Cortana expelled from Windows 10's new school editions

Academic licence-holders get new education versions whether they want it or not

Microsoft has announced two new cuts of Windows 10, for schools.

“Windows 10 Pro Education” and “Windows 10 Education” have been “designed for the unique needs of K-12 institutions.” That means Microsoft's voice assistant, Cortana, has been expelled. Kids will therefore be spared the brave new world of context-aware search and be forced through the medieval quagmire that is search unassisted by big data.

The Microsoft store has also been declared out of bounds, so students won't see suggestions for apps they might want to add to school machines. Nor will other productivity tips appear.

If you bought Windows 10 Pro under an Academic Licence, Microsoft says your machines “will upgrade automatically to Windows 10 Pro Education as part of the Windows 10, version 1607 installation.” Which means you Cortana will be expelled, without appeal.

Windows 10 Education is billed as offering the “enterprise-grade manageability and security desired by many schools.” Microsoft recommends it “ … to all K-12 customers as it provides the most complete and secure edition for education environments.”

To summarise: Microsoft now believes the most secure and education-friendly versions of Windows it can make omit both Cortana and its own Windows help features. Make of that what you will. ®

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