Microsoft has made a series of major tablet education market announcements, less than 24 hours after Google announced it is opening submissions to its Google Play for Education app store to Android developers.
In its first statement, the tech giant announced a special, ad-free version of its Bing search engine will be released through a program called Bing for Schools.
“For [schools] that opt-in, Bing will enable the experience across all searches from within the school’s network on Bing.com, without any need for special software or a different search address. And of course, Bing for Schools is free for any school or districts wishing to participate,” Microsoft says in a statement.
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However, in an embarrassing development for the company, while the Bing for Schools webpage is available to web browsers in the US, attempting to visit it from Australia leads end users to a webpage that reads “That web page doesn’t exist.”
In a separate press release, the company also emphasised it had recently signed up 34 primary and secondary schools across the US to use Windows 8 tablets as part of their curriculum.
Microsoft is emphasising the availability of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote on its tablets as a key selling point for its devices in the education market.
Yesterday, SmartCompany reported Google announced it is open for Android app submissions to its new curated Google Play for Education store.
The increased focus on the education market comes after IDC figures released earlier this month showed the education subsector of the US tablet market grew by 103% year-on-year during 2012.