Microsoft gives a free Surface to each 2014 National Spelling Bee finalist

Microsoft is trying to get folks to pre-order its upcoming Surface Pro 3 tablet, but in the meantime the company still has a lot of its older Surface models in stock. This week, Microsoft gave away 281 Surface tablets as a freebie to the finalists of the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

In a post on the Microsoft in Education blog, Yan Zhong, a Skype Program Manager who was finalist in the National Spelling Bee in 1998 and 1999, talks about how the company wanted to be a part of the long-running event as its first ever "technology champion." Zhong states:

Since the Scripps Spelling Bee is now a truly global event with participants hailing from all over the world and technology has made great strides since I was at the Bee, today’s spellers have the advantage of the Skype app (which I help develop!) on their Surface devices, where they’ll be able to chat and video call for free—perfect for word study sessions and catching up. I’ve also helped arrange for every speller to receive a Skype gift card that can be used for calling and texting mobile phones.

The finalists also get a free one-year subscription to Office 365 to go along with their new Surface tablets. The 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee is currently underway in National Harbor, Maryland, and the the championship finals will be held on Thursday.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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16 Comments

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How do you attract customers with a Surface? "Hey look at my new tablet it takes forever to load a webpage, barely has any decent apps, and lags a lot but it has office." OMG this is awesome.

acido00 said,
MS seems to be gifting a lot of surfaces... wondering if it is a marketing way to attract more consumers...

I guess for original surface they are trying to exhaust their inventory. surface pro 3 is already out.

Again, mine runs just fine. And it has the apps I want most, and plays my XBox video purchases, and . . .

You may think it's junk, but I find it's the best tablet I've ever used (and that includes my old boss's iPad.)

DConnell said,
Again, mine runs just fine. And it has the apps I want most, and plays my XBox video purchases, and . . .

You may think it's junk, but I find it's the best tablet I've ever used (and that includes my old boss's iPad.)

I like mine too. With the type cover it's a really handy device. I don't really use store apps much, I use a lot of the open source desktop apps available (via jailbreak), and now that at work we're deploying Aruba ClearPass (802.1x) it's now even more useful as I can get to all the AD file shares over wireless, so Office is suddenly really nice to have on it. Still no VPN, but again, between ClearPass and VMware View I no longer really need that.

I'm sure these kids will find plenty of things to do on it.

Deihmos said,
How do you attract customers with a Surface? "Hey look at my new tablet it takes forever to load a webpage, barely has any decent apps, and lags a lot but it has office." OMG this is awesome.

I once owned a Surface. About the only website that loaded slowly on occasion was YouTube, and it was due to ridiculously bandwidth-intensive Flash-based ads.

They could have made it a Surface 2 instead or at least a Pro 2 or 1. The Surface is such a slow pos but I guess they need to get rid of the stock.

Deihmos said,
They could have made a Surface 2 instead or at least a Pro 2 or 1. The Surface is such a slow pos.

Yea, shame on them for giving away free stuff to kids.

Deihmos said,
They could have made a Surface 2 instead or at least a Pro 2 or 1. The Surface is such a slow pos but I guess they need to get rid of the stock.

these are young kids, heck they'd be happy to have anything really... When I was that age I was happy to have a TI-99/4A to play with when 286's were common place

neufuse said,

these are young kids, heck they'd be happy to have anything really... When I was that age I was happy to have a TI-99/4A to play with when 286's were common place

Kids today are not like Kids from back in the day. They want iPads and devices that do things instantly. They can spot a pos. But like I said they need to get rid of the stock. I got a Surface during black Friday for $200 and it is the worse tablet I used out of the pro 2 and iPad. Sold it for less on eBay.

Max Norris said,
Lol.. first world problems.. "wah my free stuff isn't good enough, I demand better." Hopefully not everybody is that self centered.

say that again. thankyou. at least some one at neowin comment section speaks common sense.

Deihmos said,

Kids today are not like Kids from back in the day. They want iPads and devices that do things instantly. They can spot a pos. But like I said they need to get rid of the stock. I got a Surface during black Friday for $200 and it is the worse tablet I used out of the pro 2 and iPad. Sold it for less on eBay.

I know a hater when I see one commenting....

Deihmos said,

Kids today are not like Kids from back in the day. They want iPads and devices that do things instantly. They can spot a pos. But like I said they need to get rid of the stock. I got a Surface during black Friday for $200 and it is the worse tablet I used out of the pro 2 and iPad. Sold it for less on eBay.

My Surface does lots of things. Perhaps you should try one out before posting nonsense...