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Microsoft Debuts “Bing for Schools” With Surface RT Giveaway

Published on August 21, 2013
by John Paczkowski

bing_seaturtleMicrosoft officially rolled out its new “Bing For Schools” initiative, sweetening the pilot program with some Surface RT freebies that the company hopes will give it some early momentum.

Microsoft said Wednesday that K-12 schools that enroll in the program, agreeing to use a special edition of Bing that’s free of advertising and outfitted with enhanced privacy protection measures and adult-content filters, will earn credits through the Bing Rewards program. And for every 30,000 credits earned, the company will give them a Surface RT with Touch Cover. Microsoft figures that it will take about 60 regular Bing users about a month to collect enough credits for the device, which is worth about $249 after the educational discounts it currently offers. Bing Rewards credits can also be donated to schools by others not enrolled in the “Bing For Schools” program.

Not a bad idea, particularly given the Surface inventory issues with which Microsoft has been grappling. The company took a $900 million charge “related to Surface RT inventory adjustments” when it last reported earnings. If there’s little demand for the device, why not offer it as a sort of Happy Meal prize for eager “Bing For Schools” users?

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