2-in-1s. The announcement was made at the BETT education conference in London where Google was also present.
Microsoft says that the stylus is designed to be a better fit in the smaller hands of school going K-8 kids. It has a highly durable hardened tip that can take handle heavy wear and tear.
Priced at $40 per piece, the Classroom Pen will be exclusively available to education institutions who’ll have to buy 20 such pens in one box. It’s compatible with all the recent Surface touch devices including Surface Go.
Out of the seven Windows 10 devices, the cheapest one comes from Lenovo and it’s priced at $189. But the one that stands out is Lenovo’s 300E 2-in-1 having a price tag of $289. It’s USP is that other than a stylus, kids can also use a number 2 pencil to write on it in case the stylus goes missing.
At the conference, both the companies didn’t hesitate to play the number game. Microsoft said that around 1 million Windows 10 education devices are activated every month. Office 365 has around 155 million months active users with 16 million active users taking advantage of the learning tools included in Office 365.
On the other hand, Google said that around 80 million monthly users of G Suite For Education, and their Google Classroom tool has 40 million active users.
Moreover, MS is also pitching Microsoft Teams as a chat and collaboration platform for teachers and students. The company has announced 13 new features in this regard.
For example, MS Teams will now integrate a plagiarism check tool called Turnitin, and also a new Grade Sync feature that can automatically update the grades from Teams assignments onto a teacher’s student information system.
Microsoft, which is already getting threatened by Android’s dominance, is doing whatever it can to put a PC on people’s lap. Now when capturing the consumer market is becoming hard to fetch dream, the company has started to focus on the education sector.
In the past, we’ve seen attempts like Windows 10 S, opening new AI labs, and giving free GitHub education bundles to students. But it seems that Redmond isn’t going to stop trying, in order to beat Google and it’s Chromebook in the education market.