WASHINGTON — The fight between technological archrivals of Microsoft and Google has moved to the schoolyard, so to speak.
Reuters reports  that Microsoft launched an opening salvo against Google, whose search engine consistently outdoes Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Microsoft is piloting an ad-free offering for educational users of Bing, so schools can use it without ads. Bing has consistently trailed Google in search engine traffic and usage. This could change things, but it could seem that it is a desperate move by Microsoft to counter the giant that is Google.
This new program, called “Bing for Schools”, is filtered so students won’t see adult content or ads when using the Bing search engine.
The pilot program will start in the Los Angeles Unified School District and Atlanta Public Schools, in addition to other school districts. Also, Microsoft offers free Microsoft Surface tablets and course materials for teaching schoolchildren about Internet use.
Now, Microsoft will have a captive audience for its devices and products, which students will be using for educational purposes. The company’s director of search, Stefan Weitz, said:
We hope that we demonstrate the quality of Bing to teachers and students and also their parents, and once they see how good it is, we hope to see increased usage outside of schools too.
Bing has only been able to gain 18% of the search market share, while Google continues to dominate at 67% of the market. “Google it” has become a typical phrase among the young generations and shows how it is now ingrained in consumer culture.