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
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete en...
DevOps and Continuous Delivery software provider XebiaLabs has announced it has been selected to join the Amazon Web Services (AWS) DevOps Competency partner program. The program is designed to highlight software vendors like XebiaLabs who have demonstrated technical expertise and proven customer success in DevOps and specialized solution areas like Continuous Delivery. DevOps Competency Partners provide solutions to, or have deep experience working with AWS users and other businesses to help t...
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud wit...
The APN DevOps Competency highlights APN Partners who demonstrate deep capabilities delivering continuous integration, continuous delivery, and configuration management. They help customers transform their business to be more efficient and agile by leveraging the AWS platform and DevOps principles.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Luxoft Holding, Inc., a leading provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Luxoft’s software development services consist of core and mission-critical custom software development and support, product engineering and testing, and technology consulting.
As-a-service models offer huge opportunities, but also complicate security. It may seem that the easiest way to migrate to a new architectural model is to let others, experts in their field, do the work. This has given rise to many as-a-service models throughout the industry and across the entire technology stack, from software to infrastructure. While this has unlocked huge opportunities to accelerate the deployment of new capabilities or increase economic efficiencies within an organization, i...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...