Microsoft now dumping non-selling Surface RT tablets into schools

“Microsoft is looking to make a bigger splash in the education segment for both its hardware and search divisions, offering schools the ability to earn free Surface RT units in exchange for regular use of its Bing search platform,” Kevin Bostic reports for AppleInsider.

“The firm announced on Wednesday a new Bing for Schools pilot program for more than 800,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Fresno Unified School District, Detroit Country Day School, and a few other school districts,” Bostic reports. “With the new program, Microsoft will be providing an ad-free, privacy-enhanced Bing search experience for students and faculty. In this sense, the firm will be taking on Google, which dominates the Internet search industry in both market and mind share.”

Bostic reports, “The Surface RT units come in as an incentive to get students using Microsoft’s search option.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The only incentive Microsft is providing is for parents to move their students to competent school systems.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

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50 Comments

  1. This is entirely consistent with Steve Ballmer’s conception of charity of giving away his used underpants for free. He’ll claim a charitable deduction from the IRS too.

    Captain Ballmer on board the RMS Titanic announcing, ““There’s no cause for alarm, we’re only stopping briefly to take on a little ice.”

  2. This is the true of a monopoly. 900 million loss? No big deal, we got that automatic revenue generating gov approved system going full blast. We can make all the crap no one wants at a loss, lock them in the office POS/Wind/Sharepiss systems and we are golden!

  3. Disgusting way of dumping Microsoft’s enormous overstock of junk tablets that no one is willing to buy (at any price) on innocent children and uninformed school staff. Just shameful.

      1. Exactly! Firstly, poor kids! They’ll be indoctrinated even further but now it’ll be using terrible devices with unintuitive features. I heard all the girls get catholic school girl outfits with theirs and all the boys get skinny jeans and two free years worth of counseling which they’ll need after trying to use the tablets. And, B, 😉 I’d love to see an Apple search engine but would rather see better function of the iCloud and mac/me email addresses so I can dump my 20+ gmail addresses!

  4. 800,000 vs iPad program. Free vs Paid. Schools are desperate for money. MS has just found a way to derail the iPad program. Unlike Apple that needs to make a profit by actually selling compelling products, MS got that automatic money making gov approved system!

    1. Yes, but programs like this will be assessed a few years down the road. If student performance improves or dropout rates decline and can be correlated with the adoption of these devices and participation in Microsoft’s program, that would be a green light to continue. The problem is that continued availability of these devices is problematic because Microsoft can pull the plug at any time, rendering any positive assessment moot. And they are likely to pull the plug, because (a) If acceptance in the general marketplace continues to stagnate, Microsoft will stop making them; and (2) if sales pick up, the company will drop the school discounts or discontinue the program. Because of this bleak prospect, schools facing a Hobson’s choice of a shaky commercial incentive/reward system versus anemic state support should think twice before gambling with students’ futures.

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