Minecraft: Education Edition coming to Windows 10 and Mac OS X in June

You may have heard of MinecraftEdu, a modded version of Minecraft PC Edition (the Java version, not the Windows 10 edition) that was designed to be used in schools. Back in January, Microsoft announced they were acquiring Teacher Gaming LLC, the company responsible for developing MinecraftEdu. The result of this purchase was Teacher Gaming and Microsoft working towards the replacement for MinecraftEdu - named Minecraft Education Edition.

Minecraft Education Edition is quite a different product from MinecraftEdu, with advantages and disadvantages to that. MinecraftEdu revealed to us months ago that Education Edition is based on Pocket Edition and Windows 10 Edition, which means leaving some features from PC Edition behind (like more blocks, better redstone capability, and modding). However, this likely means Education Edition will receive updates around the time Windows 10 Edition and Pocket Edition are updated. This was a problem MinecraftEdu suffered from - thanks to it's reliance on mods, MinecraftEdu is currently on Minecraft 1.8.

While MinecraftEdu hasn't explicitly said it, there's many advantages that come with joining the Pocket Edition/W10 Edition codebase. Education Edition will run much better on older hardware, thanks to it's optimized C++ code versus the old Java code. Schools often can be many years behind the latest hardware, so the major performance improvements over MinecraftEdu will be much welcomed.

It's still not clear how many of MinecraftEdu's features will make it to Minecraft: Education Edition. Teacher Gaming will be conducting a beta of Education Edition in May at over 100 schools, to get valuable feedback before it's open beta in June. Just like with MinecraftEdu, Minecraft: Education Edition will only be available to schools and not to the general public.

Education Edition will only be available for Windows 10 and Mac OS X 10.11 (nicknamed El Capitan), the latest updates for both the Windows and Mac operating systems. I can understand why Windows 10 is required (it shares code with Windows 10 Edition), but requiring El Capitan is a bit strange to me. Requiring the latest and greatest operating systems might limit a lot of schools from joining, with Windows 10 adoption still being slow in both schools and businesses.

Source: Minecraft Education

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May 2, 2016 at 11:00 PM delete

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