Microsoft has teamed up with a number of hardware manufacturers to help bring a new range of Windows-based devices into US schools. The systems start at under $300 and have been launched to help school make computers available to a larger number of students. It's all part of Microsoft YouthSpark initiative which aims to "empower youth through technology".
A wide range of devices are included in the program, including those which are "lightweight enough to conduct research and take assessments, while at the same time robust enough to create rich media, develop code and build complex applications".
On top of this, Certiport Inc -- Microsoft's exam delivery provider -- will give access to over $5 million worth of examinations to follow Microsoft IT Academy training. Margo Day, vice president, U.S. Education at Microsoft stresses that giving students access to affordable technology is important to Microsoft:
"To move students into the future, they need the skills and resources that can bring learning to life and prepare them for the workforce. Through Microsoft’s commitment, we are helping bridge the technology skills gap that exists among many students today by providing tools and learning resources that give all students a world-class education and help teachers better use technology in the classroom. Working with our partners to lower costs and provide affordable devices is just one step in the process."
The devices include both tablets and laptops such as the Acer Travelmate TMB113-E, ASUS Transformer Book T100, Dell Venue 11 Pro, Fujitsu Stylistic Q704, HP 210 Notebook PC and HP ElitePad 1000, Lenovo ThinkPad 11e, Toshiba Satellite NB15t, as well as a new device from Panasonic which will launch later in the year.