Microsoft sets out ad-free Bing vision for schools

Software giant announces ad-free Bing pilot scheme in US schools.

Internet search

Microsoft has set out plans to offer schools access to an ad-free version of its Bing search engine that will automatically filter out adult content too.

The Bing for Schools initiative is being piloted in the US, and is designed to allow students to take advantage of its search technology in a safer and more secure way.

The vendor announced the move in a Bing blog post. In it Microsoft revealed that several US schools have already signed up to the service, before going on to encourage others to follow suit.

Ninety-one per cent of educators believe that content focusing on digital literacy should be incorporated into every school's curriculum.

Those that do will be offered access to a reworked version of the Microsoft search engine, which will be free of adverts, feature enhanced privacy controls and will boast filters to help block adult content.

In the past, the firm has criticised rival search giant Google for including adverts in the online services it provides to schools, and has backed legislation to ban the use of Google Apps in schools for this reason.

Matt Wallaert, a Bing behavioral scientist at Microsoft, said the programme is being introduced because of how reliant children are on the internet to complete their school work.

"Bing for Schools isn't just about giving schools the choice to have an ad-free, safer, privacy-enhanced search experience," Wallaert wrote in a blog post.

"The internet has become a vital part of our society and...91 per cent of educators believe that content focusing on digital literacy should be incorporated into every school's curriculum," he added.

Participating schools may also be able to take advantage of the Microsoft Bing Rewards programme to acquire a Surface RT for every 30,000 credits they accrue.

The programme was set up by Microsoft to reward users with points every time they use Bing to search the web and for trying out new features the firm rolls out.

"Any schools can receive Bing Rewards credits they don't have to be enrolled in the official Bing for Schools ad-free search programme," Wallaert advised.  

"We'll aggregate the credits for everyone supporting each school and when they reach 30,000 credits, we'll convert those into a Microsoft Surface RT tablet with Touch Cover that will be sent directly to the school."

The company said only a limited number of schools will be admitted to the pilot programme, but the firm said it intends to expand the initiative as time goes on.

Featured Resources

BCDR buyer's guide for MSPs

How to choose a business continuity and disaster recovery solution

Download now

The definitive guide to IT security

Protecting your MSP and your customers

Download now

Cost of a data breach report 2020

Find out what factors help mitigate breach costs

Download now

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Recommended

Google’s about to push everyone into two-factor authentication
Security

Google’s about to push everyone into two-factor authentication

6 May 2021
Apple hires Google AI veteran Samy Bengio amid ethics controversy
artificial intelligence (AI)

Apple hires Google AI veteran Samy Bengio amid ethics controversy

4 May 2021
Google Photos is free for just one more month
Google Docs

Google Photos is free for just one more month

30 Apr 2021
Google and Microsoft profits surge as cloud demand continues
Business operations

Google and Microsoft profits surge as cloud demand continues

28 Apr 2021

Most Popular

KPMG offers staff 'four-day fortnight' in hybrid work plans
flexible working

KPMG offers staff 'four-day fortnight' in hybrid work plans

6 May 2021
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

29 Apr 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

30 Apr 2021