What to expect at Microsoft’s education-themed hardware event

microsoft education-themed event

Microsoft is holding an education-themed event on May 2nd in New York City at which it is expected to debut new hardware. The event, which MobileSyrup will be reporting from live, starts at 9:30am EST/6:30am PST and will be available to livestream here, followed by a hands-on experience for press.

In the meantime, here are the top rumours so far about just what the Redmond-based tech giant has in store.

Windows 10 Cloud/10 S

Many expect Microsoft to reveal a new, slimmed-down version of Windows 10 called either ‘Windows 10 Cloud’ or ‘Windows 10 S,’ that’s designed to compete with Chrome OS. According to rumours, the new OS will reportedly look identical to Windows 10, but limit the software to Windows Store apps, thus reducing battery usage and allowing it to run on more affordable computers with less powerful processors.

If this rumour proves correct, Microsoft will want to make sure it markets it better than the failed Windows 8 RT, which was ultimately not successful due mainly to customer confusion.

Chromebook competitor

In addition to the new version of Windows 10 (and in-line with the education theme) Microsoft is expected to debut a competitor to the Chromebook, which has built a strong presence in the education market for their inexpensiveness, durability and simplicity. Even with its name recognition, to claim a piece of this market, Microsoft will need to make sure its offering has a strong value proposition including all of those elements — and will also have to match the low prices of Chromebooks now on the market.

The Verge notes it doesn’t expect Microsoft will be the only company to produce the hardware for this project, stating that it would be safe to assume other hardware partners will also support the initiative.

No Surface Pro 5

Initial rumours speculated that a Surface Pro 5 might debut at the event, but now stories citing insider information are rebuking that idea. According to multiple sources, the Surface Pro 5 is off the table, as is the Surface Phone and Surface Book 2.

Previously, rumours were circulating that a follow-up to the less-expensive, non-Pro version of the Surface 3 might debut at the event, as its cost efficiency could target the student market — however, current reports seem to indicate the event will focus solely on the Chromebook-like hardware.

Office and potential app updates

Microsoft may integrate tools like OneNote, 3D and Minecraft into its education focus, and there will undoubtedly be some announcements related to Office — at the very least a full version of Microsoft Office on the Windows Store, which would be necessary for a Chromebook-type device.