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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