A Microsoft document detailing the minimum hardware specs for Microsoft Windows 10 Cloud-powered laptops seems to be the best evidence yet that Microsoft plans to launch a Chromebook competitor on May 2. Windows Central a “recommended minimum spec” document, presumably handed out to Microsoft’s partners. The document outlines what Microsoft hopes to achieve with what the document calls an “Edu Cloud device” (and industry watchers have dubbed "Cloudbooks"): all-day battery life, a quick boot and resume cycle, and at least a quad-core Intel Celeron processor powering it all. It’s also titled “Windows 10 Cloud Performance Targets,” confirming the name of the new OS.
Lenovo's Flex 11 Chromebook is one of the new generation of Chromebooks hitting the market this year. Announced Wednesday with a starting price of $279 and due to ship sometime in April, it also boasts a 360-degree hinge and extra-sturdy construction. The Flex 11's ability to change from clamshell to tablet and any position in between is even more appealing now that Android apps will be part of the Chromebook's bag of tricks. Chrome isn't really designed for tablets, but Android is. At the same time, Android may sometimes be easier to deal with using a real keyboard. The Flex 11 lets you have it your way.
If a low-cost Microsoft Surface with a cloud-based Windows operating system sounds a lot like a Chromebook, that’s probably no coincidence. Windows PCs have lost ground in the U.S. education market to Google’s browser-based laptops. As Microsoft sends out invitations for a May 5 event in New York, rumors suggest the company will announce a Surface for schools—among other things. Microsoft’s invitation to the event included the hashtag “#MicrosoftEDU,” framing the announcement within the context of the classroom. Microsoft is expected to weave together several announcements: a new Surface device, a new, managed Windows Cloud operating system, and probably a look ahead to the next major Windows update, dubbed Redstone 3. Other possibilities include a quiet refresh of the Surface Pro 4 with a new 7th-generation chip, as well as an intriguing but unsubstantiated rumor that some form of Windows Cloud could replace Windows Mobile.
Microsoft is hosting an education-focused event in New York City on May 2, and the tech titan is expected to reveal new software and hardware. The company sent out invitations a day after it launched the Windows 10 Creators Update, the latest major feature release for its current operating system. Microsoft is working to make its devices and services appeal to educators, especially as the company faces increased competition from Google’s G Suite and Chromebooks. Both companies are locked in a war over which business will power the future of productivity, and education is a major battleground for each.