Microsoft’s next major event is less than 24 hours away, and it’s where the company promises you can “Learn what’s next.” With the hashtag #MicrosoftEDU and plenty of speculation about Microsoft’s plan to take on Google in the educational market, it promises to be a highly focused event.
In addition to watching the live-stream right here, you can visit this page to live-stream the presentation. The event begins on May 2, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. ET / 6:30 am PT.
While many fans of Microsoft’s Surface line have been waiting impatiently for announcements concerning the next generation of its Surface Pro and Surface Book lines, this event might not be where they make their appearance. Microsoft’s Build 2017 event begins on May 10, 2017, or in less than two weeks, and so it’s entirely possible that the Surface line will get its major refresh then.
Rather, Microsoft could focus on its upcoming Windows 10 Cloud Edition, which promises to offer an easy-to-administer and potentially less expensive — or free — version of Windows 10 that will be better positioned to compete with Google’s Chromebook platform. Chromebooks have taken off in education because of their low cost, ease of use, and minimal administrative burden, and Microsoft appears ready to head Chromebook off at the pass.
Therefore, a great deal of speculation suggests that Microsoft will introduce a new “Cloud Book” concept (or perhaps “Cloudbook”), representing very low-cost notebooks running Windows 10 Cloud Edition that would ease the cost and administrative burden for educational institutions. Microsoft could introduce its own Cloud Book device, or it could rely solely on its OEM partners.
Either way, we’ll find out soon enough what Microsoft is planning. The company has demonstrated a real knack lately for keeping things secret and surprising us, and so it’s possible that we’ll see more than just the unveiling of a new education-focused initiative. But if you’re a student, teacher, or school administrator, then you have extra incentive to tune into the live-stream.