Apple is a long-term leader in marketing its products, including its iPad tablets, to the education community, and Google is making recent inroads with its Chromebooks. Even embattled Dell has courted educators with its Latitude tablets. So it's perhaps inevitable that Sony wants in on the education market, too.
The company has just launched its K-12 Education Initiative, a complete ecosystem that's based around its Xperia Tablet S Android slate. As expected, schools would get a discount on tablet purchases, as well as get to join the Sony Education Ambassador (SEA) online community, which features solutions implemented by what Sony describes as "distinguished teachers, IT managers and specialists."
Sony will also throw in a year of Kaspersky Tablet Security, which includes anti-theft software. It is additionally offering 50GB of free cloud storage through Box.com.
Whether this program will be enough to persuade educators to choose Sony over other options remains to be seen. But the space will only get more competitive as more Windows 8-based tablets hit the market, and Microsoft likely gears up its own efforts to reach more classrooms.
The potential windfall is sufficiently huge for multiple companies, however, as just this week it was reported that Apple met with the Turkish president to discuss a whopping $4.5 billion deal to bring iPads to Turkey's students.