Microsoft launched Windows 10 S, a streamlined version of its flagship operating system intended to get the most out of basic hardware, earlier this year. Now the company has unveiled a line of devices that are aimed at firstline workers — the people who serve as the first point of contact between an organization and its products or customers.
These laptops are designed to be easy to use, inexpensive, and secure. Microsoft has partnered with HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Fujitsu to produce a range of PCs that can cater to the various needs of today’s technologically savvy workforce.
The HP Stream 14 Pro is a 14-inch ultraslim laptop that will retail for $275 when it launches in October 2017, according to a post published via the Windows Blog. Acer will field the 14-inch Aspire 1 and the 13-inch Swift 1 for $299 and $449 respectively in the fourth quarter of 2017. In February 2018, Lenovo will launch the 14-inch V330, which is set to cost $349.
All of these computers are tailored for use with Windows 10 S, which makes it easy to get work done whether you’re in the office or not. They’re capable of seamless integration with hosted virtual machines, making remote desktop functionality a snap, and they’re fully compatible with OneDrive, so accessing shared documents and materials is quick and easy.
Windows 10 S also provides built-in protection against phishing attacks and malicious software, two primary attack vectors for hackers targeting businesses. Microsoft verifies all apps that are built on the Universal Windows Platform or its Centennial project, giving enterprise users some extra piece of mind.
The operating system also has some advantages when it comes to setting up hardware for a large number of employees. It supports Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Intune for maintaining identity controls, and Windows Update for Business streamlines the process of keeping all hardware current with the latest version of Windows 10 S.
Windows 10 S won’t suit all users, but in an educational setting, or in the office, it has a lot going for it. Its biggest limitation is that fact that it can’t run traditional Win32 apps for security reasons — but in any scenario where apps from the Windows Store are enough, it’s capable of wringing good performance out of underpowered hardware.
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