Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Microsoft, partners answer President Obama's ConnectED Challenge with offer to bring affordable technology to all U.S. students at public schools nationwide

In partnership with Dell, Lenovo and others, Microsoft offer will drive more than $1 billion of savings to help implement Windows-based tablets, laptops and devices in the classroom.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Lowering the barrier for public school districts nationwide to make the digital transition to state-of-the-art technology, Microsoft Corp. Tuesday announced a new educational offer to increase access to — and lower the cost of — Windows-based devices for U.S. public school classrooms nationwide.


By injecting more than $1 billion in savings into the system over the course of this year, the offer helps solve issues of access and affordability in education as most K–12 schools seek to transition to more technology-enabled, data-driven academic environments. Through this program, access to unique offerings that before were only available to financial need-based institutions will now be available for all U.S. public schools. This includes hardware, collaboration software and teacher training resources. The offer includes access to the latest Windows 8.1 devices and also includes essential software and services necessary to create immersive, personalized learning environments for today's classrooms.

"Education is the most important investment we can make for our collective future," said Judson Althoff, president of Microsoft North America. "With this new Microsoft education offer, we are responding to the president's challenge to ensure all students have access to the technology devices and services they need to succeed."

Microsoft's education offer will be available immediately to all U.S. K–12 public schools and available through Microsoft original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners Dell, Lenovo and others. The offer encompasses a variety of device offerings at significantly reduced pricing levels, as well as an array of popular software and services tailored for education, including Bing for Schools, Office 365 Education (making more than 12 million copies of Office available to students for free at qualifying institutions) and Microsoft's Partners in Learning teacher training resources. For the roughly 2,000 high-needs schools in the U.S., Microsoft will give away Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) program and training, to provide the schools and their educators, students and staff with the digital curriculum and certifications to gain fundamental technology skills and be successful in today's best jobs. Microsoft will also donate $1 million to cover certification exams for students from these schools.

While Microsoft has provided more than $750 million in programs for education, this latest offer specifically supports President Obama's ConnectED goals of connecting U.S. schools to the digital age within five years by providing cost-efficient devices and services. Specifics of the offer include the following:

  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 Pro. One of the most powerful and flexible operating systems for education, Windows 8.1 Pro enables students and teachers to use education apps and Microsoft Office and to search for information across their devices and the Web, and it is optimized for touch and digital inking, critical keys to better learning outcomes.
  • Communication and collaboration: Office 365 Education. Microsoft provides the tools necessary to create college and career-ready students. U.S. K–12 schools can access Office 365 online for free. And now, with Student Advantage, Office 365 Education customers can access Office 365 ProPlus, receiving all the familiar, locally installed, full Office applications for students at no additional cost.
  • Teacher training and resources: Partners in Learning Network. The Partners in Learning Network provides teachers professional learning through a network of nearly 1 million educators from more than 130 countries. It offers them a forum where they can share ideas, find free lesson plans to inspire classroom learning and develop professionally. Its professional development resources span from individual trainings and demos to ensure that teachers have the skills to use their technology to pedagogically relevant training that helps teachers incorporate technology into their lessons.
  • Ad-free search: Bing for Schools. Bing for Schools is an ad-free digital literacy platform aimed at helping students learn important digital skills with a connected computing device, daily lesson plans, and a safer, more private search environment. Since launch, Bing for Schools has enabled more than 8,000 donations to schools from parents, teachers, and community members through Bing Rewards, with over 40,000 downloads of digital literacy lesson plans and more than 14 million ad-free, private search queries served to children in nearly 4,000 schools.
  • Student training and resources: Microsoft IT Academy. The program provides roughly 2,000 high-needs academic institutions and their educators, students and staff with digital curriculum and certification for fundamental technology skills.
  • Broadband as a critical component to connected learning. Microsoft's nonprofit partner EveryoneOn is offering home Internet service for as low as $10 to the 36 million low-income families and individuals in America. Home broadband Internet access allows students to complete Internet-based homework and stay connected with teachers and classmates after school. Because about a third of Americans lack broadband at home, Microsoft and EveryoneOn are helping to bridge that gap by providing low-income families with affordable options. To learn more about EveryoneOn, go to

"Education transformation is happening now, and technology is the tool that not only will enhance the work of our educators, but also will allow a more immersive, engaging experience for our students," said Margo Day, vice president, U.S. Education, Microsoft Corp. "For more than a decade, Microsoft has helped educators and school leaders connect, collaborate and create so that students can realize their greatest potential. With this new offer, we can extend that experience to all of our U.S. schools and students."

Microsoft partners
The Microsoft Education offer will be coordinated and delivered through technology partners who serve K–12 schools. Hardware and device manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo and others will now be able to make specially priced devices available to all U.S. public schools through this offer.

"At Dell, we are committed to providing students and teachers with comprehensive technology solutions that support their personalized learning environments and advance innovation in the classroom," said Bill Rodrigues, president, North America & Global Sales, Dell. "We share the goals of the education community and the president's ConnectED initiative and are proud to partner with Microsoft to maximize access to digital learning with affordable and efficient IT solutions."

"Lenovo's longstanding commitment to K–12 public education in the U.S. makes it an easy decision for us to join Microsoft as part of this initiative," said Jason Mooneyham, executive director, Public Sector, Lenovo. "If all of our kids are going to realize the promise of technology's contribution to their education, we have to do our part to work with their districts in choosing tools to help make access a reality."

School participation and eligibility
All U.S. public schools are eligible for this unique education offer and can contact their technology reseller or Microsoft for additional details or to access an official Letter of Eligibility. More information on the offer can also be found at

About Microsoft in Education
At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to working with governments, communities, schools and educators to use the power of information technology to deliver technology, services and programs that provide anytime, anywhere learning for all. Since 2003, Microsoft has partnered with educators to impact more than 207 million students in 119 countries to date. Through TEACH.Org, Microsoft and other partners, candidates are provided free access to the online tools and resources necessary to pursue a career in teaching. For more information:

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Cloud computing is unquestionably one of the driving forces of DevOps, as the automation of operations transforms enterprise software development. DevOps, however, is more than a technology trend, as it represents a move toward silo-busting, self-organizing horizontal teams that drive business velocity. At the same time, enterprise Digital Transformation represents an upheaval across the enterprise, as customer preferences and behavior drive enterprise technology decisions. This transformation ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Actifio is powering new application development and testing services from Net3 Technologies (N3T), a managed cloud services provider. N3T's new Symmetry DevOps™ service builds on its existing Palmetto Virtual Data Center (PvDC) Cloud services for data backup and disaster recovery (DR) based on the Actifio Copy Data Virtualization platform. Previously, N3T's data protection and DR services were challenged by overlapping and inefficient legacy hardware and software platforms from multiple vendo...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
In demand-intensive mobile and web applications, an emerging pattern is to host the Systems of Engagement in the cloud (for maximum responsiveness) but keep the Systems of Record with the other important business systems in the company datacenter, often on a tightly secured mainframe. But what about the space in between? In this IBM Redpaper publication, we show that the IBM Bluemix cloud platform offers technologies that make it easy for cloud-based SoEs to securely connect to on-premises IBM...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.