Bing for Schools, announced earlier in the summer, offers strictly filtered and ad-free search results with some privacy protections to registered education providers. As an extra enhancement for signing up for the service, there’s a rewards program that allows schools to earn free Surface RT tablets by using the site. Today it is rolling out to pilot schools with a combined 800,000 pilot students.
With Bing for Schools, Microsoft is attempting to differentiate itself strongly from Google, the search engine whose free Apps for Education has millions of users. Microsoft’s site Scroogled attacks Google for “invasive tactics to maximize their advertising profits.” The site highlights Bing for Schools in side-by-side search results with Google for terms such as “Chemistry” or “Stock Market.”
One person who might not be such a fan of the tablet giveaways is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose Gates Foundation is the largest education-related charity organization in the US. He’s on record saying low-cost PCs with keyboard inputs are much more useful in educational settings.