Microsoft punts reduced-cost Windows 8 devices for schoolkids

Microsoft punts reduced-cost Windows 8 devices for schoolkids

Summary: Microsoft has launched a scheme to knock 30 percent off Windows 8 devices for UK schools, while Steve Ballmer has paid a visit to Downing Street to promote a new programme to tackle youth unemployment.


Britain's kids will have access to cheaper Windows 8 devices, after Microsoft launched a scheme to knock 30 percent of the price of tablets and laptops for UK schools.


Microsoft's Shape the Future scheme will knock 30 percent off the regular price of Windows 8 devices to help give British schoolkids better access to technology. Image: RM Education

Microsoft's 'Shape The Future' initiative, launched on Monday, aims to provide devices to British schools that can be used on a 1:1 basis: this means that pupils will have their own computer they can borrow for home use throughout the school year.

"Shape the Future has the power to put knowledge in the hands of children. That knowledge empowers them to shape their own future," said Microsoft's Joice Fernandes in a statement. "I'm thrilled that we are now bringing this programme to the UK."

The scheme already exists in 56 counties with a reach of some 21 million students, according to Microsoft. Under the Shape The Future programme, devices are shipped with educational software and programs such as Microsoft Office Professional installed. The programme is being run in the UK in conjunction with Intel and RM Education.

"We all know how technology can deliver learning that is more exciting, more engaging and more effective," said Mike Allen, managing director of RM Education. "Just imagine what we could achieve if every child, regardless of background, had their own device."

The three companies cited research from PriceWaterhouseCoopers that 1:1 computing can help a student earn £300,000 more over the course of their lifetime, through the impact that easy access to technology has on their education.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Microsoft launched its Get On UK programme. This three-year scheme to tackle youth unemployment in the UK aims to help some 300,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 through a mixture of training, apprenticeships and work experience.

Steve Ballmer visits David Cameron at Downing Street

Steve Ballmer visited David Cameron at Downing Street for the launch of Microsoft's Get On UK scheme. Image: Microsoft

To accompany the launch, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer visited David Cameron at 10 Downing Street. "Microsoft's 'Get On' campaign is exactly the kind of support we need from business to inspire, provide skills, and create meaningful opportunities in the industries that will drive our economy forward in the future," the prime minister said.

Topics: Microsoft, Government UK, IT Employment, United Kingdom, Windows

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  • Shape the Future

    Kudos to Microsoft for supporting our children!
    • Re: Kudos to Microsoft for supporting our children!

      Until they grow up and have to pay full price.

      Hear that "thunk"? That's the sound of these kids turning away from Microsoft products.
  • Yes, it's all about the children.

    Microsoft doesn't get anything from this? Riiiiight!!
    Arm A. Geddon
    • One more thing.

      I hope they get the 64GB tablets because half the capacity of the 32GB models will be full. The 64GB still has 49GBs left.
      Arm A. Geddon
      • If they spend 500$ for a tablet

        They're still getting more space on the Surface than if they had an iPad. It isn't a huge difference, but the numbers I'm told range from 16gb to 20gb of space.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • And howmuch iPad gives?

        At reduce cost ? These children don't need to watch movies, play games on their devices.It's for education purpose.BTW, memory cards won't cost you much.Oopss, iPad can't do it, can it ?
    • ....

      So if apple or google come whit this idea that's will be a great, right? I bet that will. So where they are? I tell you where, nowhere.

      And stop this crap about space, Microsoft comes clear about that and inform users about this. And comparing to ipad, buying Surface you get more space, more feature and more flexibility... for less.
      • It's not a new idea.

        Ever heard of the "One Laptop Per Child" initiative? Of course, that exposes children to non-MS technology instead. And we can't have that, can we...?
        • Ever hear of Microsoft's "Shape The Future" initiative?

          Of course, that exposes children to MS technology instead. And we can't have that, can we...?
          • OLPC predates this brand new MS initiative by several years

            So what's your point?
          • Who cares who was first?

            Does OLPC have a monopoly on education initiatives?

            It is a good thing that children are getting these devices heavily subsidized from Microsoft.
          • Because this isn't philanthropy.

            It's a bid for the next generation's mind-share.
          • Says who?

            First you have to prove that MS's move isn't philanthropy.

            Then you have to prove that OLPC wasn't a bid for the next generation's mind-share. You do realize that Linux consulting is a multi-billion dollar per year business. Indoctrinate kids into using Linux and your Linux consulting business does great. There's money to be made in brainwashing children into believing Linux is good.
          • Says me, toddy.

            I am not naive...

            And the point of OLPC is that it's *cheap*; Linux is simply a means to that end. They could easily have used FreeBSD instead.
          • Says you?


            I says that OLPC is not philanthropy and Shape The Future is.

            Says me, Zogg.
          • Sure, and I believe that you are naive and deluded.

            Possibly both.
          • Edit: "naive or deluded"

            What does ZD-Net have against "Edit"?
          • Since we are such experts on each other

            I believe you are a shill and lack good judgement.

            So there.
          • I haven't forgotten Steve "The Embalmer"

            Believe he has a single philanthropic bone in his body if you will...

            But I don't.
          • Ah well

            You do know you're probably one of the most completely pants posters there has ever been and ever will be on zdnet.