What is Windows 11 SE: How Is It Different From Windows 11

After years of waiting, Windows 11 SE is finally available and is tailored to students, where the ‘SE’ moniker stands for Student Edition. The operating system is a competitor to Chrome OS. It will be available through limited channels, specifically for educational institutions.

Windows 11 SE is a new edition of Windows that Microsoft is now distributing. It’s meant to offer a slightly less capable experience, but it might be a good option for students with their studies.

Windows 11 SE vs Windows 11

  1. Intended for schools.
  2. Cloud-first approach.
  3. Limited hardware support.
  4. Limited app support and settings.
  5. Cheap Windows laptops are on the way.

1. Intended for Schools

two students using their laptops for study

Windows 11 SE is a new, specialized operating system that will not be accessible to all Microsoft users. You cannot upgrade from an existing Windows 10 device or change to the regular Windows 11 Home or Pro editions. Luckily, you won’t be able to switch away from 11 SE. But on the other hand, it also means that the OS locks you out of some important features and settings.

The new Windows 10 has been seen as a successor to the unpopular S Mode. The big difference, however, is that while S Mode was available to everyone, SE will be an exclusive feature for professionals and may not be made available to consumers.

2. Cloud-First Approach

cloud storage option for windows 11 se

Windows 11 SE is a direct competitor to Chrome OS that offers seamless integration with Microsoft 365 and other online tools. It helps students focus on more important aspects of their lives and studies. This browser tries to optimize performance for weaker or older devices while also offering a simplified or easier experience. As you might expect, this means cutting back on some features.

School administrators can now easily install & update Windows11 SE devices using Microsoft’s Intune cloud service.

3. Limited Hardware Support

Limited Hardware Support in windows 11 se

This is not just a software problem, Windows 11 SE will also be released with some limitations on hardware. The lightweight OS won’t work on laptops with CPUs that are powerful or RAM more than 8GB or storage more than 128GB. The Pro edition of Windows is able to support up to 2 terabytes (2TB) of RAM.

One bonus of Windows SE is that it optimizes apps so they run more smoothly. If you think about it, these limitations will ensure that Windows 11 SE laptops are not offered for the low price of pocket-burning.

4. Limited App Support and Settings

Windows 11 SE is only the base operating system, so there are limitations to what you can do on it. In the new education-focused OS, not all of the legacy Win32 and UWP apps available in the Microsoft Store or elsewhere are compatible. That’s because this OS does not offer a store at all, which can put a big constraint on what you can use it for.

Kids might have a hard time adjusting some settings on Windows 11 SE. IT admins can install, monitor, and adjust various settings across the OS via the new Windows 11 SE app.

There is a reason for this. Microsoft said it got feedback from teachers who wanted to create a distraction-free & easier environment for students, and IT administrators who wanted devices to be simple to manage.”

Some school districts have caught on to the benefits of letting their students watch Netflix in classrooms with a teacher’s assistance, but it’s important to make sure this happens under moderation. Microsoft is also supporting essential Windows apps like Chrome and Zoom for Chrome OS users. Progressive web apps can also be used inside your browser without any trouble.

Currently, Microsoft supports the following app categories (UWP/Win32) on Windows 11 SE:

  • Web browsers
  • Content-filtering apps
  • Test-taking solutions
  • Accessibility apps
  • Effective classroom communication apps
  • Essential diagnostics, management, connectivity, and supportability apps

Windows 11 SE offers a curated list of applications that IT admins can install and remove.

5. Cheap Windows Laptops are on the Way

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE

That concludes our discussion about Windows devices with improved battery life. To summarize, the performance will have the same level of quality as past models while being even more affordable. The Surface SE is priced at $249 and Microsoft said that other Windows 11 Southeast devices from OEMs like Dell, HP, Lenovo, or Dynabook will be available, which will be under the sub-$350 price bracket.

See below to browse 10 of the best laptops for students at a range of prices. For instance, the Asus BR1100F comes with a 360-degree touchscreen (pen support), spill-proof design, and LTE support.

Microsoft appears to be marketing the Education edition of Windows 10 to U.S customers. But other countries like India also have a big demand for low-cost student devices, despite many school kids struggling financially. The options for Chromebooks are becoming increasingly limited due to the world’s silicon shortage. Prices for traditional Chromebooks are skyrocketing because of it.

What if I Want to Install Apps?

Users of Windows 11 SE can’t get this feature. If you have an education device, we recommend using Windows 11 Pro Education instead. This edition doesn’t block you from installing apps on your phone and lets you choose what goes on it.

Windows 11 SE Release Date & Price

Microsoft has announced Windows 11 SE on November 9 at its Reimagine Education Event. This version of Windows doesn’t have a retail offering, and this OS comes pre-installed on education devices. It means the cost of the Windows 11 SE will be included in the cost of the devices. You can contact Microsoft’s sales representatives to get an estimation of the price for your school. Different prices are available, depending on the number of students.


This article about Windows 11 SE is a complete difference between Windows 11 and Windows 11 SE. We can say this is a Windows 11 vs Windows 11 SE comparison. The version of Windows 11 SE is particularly focused on study purpose and build for students. There is no official download or upgrade to Windows 11 SE available, instead, it comes with different devices as pre-installed.


  • Bilal Akbar

    I am Bilal Akbar, the founder of TechTaalk. I am an expert web designer, graphic designer, SEO, and professional blogger. My specialty is WordPress, and I have spent the past few years in website development, blogging, search engine optimization, and digital marketing.
    I am passionate about helping people learn about technology and how to use it to their advantage. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to use technology to improve their lives, and I am committed to providing that opportunity through TechTaalk.

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