Microsoft has announced its new Bing for Schools program that will bring the search engine in front of K-12 students and hopefully train the next generation on 2nd place search tool. Bing for Schools promises to tailor the Bing experience for K-12 students by removing all advertisements from search results, enhancing privacy protections and the filtering of adult content, and adding specialized learning features to enhance digital literacy.
Bing For Schools is free for any school or districts wishing to participate. Schools will have the choice of participating or keeping the normal Bing experience. For those 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.
This is a similar play to What Apple did in the 90′s by flooding early education classrooms with its green-screened Macs and familiarizing an entire generation (mine) with the Apple way of computing. All told, I would say that it worked out pretty well for Apple. Because turnabout is fair-play, Microsoft is now taking this same tactic and applying it to their also-ran search engine and hoping to inculcate the next generation. As with Apple’s initiative, it will take decades to see whether Bing for Schools will spur growth for the service.