The Obama Administration’s ConnectEd initiative will be receiving a major donation from Microsoft, which will provide $1 billion to help schools purchase sub-$300 discounted computers. ConnectEd was created with the intention of providing the vast majority of US schools with both high-speed internet and improved electronics like Microsoft’s computers.
A partnership between Microsoft and Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Toshiba has made it possible for the company to bring down the price of computers for schools. As a result, far more students may now be able to use computers in the classroom or perhaps have a laptop to bring home after-school if they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
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Although some reports have made it appear as though this is a cash donation meant to help school districts buy the discounted electronics, Microsoft says that is not the case. Instead, by lowering the price of Windows for schools–it had previously announced this plan–the cost will effectively be lowered.
Just like Microsoft’s education-centric Bing initiative, it is clear that the company hopes students will become fans of Microsoft’s devices and services because of the exposure to them during their early part of their life.
Cameron Evans, the national technology officer for Microsoft, told CNET that there is still a significant gap between modern electronics and schools. While it may not seem to be the case if you live in a school district where kids are receiving laptops and iPads, other schools have such horrendous internet connections that they can barely get online. This gap is the motivation for the ConnectEd initiative.
Even if Microsoft does end up with long-term customers as a result of the “donation” and education-centric work, it is still helping schools and students.
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Summary: Microsoft is helping Obama’s ConnectEd intiative in the form of discounted computers for schools and discounts on Windows. In total, the $1 billion donation from Microsoft will make it far easier for schools to buy computers for the classroom. However, in the long-run, Microsoft may end up with new customers.
image credit: laptopmag
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