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JP is a Portuguese device maker that Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices group, described as one of the company's "largest partners in emerging markets", in a January 22 announcement.

Microsoft is making a play against the classroom-famous Chromebooks. Microsoft will also make available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens. "That's an area - that price point [of under $200] - that most districts feel is attainable".

This week at the Bett education show in the United Kingdom, the company's showing off a quartet of new devices, designed by Lenovo and JP, a hardware OEM that's been a longtime partner in developing markets. It announced a new version of Minecraft aimed at educators today, along with discounts on its augmented reality products, which it sees as another differentiator between Windows devices and Chromebooks. Examples include dications in Office 365, to help students write more easily via voice, and an expanded immersive reader feature for Word for Mac, iPhone, Outlook Desktop, OneNote iPad and OneNote Mac.

The integration of features from Office 365 for education-Microsoft's classroom productivity suite, which is free to schools-into the student information system run by PowerSchool.

Teachers are set to receive several new tools, too.

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Microsoft's Minecraft game is hugely popular with kids and students.

Microsoft has agreed new partnerships with Lego Education, the BBC, PBS, NASA and Pearson, which will release six "mixed reality" applications for health, history, chemistry and maths. But in the U.S., Chrome OS is continuing to outpace Windows in the K-12 education arena, according to the latest data from Futuresource Consulting. Meanwhile Teams are now accessible on iOS and Android so students and teachers can both stay on top of assignments.

Clearly, numerous changes are being made with Google squarely in mind, said Davis.

Mehdi believes that Chromebooks has not stolen any share from Microsoft, rather they should be credited for identifying the untapped market for the low-priced computers in the classroom. In addition to its strong presence in the United States, Google is expanding its footprint in "key developed education markets" in western Europe and regions in and around Australia, he said. Microsoft's CVP Yusuf Mehdi says the new devices are for those who "don't want to compromise on Chromebooks".


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