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Rediff.com  » Business » Microsoft bets big on education; launches tab for college goers

Microsoft bets big on education; launches tab for college goers

April 22, 2014 16:18 IST

MicrosoftMicrosoft has partnered with HP and Pearson to launch a tablet for higher educational students in engineering and management streams.

The companies will jointly launch the Windows 8.1 powered 10.1 inch Hewlett-Packard Omni10 tablet with embedded content from Pearson and Microsoft Office in the higher education space.

Priced at Rs 29,999, this is the software giant's second offering. In February this year, it had unveiled the Acer Iconia W4-820, priced at Rs 24,999, with Acer, MBD Group and Tata Teleservices for private schools (K6-12 level).

"These customised tablets will make learning interactive and immersive and is part of our continuous efforts to make education more inclusive through technology.

“We believe that these are game changing devices," Microsoft India Head (Public Sector and Education) Arun Rajamani told PTI.

The Omni10 tablet packs in the best of HP, Pearson and Microsoft's offerings and has been specifically designed to provide students with an engaging learning experience, he added.

On market potential, Rajamani said the addressable market for HP Omni10 would be the five million students undergoing technical and management studies.

The Acer Iconia W4-820, on the other hand, had a bigger addressable market of around 30 million since it targetted the school students, he added.

The HP Omni10 will be available for all technical and management institutes and is being currently offered at an EMI plan of Rs 2,990 per month for 12 months (taxes additional).

"This special limited time 'Institute Offer' is valid till June 15," Rajamani said.

Microsoft will provide a preloaded set of 10 e-books, access to various Microsoft developer tools and servers through the DreamSpark student site, single sign-on student mail IDs as well as a 50 GB mail box and 25 GB OneDrivePro free.

The tablet runs on Intel Atom processor Z3000 series, HP India Director (Computing category, Printing and Personal Systems) Ketal Patel said.

"Engineered to assist students with their hectic work schedules, this tablet provides powerful performance for multitasking, making presentations, playing games and music.

“A carry cover for the HP Omni10 tablet will also be provided in the offer," he added.

The tablet is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has up to 8.5 hours of battery life, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory, which can be expanded to another 32 GB using a microSD card.

It has a 8 megapixel rear and 2 MP front camera.

Pearson India Business Head and VP (Higher education and Test preparation) Anish Srikrishna said technology can address challenges like shortage of quality teaching staff and infrastructure.

The tablet offers Pearson's e-learning content, including theory papers of first semester engineering and MBA courses.

Pearson self-learning course module will provide multimedia content for first semester engineering students and student guides/notes, flash cards, and video case studies for first semester MBA students, Srikrishna said.

The interactive content enables teachers to simplify concepts and helps students understand and retain them better, he added.

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