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posted by janrinok on Friday November 12 2021, @11:33AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Microsoft is taking the fight to Chromebooks in schools with the $250 Surface Laptop SE, but inexpensive hardware is only part of the equation. One reason Chromebooks have succeeded in education is because of Chrome OS, which is well-suited for lower-end hardware, easy for IT administrators to manage, and hard to break with errant apps or malware.

Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS is Windows 11 SE. Unlike past efforts like Windows in S mode (which is still its own separate thing), Windows 11 SE isn't just a regular version of Windows with a cheaper license or a cut-down version that runs fewer apps. Windows 11 SE defaults to saving all files (including user profile information) to students' OneDrive accounts, and it has had some standard Windows 11 features removed to ensure a "distraction-free" learning environment that performs better on low-end devices. The operating system also gives IT administrators exclusive control over the apps and browser extensions that can be installed and run via Microsoft Intune.

If you're a school IT administrator with a fleet of PC laptops or desktops, you might wonder if you can buy and install Windows 11 SE on hardware you already have so you can benefit from its changes without buying new hardware. The answer, Microsoft tells us, is no. The only way to get Windows 11 SE is on laptops that ship with Windows 11 SE. And if you re-image a Windows 11 SE device with a different version of Windows 10 or Windows 11, it won't even be possible to reinstall Windows 11 SE after that.

[...] Microsoft has published documentation (PDF) that more fully explains the differences between Windows 11 SE and the other editions of Windows (including Windows in S mode).

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  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Friday November 12 2021, @07:56PM (1 child)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Friday November 12 2021, @07:56PM (#1195742)

    ... each machine is identical and interchangeable;

    Not quite. the CPU, HD, GPU, and MB all have unique serial numbers built in so it would be a little more work than just a straight /bin/dd, which would indeed make an exact copy of the source drive, including it's install specific serial number and the locally/remotly stored hash made from the serial numbers of the sources hardware. All that info would need to be regenerated/edited to match the new system so Windwos wouldn't throw a hissy fit.

    Best plan would probably be to make a hd image of the hardware's original disk before you do anything with it and restore that later if needed/desired. Or not even bother trying to reset the machine

    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
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  • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Sunday November 14 2021, @02:51AM

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Sunday November 14 2021, @02:51AM (#1196017)

    If I were going to implement the edition-upgrades-are-permanent functionality (which I wouldn't because I consider it a dumb approach) there is an easier way. I'd have the edition upgrade remove the baked in SE product key from the motherboard. It's way less complicated than trying to lock out based on a hardware ID.

    (I don't have any insider information on this, just speculating.)