The Redmond-based Windows maker today announced the launch of YouthSpark, a brand new program that will allow the company “to help the youth population around the world.”
Microsoft will thus sign partnerships with governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses to help youths and provide access to new technologies.
The company however hasn’t provided too many details on the “new technologies” to be offered to those involved, but it did mention that they would receive access to Office 365 for Education and other apps aimed at students and teachers.
“We are activating the company around this challenge because that’s how we can have the greatest impact. We will help young people access a wide range of Microsoft programs that share the common objective of supporting and serving young people in their quest for opportunity. This includes, among others, Partners in Learning, Office 365 for Education, Skype in the Classroom, DreamSpark, Imagine Cup, and BizSpark,” Microsoft explained on the Corporate Citizenship Blog.
While it’s not yet clear how much money Microsoft is willing to spend on the new program, GeekWire reports that half a billion dollars is very likely to be granted, while the technologies to be donated will bring the total investment to several billions.
Microsoft will most likely use the new program to promote its new products, including Windows 8, Office 365 and the Surface tablet. Windows 8 will be unveiled next month
, while Office 2013 will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013.
This isn’t however the first Spark-branded program launched by Microsoft, and the company seems to focus more and more on this kind of opportunities. DreamSpark and BizSpark are both developed with the same goal in mind and will also be used for YouthSpark’s development.