In my previous life as an Education Business Development Executive at Microsoft UK, Understanding the pain points of a schools IT requirements was critical. Because of this understanding, I had many productive conversations with Network and IT Managers.

Much like the Raconteurs of days gone by, I told engaging tales when describing the Microsoft product stack and offered decision makers a whole new perspective on how they can use these wonderful applications.

Conversations about OneNote and Azure Active Directory were met with giddy enthusiasm and energy akin to a young Lad finding an Eric Cantona shiny in his last packet of stickers. However, I began to notice that not every piece of the puzzle seemed to fit into place. Usually upon the uttering of one simple word;

Surface….

Suddenly, the skies would cloud over and a feeling of palpable unhappiness would infect the conversation that just 30 seconds prior was full of positive engagement and light-hearted IT-related banter….

“Surface devices?! You must be joking?!?, have you seen how much they cost? There’s no chance we could afford 20 Surface Pros, even with the entire school budget!”

In the 18 months I was engaging with schools and colleges, the Surface was the proverbial sharp object thrown onto the bouncy castle of Microsoft solutions. IT staff could not comprehend spending so much money on hardware. And who could blame them? As wonderful as the possibility may have seemed, it was simply not possible to purchase Surface machines. (Dr. Seuss?)

Schools could not afford to deploy dozens of Surface devices across their classrooms. Finances have arguably been the biggest factor in how a school can operate. Budgets spread as thin as Happy Shopper margarine on a dusty crumpet would usually squash hardware conversations into the ground. BYOD was the Network Manager equivalent of Flossing (“everyone does it now but I was doing it before it was cool!”) It just made sense to buy cheap or let students buy their own…

Fast forward to Summer 2018. After years of looking in the window and wanting one for Christmas, the mood is about to change….

Surface Go has arrived. A 10in tablet aimed at the Educational market with a price tag that even Ebenezer Scrooge himself would admit is “quite good”. Reports of pre-orders in Victorian London remain unconfirmed..

The wonderful folk in Educational technology and infrastructure have been crying out for a Surface model that does everything it’s older Brother can do but at a fraction of the cost. Schools, colleges and universities deserve to have an affordable product like this available to them.
After years of walking down so many different avenues and trying so many different ways to get students and teachers connected, Microsoft seem to have finally opened the door and welcomed Educational hardware needs with a massive cuddle. The Surface Go is designed for both work and play. Everything students and teachers both need and want.

It’s design model is more or less identical to previous Surface models and it’s appearance, likewise. A Magnesium built body in a platinum outer casing. Think “Iron Man Goes Emo”…

There are some subtle differences between the Surface Go and it’s older siblings. It’s the first Surface device to not include a USB Type-A port, instead providing a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C. Surface Connect, a micro-SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack round off it’s built-in peripherals.

There’s also going to be a model with 4G LTE but that won’t be available until later this year,
You’ll be able to get it with 4GB or 8GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 RAM, along with 64GB eMMC, or 128GB SSD. It has an IR camera on the front for Windows Hello, and stereo speakers for Dolby Audio Premium. In short, this little kitten has got some sharp claws…

Pre-order is available in North America and Canada, as well as the UK and other countries across Europe. It is also pre-order ready in countries in the Far-East including Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan. Dates for pre-order across the rest of the world vary. I personally believe Microsoft have missed a trick by not having these ready to go before the World Cup started! I remember listening to the opening game of Japan/South Korea 2002 on a Walkman in my Design Tech class and think we should all experience that at least once in our lives! Note to Teachers: If you don’t share the philosophy of your students devoting their learning time to an event that only comes around once every 4 years, Intune is your answer! 😉

As the old saying goes, you learn something new every day. If you can learn it using an affordable, productive device which can provide all your work at the touch of a button, even better.

I cannot wait to discuss the Surface Go with the Education community and I for one believe it’s a long overdue conversation.

Want to know more on the Surface Go?
Contact Joe Matthews today: joe.matthews@848.co

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