Microsoft Takes on Google with Ad-Free Search Engine for Schools, Free Tablets

The Redmond-based company is trying to make the most of the education sector

Microsoft has already announced that its Surface RT tablet is available with a special price for schools across the United States, but the company is now trying to make the most of the education sector with an ad-free version of Bing.

Specifically tailored for schools and students, the so-called Bing for Schools service represents an ad-free version of the search engine that packs new filters and privacy options.

Matt Wallaert, Bing behavioral scientist, explains that Microsoft kicks off the program today, with 800,000 students to be part of a search pilot across the United States, including Los Angeles Unified School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Fresno Unified School District, Detroit Country Day School, and others.

“Bing for Schools isn't just about giving schools the choice to have an ad-free, safer and privacy-enhanced search experience, however,” Wallaert said today.

“The internet has become a vital part of our society and according to the same Pew study I mentioned earlier, 91% of educators believe that content focusing on digital literacy should be incorporated into every.”

At the same time, Microsoft is also giving schools the chance to get Surface RT tablets at absolutely no cost by registering for the Bing Rewards program. At least 30,000 points bring each school a Surface RT.

“To express that math a different way, about 60 Bing Rewards users can earn a Surface RT a month for a school. And it is simple to do: just sign up for Bing Rewards, use Bing for your searches, and then redeem your credits toward a school,” Wallaert adds.

Specifically designed to challenge Google and its school offering, which includes filter-based YouTube and Google Search, the new program is supposed to be expanded to new schools in early 2014, soon after the search pilot comes to an end.

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