The rollout of the BBC's Raspberry Pi-style compact PC, the micro:bit, to schools in the U.K. has again been delayed. Teachers had been due to receive the micro:bit before the Christmas holiday, but it now appears they won't receive the devices until the end of February, after the half-term.
Announced last July, the micro:bit is a partnership by the BBC and several tech partners including Microsoft to help educate school children about the basics of coding and how devices work. The ambitious project aims to hand out the device to every student in Year 7 across the U.K. A BBC spokesperson said delivery to students remains on-track:
"We're still on track to begin delivery of up to 1m free BBC Micro Bits to all year 7 pupils across the UK as part of the current term. Teachers are already getting hands-on via the website and a range of events, and they'll receive their devices just after half-term."
Thankfully the latest delay is not due to any hardware issues. Power supply problems prevented the micro:bit from being made available in classrooms in October last year, its original release date.
Powered by an external AA battery pack, the micro:bit is not considered to be in the same market as the more feature-complete Raspberry Pi. It does however come with Bluetooth connectivity, an accelerometer & compass, 25 red LEDs, and two programmable buttons.
The BBC originally planned for the micro:bit to be made commercially available by the end of 2015. It is unclear when and if this will still occur.