Maine picks Windows 8 HP laptop for middle school students

Microsoft and HP have landed a new educational contract for their Windows 8 PCs. Today, Microsoft announced that the state of Maine has picked the HP ProBook 4440 notebook, running on Microsoft's latest OS, to be the "learning device of choice" for all of the state's 7th and 8th grade middle school students."

In making the announcement today on Microsoft's Education blog, the company revealed that it has also put in some of its own money as part of this agreement with Maine. It stated:

Microsoft is providing a substantial investment as part of our Partners in Learning program to provide opportunities for Maine educators to learn from industry and academic leaders in the area of integrating Microsoft technologies into classroom instruction. We will be offering dozens of Microsoft Innovative Educator training programs and Windows in the Classroom events among other assets to help with professional development, as well as assist schools convert data and content.

Specific terms of this new deal with the state of Maine, including just how many notebooks HP is providing, were not revealed. In March, Microsoft said that more than 540,000 students and teachers already use Windows 8 in the U.S. Microsoft has also been promoting the use of Office 365 for education and earlier this week announced that several schools in Central and Eastern Europe had signed up to use the cloud-based software suite.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Imagine the shock and dismay when those students get jobs in a traditional office work environment where their computer skills will be needed for content creation and application interaction based on desktops and/or laptops using full-sized keyboards. Someone will have to teach those newbies how to touch type using all ten fingers. Another example of how public schools fail in teaching skills useful in the work place.

I don't want to sound overly cynical but it appears that technology is a replacement for well trained teachers - what happened to the novel idea of reading books, writing etc. or does the above article explain the horrible handwriting so many demonstrate these days.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
I don't want to sound overly cynical but it appears that technology is a replacement for well trained teachers - what happened to the novel idea of reading books, writing etc. or does the above article explain the horrible handwriting so many demonstrate these days.

I've been taught with text books and writing cursive, yet my handwriting has always been absolutely horrible.
I didn't have the choice for a laptop or similar when I went, but I'm sure I'd rather spend 700euro's on a laptop for school, then 1000euros for books... which I have to rebuy almost every year, while the laptop can go on for a couple.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
I don't want to sound overly cynical but it appears that technology is a replacement for well trained teachers - what happened to the novel idea of reading books, writing etc. or does the above article explain the horrible handwriting so many demonstrate these days.

In the high school my office is situated in, the teachers get mad when youtube videos are "too slow"(or when we blocked youtube, because there's no point in letting kids waste our bandwidth with hd video) because they have no lesson plans other than to watch youtube. It's disgusting. (Thankfully none of the schools I manage teach this way)

man i be happy for a windows 8 laptop with touch or like a surface pro for our school (pro is a bit of a stretch but hey can i dream?) so i can get rid of my 8 lb textbooks.

My school chose vista desktops back in the day. Im puzzled why it didnt make neowin headline news. My guess is that Windows 8 is the big deal. Dont worry, the kids will express their hate for it, and the school will be looking for Windows 7 Licenses.

nah. in my school people like windows 8. not everyone hates it. windows phones are on the rise, people think tiles are cool, and people are starting to post (but annoying) stuff bout how their iPhones break on FB. not everyone lives in an iWorld like you where everyone hates windows 8 and likes other stuff.

Aw what didn't pick the iPad?... seriously though, the district I live in two years about spent almost 2 million dollars on an "iPad" tech upgrade which included wireless access and everything for them... plus an iPad for every student... they said oh we can go all digital, put all the books on it, blah blah blah... guess how much those iPads are used today? virtually never! The district is even calling it one of the biggest wastes they've had... instead of buying tech as it's needed no lets look trendy...

iPads are gimmicks in an education sense, sure there are a few educational "apps" but if you want to actually want to do anything at school productively you're going to need a Windows PC. Heck even a Linux laptop would do a lot better than an iPad!

mduren2445 said,
major waste of money
On the face I disagree with you. The real question is at what age can you trust a kid to not destroy these laptops. I wonder if the parents have to replace damaged machine or whatever. Honestly theft and damage are the huge costs, it's obviously cheaper to use computers per person to lower the cost of books, computer labs, etc.

lctb51 said,
Yes, they should have invested in Windows 98 laptops in instead! They could play the good, quality 90s games that I played when I was little like putt and Freddie fish!

Hahaha Freddie fish

Probably one laptop per student. High School/Junior High I went to years ago did away with books and gave everyone iPads.

Edited by techbeck, Apr 30 2013, 6:20pm :

<oldman>Back in my day we had 1 programming class that taught Q-Basic, on computers with exactly 2 colors: Pee yellow, and black. There was only one typing class that all the juniors and seniors had to apply for (these were fancy color monitors). Books were required to have their own homemade covers (which we made out of grocery bags), and some teachers even charged us for the minor wear/tear that occurred to them over the semester. It was a big deal when a classroom got their own TV and when a teacher was able to use a projector instead of the chalkboard (yes, chalkboard....not whiteboard). </oldman>

MikeInBA said,
<oldman>Back in my day we had 1 programming class that taught Q-Basic, and one typing class. Books were required to have their own homemade covers (which we made out of grocery bags), and some teachers even charges us for the minor wear/tear that occurred to them over the semester. It was a big deal when a classroom got their own TV and when a teacher was able to use a projector instead of the chalkboard (yes, chalkboard....not whiteboard). </oldman>

I meant to say YEARS ago in my original posts. We had to have book covers as well. Mandatory. Books are really expensive tho especially keeping them up to date. Cheaper with iPads.

techbeck said,

Cheaper with iPads.

Thats always been the argument for the schools here too, but to be honest, I just dont see the numbers adding up. Give a student a $200-$300 iPad, or a $30-$40 book? Which one is more expensive to replace if dropped or stolen? I can see maybe if the iPad was given to the student for use their entire high school career, and no books were ever issued....

MikeInBA said,

Thats always been the argument for the schools here too, but to be honest, I just dont see the numbers adding up. Give a student a $200-$300 iPad, or a $30-$40 book? Which one is more expensive to replace if dropped or stolen? I can see maybe if the iPad was given to the student for use their entire high school career, and no books were ever issued....

Average costs is $70 for a text book. And it update a text book, you have to bu ya new one. With an iPad, just update the software. I dont know all the specifics behind what they did tho.

That's $40 per book. I remember textbooks running a few hundred dollars back when I went to high school and college. Better to buy a tablet or laptop and get the books cheaper in electronic format. Much easier on the shoulders, as well. As a science student, my books were heavy!

techbeck said,
With a computer/tablet, just update the software.

Plus, with a computer they can do things with this thing called a keyboard and a mouse. And it can do things like save to a usb drive. All for less money than an iPad.

"Maine picks Windows 8 HP laptop for middle school students"

Only one laptop for all of the students?

The sentence can be interpreted either way and is proper both. I would understand what you are saying better if they had an "a" in the title.

The title should read...

"Maine picks Windows 8 HP laptops for middle school students" or
"Maine pick Windows 8 HP laptops for middle school students"

^ In both cases, an 's' has been added to laptops since there is more than one.

Now all the kids can waste valuable class time playing angry birds and fruit ninja! Although the school administration will probrably restrict the Microsoft store access and downloading games etc via gpedit.msc.