Microsoft has announced two new versions of Windows, specifically catering to schools.
The two new versions of the OS – Windows 10 Pro Education and Windows 10 Education – “provide education-specific default settings for the evolving landscape in K-12 education IT environments."
Most interestingly from the list of omissions from both versions is the removal of Cortana. The Microsoft Store and other productivity tips will not appear either.
Cortana, one of Microsoft's biggest selling points since its introduction in 2014, being left out of this latest update to Windows for education can be seen as an admission that the service is, as many have claimed, overly invasive.
In fact, the Windows 10 service agreement has a statement that has particularly worried some: “We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.”
Microsoft has argued that this level of access is required by services like Cortana to aggreagate data and create a more user-friendly experience.
Anybody who purchased Windows 10 Pro under an Academic Licence will see the upgrade happen automatically. This means that education users will lose the features specified by Microsoft, regardless of if they want them or not.
With this upgrade, Microsoft are announcing that it believes the most secure and education-friendly versions of Windows omits both Cortana and its own Windows help features. Some users with other licences might like to see this trend follow suit across future Windows 10 updates.