In Microsoft's latest conference, the company has launched brand new software bundles together with bargain-priced Windows devices for schools and businesses; but announced that Skype for Business has seen its day and will no longer be supported. Read on for more details.
Good news for schools and educators
Microsoft recently rolled out Microsoft 365 for Education, which combines Office 365 for Education, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and even Minecraft: Education Edition -- a game that teaches kids how to code. This new bundle will provide more advanced tools for learning, increase classroom communication capabilities, and improve security.
Note that Office 365 for Education is already free and this will not change. However, the new Microsoft 365 for Education is equipped with more educational apps such as 3D and data virtualization tools, plus Microsoft Teams. While this makes it more tempting to use, all the goodies come with a cost — a per-user, per-month subscription.
In terms of hardware, Microsoft’s Windows 10 S laptops, which are already aimed at school users, will come with free Minecraft Education, Office 365 for Education, and Microsoft Teams -- all for a price starting as low as $189.
What’s new for business people
Microsoft is targeting “firstline workers” such as clerks and sales reps with a new enterprise plan called “Microsoft 365 F1.” This software bundle combines Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and Microsoft Staffhub to enhance employee productivity.
The company also partners with hardware providers and has come up with Windows 10 S laptops for businesses. These ultra-slim laptops have enhanced security since they only run apps from the Window Store. But the glamor of it all is their wallet-friendly pricing.
HP Stream 14 Pro, Acer Aspire 1, Acer Swift 1, and Lenovo V330 ranges from $275 to $349. The first model is available now, while the rest will be released later this year and in February for Lenovo.
Goodbye Skype for Business
Microsoft officially announced that it will phase out Skype for Business and focus instead on developing “Microsoft Teams,” a communication tool the company launched earlier to compete with Slack.
This is not as dreadful as it may sound, since Skype and Teams share similar architecture, meaning we’ll probably get a better collaboration tool that still retains some of the Skype features we know and love.
New software and gadgets are exciting, yet in reality, not everyone can rush out to buy a new product every time it comes out. A more practical way would be to make use of what you already have. And you can do so with the help of our IT staff; they’ll be more than happy to help you maximize the performance of your current Microsoft software and hardware, or deploy new solutions if you wish. Call us today!
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