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 Kaby Lake chip, as well as an intriguing but unsubstantiated rumor that some form of Windows Cloud could replace Windows Mobile.