Microsoft Pushing Bing for Search in Schools, Looks to Take on Google
June 24, 2013 3:38 PM
Microsoft also got 34 schools/districts to adopt Windows 8
Microsoft has been trying to push Apple's iPad aside in favor of Surface tablets
, and now, the Windows giant is looking to take on Google when it comes to search for students.
Microsoft made two pretty big announcements today that aim to bring Windows 8 and its search engine Bing into K-12 school districts around the U.S.
Microsoft proudly revealed that 34 K-12 schools/school districts around the country have agreed to use the Windows 8 operating system. The schools are located in Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Florida, California, New York, Massachusetts and Maine.
To be more specific, 10 schools and 24 school districts are signing up to use Windows 8.
Microsoft even boasted a quote from an official (Chris White) at the Somers Central School District in New York, who said iPads "could only take us so far" and "weren’t great in front of the classroom." Clearly, this district was part of the bunch that chose Windows 8.
Microsoft's second school-related announcement is an initiative called "Bing for Schools." This allows K-12 schools to customize their Bing search engine so that it's a more appropriate experience for children.
For instance, K-12 schools can remove advertisements from search results, add special learning features and enhance privacy controls.
Schools can also choose to keep the traditional Bing experience, if they'd like. Either way, it's free for schools to participate.
Google's search engine has a strong hold on the search market, and Microsoft is hoping Bing can steal a big piece of that pie.
This isn't Microsoft's first attempt to steal users from Google. Back in February of this year, Microsoft attacked Gmail -- Google's email service -- with
the "Scroogled" campaign
, which advised the public not to use Gmail because Google scans each email that is sent and received for keywords that can help it target users with more accurate advertisements.
Just last week, Apple
scored a $30 million contract
from the L.A. Unified School District, which will deploy iPads to all students throughout 47 campuses. The L.A. Unified School District is paying $678 per iPad, which will come pre-loaded with educational software. The district also committed to spending "hundreds of millions of dollars" with Apple over the next two years, since they chose the company as their only tablet vendor.
Microsoft obviously wasn't happy about this. Robyn Hines, senior director of state government affairs for Microsoft, said that using only one platform throughout the district would limit options, such as innovations/price cuts from other companies and students' ability to learn platforms they'd find in the workplace (such as Windows).
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it was
giving away 10,000 Surface RT tablets
to teachers at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The idea was to spread RT adoption in schools by supplying teachers with the devices and even training them how to use it. Microsoft is also expected to announce its "Microsoft Surface for education limited time offer" this month, which will offer $199
(normally retails for $499) to schools and colleges interested in adopting the tablets. If the schools want a touch keyboard with their Surface RT, the total price is $249 (retail $599) and with a type keyboard, the cost is $289 (retail $629).
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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