5 Key Differences Between Windows 11 Education And SE

The Windows brand has become a household name since its commercial popularity years back. Now, it is used by millions of computers worldwide for just about all kinds of purposes: work, academics, personal goals, and many more. Thus, to improve their users’ experience and elevate their workflows, its creator, Microsoft, has developed several versions of its latest operating system catered towards specific user groups. A couple of these versions is Windows 11 Education and Windows 11 SE; both are built for students in all kinds of learning environments. Let us share an overview of this education-focused version of Windows, its similarities and differences with Windows 11 SE, and how the two benefits schools and their students.


What is Windows 11 Education?

Windows 11 Education is essentially a variant of Windows 11 Enterprise but with education-specific default settings required in school settings. The Windows 11 Education version comes with a specific feature set designed to be more beneficial to students and teachers. It shares all the same powerful features available in the Enterprise version of Windows 11, such as setting group policies for stricter control over users, Bitlocker, mobile device management (MDM), Applocker, and more.

A couple of these default changes in Windows 11 Education is the disabling of Cortana (Microsoft’s productivity assistant) and the Windows Widgets panel, the last one showing news and interests for topics like the weather, news, sports, and more which could prove distracting. 


Major differences between Windows 11 Education and Windows 11 SE

Windows 11 SE is another version of the Windows 11 product lineup but is a more locked down and simplified version made for educational use, explicitly targeting the K-8 education sector. Below, we detail their differences to help academic organisations choose better for their use case.


1. Availability

Getting Windows 11 Education is simple and done through an upgrade. Any Windows 10 Education device that meets the requirements to upgrade to Windows 11 will automatically become a Windows 11 Education computer. In contrast, Windows 11 SE is only available as the pre-installed software on Windows 11 SE-compatible devices and has no installation image. This means educational institutions must purchase new hardware to incorporate Windows 11 SE instead of simply updating their current devices.


2. Hardware limitations

Unlike Windows 11 Education which organisations can install on virtually any kind of computer, be they low-end devices or high-end ones, Windows 11 SE was created to run specifically on entry-level hardware without compromising performance. In other words, Windows 11 SE will not function on devices that have greater than 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM or have a high-performance CPU.


3. App Availability and Installation

Windows 11 Education users can install and run all kinds of Windows apps (PWA, UWP, and Win32) through the Microsoft Store or other means, provided they have sufficient privileges. On the other hand, Windows 11 SE comes with Microsoft Store disabled and heavily restricts manual installation of Win32 and UWP apps. Only admins from the IT support and maintenance teams can install or remove apps through Intune for Education, Microsoft’s cloud-based MDM service that lets school administrators manage student devices. Apps that fall under the following categories are available to be installed on Windows 11 SE devices:

  • Test-taking solutions
  • Content-filtering apps
  • Accessibility apps
  • Classroom communication apps
  • Browsers
  • Essential diagnostics, connectivity, management, and supportability apps


4. Snap Layouts

In Windows 11, Microsoft introduced the Snap Layouts feature to facilitate and improve the multitasking experience. Windows 11 Education and other versions of the operating system get access to six Snap Layout solutions, while Windows 11 SE has two, meaning users can only use two apps side-by-side at any one time.


5. Cloud management

Windows 11 Education and Windows 11 SE are similar, education-first operating systems but different in how they work. The former can serve its purpose in either online or offline environments, while the latter takes the cloud-first approach and relies heavily on internet connectivity. Thus, users must primarily rely on web apps running on the browser like Edge and Google Chrome and Microsoft’s other web-first apps like their pre-installed OneDrive cloud storage solution and Microsoft Office suite.



Windows 11 Education facilitates schools' learning and teaching experience by offering personalised learning. As the most secure and robust version of Windows so far, Windows 11 Education improves efficiency and productivity in terms of knowledge by enabling teachers and students to interact and engage better than before.

For schools and private educational institutions in need of Windows 11 Education or Windows 11 SE-enabled computers, or even software such as the newest Adobe Elements 2022, IT equipment leasing is within reach here at JK Tech. We also offer other IT support and maintenance services in Singapore, to meet the needs of your organisation. Get in touch with us today!