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Windows 10's anniversary update goes big on education

Microsoft unveiled a slew of new tools for teachers and students.
Devindra Hardawar, @devindra
April 14, 2016
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In addition to upgrades for Cortana and improved pen support, the Windows 10 anniversary update will also include several apps and features to make life easier for schools. Likely taking a cue from the rising popularity of Chromebooks in the classroom, Microsoft is making Windows 10 setup faster for shared computers. Teachers will be able to configure devices on their own with a new "Set Up School PCs" app, and Microsoft says that logging into a new account for the first time should take around 26 seconds (afterwards, logins should take just 6 seconds). That's not exactly zippy for a first-time login, but it sounds faster than previous versions of Windows.

Microsoft Classroom, a new part of Office 365 for education, will give teachers a single location to manage their entire classroom workflow. Schools can also use Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) to integrate Classroom with their existing data systems. Additionally, there's also a new "Take a Test" app to help teachers administer secure exams, which can be configured to standardize testing for an entire school. Microsoft Forms, another Office 365 app, will let teachers put together surveys and quizzes.

Honestly, it's surprising that Microsoft didn't deliver some of these features sooner -- especially since most teachers and schools will need more than a month or two to integrate new tools into their curriculum. Still, for schools that are already locked into Windows, these could be some useful upgrades. Microsoft also reiterates that some Windows 10 devices, like HP's Stream, are going as low as $200.

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