Microsoft and over 1 billion dollars in saving for BYOD, PD

Microsoft Corp. also announced a new educational offer to increase access to—and lower the cost of—Windows-based devices for U.S. public school classrooms nationwide.

By injecting more than 1 billion dollars in savings into the system over the course of 2014, Microsoft hopes to help solve issues of access and affordability as most K–12 schools seek to transition to more technology-enabled, data-driven academic environments.

Through this program, access to offerings that before were only available to financial need-based institutions will now be available for all public schools. This includes hardware, collaboration software and teacher training resources. The offer includes access to the latest Windows 8.1 devices and also includes software and services necessary to create personalized learning environments (PLEs).

The offer also encompasses a variety of device offerings at significantly reduced prices, as well as an array of popular software and services tailored for education, including Bing for Schools, Office 365 Education and Microsoft’s Partners in Learning teacher training resources.

For the roughly 2,000 high-needs schools in the U.S., Microsoft will give away Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) program and training, to provide the schools and their educators, students and staff with digital curriculum and certifications. Microsoft will also donate $1 million to cover certification exams for students from these schools.

Microsoft’s education offer will be available immediately to all U.S. K–12 public schools and available through Microsoft original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners Dell, Lenovo and others.

While Microsoft has provided more than 750 million dollars in programs for education, this latest offer specifically supports President Obama’s ConnectED goals of connecting U.S. schools to the digital age within five years by providing cost-efficient devices and services. Read more about the specifics of the offer here.

More information on the offer can also be found here.

Editor’s note: Material from multiple press releases was used in this story.