Microsoft donates $1bn for student device scheme

Microsoft makes big push for Windows 8.1 in K-12 schools

Microsoft has announced that it will be donating $1 billion (£595 million, AU$1.08 billion) to a US school initiative to help provide low-cost devices to students.

The money will go towards providing under-$300 (£180, AU$325) Windows 8.1 laptops to children in K-12 schools across the US. They are all Common Core testing compliant.

Devices on offer will include the Acer Travelmate TMB113-E, ASUS Transformer Book T100, Dell Venue 11 Pro, Fujitsu Stylistic Q704, HP 210 Notebook PC and HP ElitePad 1000, Lenovo ThinkPad 11e, Toshiba Satellite NB15t, and an upcoming Panasonic student device, set to launch at ISTE 2014.

Hardware for learning

The move is part of Microsoft's YouthSpark initiative to improve access to vital technology in schools.

"To move students into the future, they need the skills and resources that can bring learning to life and prepare them for the workforce," said Margo Day, VP of US Education at Microsoft.

"Through Microsoft's commitment, we are helping bridge the technology skills gap that exists among many students today by providing tools and learning resources that give all students a world-class education and help teachers better use technology in the classroom. Working with our partners to lower costs and provide affordable devices is just one step in the process."

This latest initiative builds upon Microsoft's prior commitment to President Barack Obama's ConnectED goals. The company previously developed Office 365 Education, a teacher training and resource area in the Microsoft Educator Network, and ad-free search for Bing in the classroom.

Via CNet