The Full Solution For Back to School

Hannah Bell By Hannah Bell - November 14th, 2023
Share This Article

As the school year is closing, it might be a good idea to start assessing you needs for next year! It’s important to select a device that is going to meet all your child’s needs in the classroom to empower their learning. We know there is a lot to consider – the device being lightweight, portable, enough batter life to last the school day, a suitable screen size, and that’s not even getting started on specs of the device. This back to school season, we have some great offers on Windows 11 devices that come preinstalled with 1 year of Microsoft 365 Personal! These devices are affordable, versatile and meet the minimum spec requirements of most schools.

Here are some frequently asked questions, that we hope might bring some clarity to you making your decision for which device is right for the 2024 school year!

What is Microsoft 365 Personal?

Great question! Microsoft 365 Personal is a subscription service that includes the Office applications you may already be familiar with – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook. Just like you will probably use these in your workplace, a lot of schools will use the same software. These apps have been industry leading for the last 33 years, so there are lots of benefits to your child becoming a Word or Excel whiz early on in their education & career!

Microsoft 365 Personal also comes with other benefits, such as 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage. You can set up your PC to automatically sync to the cloud which enables auto-save – I know the dog ate my homework excuse is long outdates, but OneDrive also helps to eliminate the new age ‘my computer crashed, and my file didn’t save!’ excuse because auto-save is constantly saving in the background! Got an important assignment due but left your computer at home? No worries! You can go to in the web browser of any device and access all of your backed up files!

How does the pre-installed subscription work?

The 1 year Microsoft 365 Personal subscription is built into the device, so there aren’t any codes you will need to enter. When setting up the device, you will see apps like Word, Excel in PowerPoint are pre-installed, when you open these apps, it will prompt you to sign in with your Microsoft account, if you don’t already have one, you will also be given the option to create one.

Once you sign in, your 1 year subscription will activate from that date. You don’t have to activate the Microsoft 365 Personal subscription the first day you set up your new device, however you must redeem the Microsoft 365 Personal offer within the year of setting up your device, or the offer will expire.

But what if the school is using Chromebooks, can they still open files created in the Office apps?

Yes! The great news is that the Microsoft Office apps can talk to Google Docs (Word), Sheets (Excel) or Slides (PowerPoint). You have two options of how this can work:

  1. Open and convert to a Google Docs/Sheets/Slides file. However, this essentially makes a copy of the file, so any updates won’t continue to be saved in the original file. You of course could then open and convert back to Office files, but once again, this is creating a copy and this could always create some version control and formatting issues switching between,
  2. Recommended option: Open and edit through your web browser on Each of the Office apps has an online version for quick and easy editing and collaboration across different devices. You can access this by signing in with you Microsoft account you used for you Microsoft 365 Personal subscription or if you’re sharing the file with teachers or classmates, they will still be able to open and make edits through a free online version. However, the free online version will have limited features.

What about using Google Classroom?

Yes! You can use Google Classroom through any web browser, so your child will be able to log in to their classroom account using Microsoft Edge and be able to fully interact and participate with all files and documents their online classroom environment – the experience is seamless.

What is Windows 11 Home in S mode?

Windows 11 in S mode is a version of Windows 11 that's streamlined for security and performance, while providing a familiar Windows experience. To increase security, it allows only apps from Microsoft Store, and requires Microsoft Edge for safe browsing. We think this is a great option for keeping your tamariki safe, especially as they are beginning their learning journey on a device! Sometimes, apps and software downloaded from a web-browser might look safe but can contain viruses and malware that could impact how the device runs as well as the security of your data and personal information. By only being able to install apps from the Microsoft store, this means that the apps have been checked and verified as secure by Microsoft to help give you peace of mind!

What if we need an app that is not available on the Microsoft store?

If you want to install an app that isn't available in the Microsoft Store, you'll need to switch out of S mode. There's no charge to switch out of S mode, but please note this change will be permanent and you won't be able to turn it back on.

The great thing about Windows 11 devices, is that you have the power of choice. Windows PCs are portable, powerful, have a great battery life and offer the largest selection of devices and price choices. Whether it’s work, school, family, or just having fun, Windows 11 has a familiar, simplified and streamlined UI, which gives users efficient ways to be creative and productive.​

If you’re not sure if the devices in this article will meet your needs, please head in to your local PB Tech, chat to the team and check out our full range of Windows 11 devices.

Written By

Hannah Bell

Master Trainer on behalf of Microsoft New Zealand. Empowering people to get the most out of their tech since ages ago!

Share This Article

Write a Comment

Log In to post a comment