Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 S Designed for Classrooms

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In a lengthy blog post Terry Myerson, Executive VP for Windows and devices at Microsoft, unveiled a brand new operating system. Windows 10 S, built upon Windows Pro, is designed specifically to be used by students in the classroom. Windows 10 S is launching this Summer.

“As part of our mission at Microsoft, we believe technology can be used as a tool to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow,” writes Myerson. Myerson notes what many in tech and education have realized – tech skills and knowledge are woefully under-taught in schools. Computer science skills are increasingly in demand and continue rising with each passing year.

Back in my day we had Macintosh computers in the computer lab, but these days Microsoft Windows dominates in schools. Windows 10 S is a more closed system where all applications are acquired and run through the Windows Store. This helps streamlines performance but potentially limits what programs students can use, which has already drawn some criticism:

Windows 10 S does allow any teacher or admin to switch Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro, which allows them to install any app. But it’s designed to keep students in a contained and structured environment, which for K-12 may not be such a bad idea.

For college students and older, Microsoft has announced the Surface Laptop. The new tablet-like device is powered with Windows 10 S and boasts up to 14.5 hours of battery life. It features a 13.5″ screen and an i7 core processor. The Surface Laptops start at $999 and will launch on June 15. It is now available for pre-order.

Educators and students will be able to purchase a variety of Windows 10 S PCs starting at $189. It includes Minecraft: Education Edition and Microsoft Office 365. Windows 10 S will be launching this Summer.

 

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Here Are the Full Stats for Microsoft’s Project Scorpio

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The future state of consoles has reached an interesting place. Video game technology has plateaued when compared to the leaps and bounds of the last few decades. Instead of large generation advances every five years, we’re likely going to see incremental upgrades in half the time. Exhibit A is Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro. Exhibit B is Microsoft’s upcoming “Project Scorpio.”

In an unprecedented reveal, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry was invited to Microsoft’s Xbox headquarters in Redmond to show off their upcoming Xbox upgrade, still codenamed Project Scorpio. The upgraded Xbox One console isn’t expected to launch until later this year. But Microsoft was more than happy to share the full specs of this powerful 4K capable machine.

project scorpio stats

“The goal was that any 900p or better title would be able to easily run at frame-rate at 4K on Scorpio,” said Kevin Gammill, Program Director of Xbox. “That was our big stake in the ground, and so with that we began our work speccing out what the Scorpio Engine is. It’s not a process of calling up AMD and saying I’ll take this part, this part and this part. A lot of really specific custom work went into this.”

If talk of GPU horsepower, shader engines and memory bandwith excites you, the full article on Eurogamer has an excellent breakdown. But we’re all asking the most important question: what about the games?

Microsoft is claiming that every Xbox One game that plays in 900p or 1080p should be able to run at the new 4K resolution. For a demo, Microsoft showed Forza Motorsport running at 4K at 60 frames per second, using only about 66% of the the GPU’s power.

Kotaku reached out to Microsoft and received the following statement:

“All existing Xbox games (including Xbox One Backward Compatible titles) will run smoother, look better and load faster without requiring an update or any work from developers. All games running on Project Scorpio will achieve more consistent framerates, faster load times, improved anisotropic filtering, and will run at their peak resolution if the title implemented dynamic scaling. In addition, developers will also have the option to update existing titles to further take full advantage of Project Scorpio’s advanced capabilities including full 4K assets and 4K resolution.”

We should learn more about Project Scorpio, including name and price, in the coming months. E3 2017 could be a big win for Microsoft.

Halo Wars 2 Review: Spartan Blitz

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Available On: Xbox One, Windows 10 PC

It’s been seven years since the original Halo Wars helped prove that not only can you make a non-first person shooter Halo game, you can also bring the Real-Time Strategy genre onto consoles. Despite the large time gap Halo Wars 2 is very much a sequel, improving upon the original while offering fun new competitive and cooperative game modes.
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