Microsoft will give attendees at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference a free Surface RT as part of an effort to push technology use in the classroom.
As part of the ITSE event, attendees will be provided with a Microsoft Surface RT for use at their local schools. According to the organization, that means a gift of around 10,000 Surface RT tablets heading to local schools across the country.
Though there’s no doubt that the company wants to do its part to continue to modernize education, it also helps the company get their consumer and lifestyle oriented products in front of more users, both young and old.
According to Microsoft’s Vice President of United States Education, Margo Day, “Educators using Surface RT have the best of both worlds: the wonderful experience of a tablet combined with a no-compromise experience of a full-functioning laptop that includes Office and allows for creation and collaboration, and not just consumption.”
Putting Office and Surface RT in front of tomorrow’s buying public and today’s technology users is key if Microsoft wants to be seen as a company that does more than just create Windows. After all, it’s through the education market that products like Apple’s iBook and iMac line of computers began to build brand loyalty and garner attention from users. Even the company’s popular iPad tablet is building a loyal following from teachers looking to introduce more interactivity without the complexity of typical machines to their students.
Day also took the opportunity to push the reasons why Microsoft believes its Surface RT product trumps the iPad for user in education saying, “Educators already using Windows 8 tell us they are able to get grading and planning done more quickly because they can multi-task and they can imagine new and personalized learning experiences for their student.”
Though not entirely education related, it’s worth noting that the offer of free Surface RT tablets comes on the heels of more than a few promotions for Surface RT tablets, including slightly reduced pricing inside Staples locations, free Touch Keyboards and Type Keyboards for Surface purchasers and offers for a $99 Surface RT for attendees of the company’s TechEd North America and Europe events. These would all be effective methods of clearing the channel of excess inventory if the company was planning to launch an updated Surface RT.
The company announced the Surface RT and Surface Pro at an event in Los Angeles one year ago next Tuesday. It’s rumored to be working on a 7-inch Surface device for launch sometime this year.