In what appears to be a win/win situation for both Bing and US schools, Microsoft has announced its installment of ad-free searching through its engine. The pilot program, "Bing in the Classroom" which began earlier this year, will now be accessible to all schools, both public and private, and for all grade levels.
The program will provide a secure experience for young users while at the same time boosting the adoption rates of Bing as a major search engine, hopefully leading many away from their behemoth competitor, Google.
To sweeten the pot, Microsoft is also offering a free, first-generation Surface tablet computer to schools whose members of the community sign up for the advertisement version of Bing. All any school would need to have is 30 Bing searches by 60 parents or friends and they can earn a tablet for their school in just about a month. What makes this offer even more appealing is that there are no restrictions as to the number of devices the school can obtain. Again, it's a win/win, as Microsoft has overstock of the product.
While Microsoft needs advertisement revenue in order to function properly as a company, they are hoping that word-of-mouth on this program leads to heightened adoption rates of Bing across the board. Since Google does not offer anything comparable, Microsoft has the advantage. Additionally, Microsoft designed several hundred lesson plans geared towards inspiring students to use the search function in order to obtain answers.
Matt Wallaert, the Microsoft employee who invented program, stated,"We absolutely are an ad-supported business, but we think that schools are not the time and place for that. Obviously we hope that parents will hear that message and want to use Bing at home."
Will Bing ever become the verb that Google is? With ideas like this, the likelihood gets higher.