Along with the Scroogled tie-in, Microsoft also linked Bing for Schools to its three-year-old Bing Rewards, a frequent flier-like program where consumers -- in this case, parents -- can accumulate points for using Bing.
Parents can donate their points in 250- and 500-point blocks to a local school, which in turn can redeem 30,000 points for a free Surface RT with a Touch Cover.
Microsoft estimated that 60 parents using Bing could collect enough points for a free tablet in a month. By Microsoft's math, each parent would earn 500 points per month. That puts the value of a Surface RT at approximately $286 when using a $5 value for 525 points; Microsoft has several $5 offers, including Amazon.com, Fandango and Starbucks gift cards, at that point "price."
Microsoft sells the Surface RT and Touch Cover to school districts for $249 in a program that launched in mid-June and runs through the end of this month.
It's no surprise that Microsoft used Surface RT giveaways to promote Bing in Schools. The company has a surfeit of tablets, one so large that it was forced to take a $900 million charge against earnings last quarter to account for the surplus inventory and the 25% to 30% discounts it now offers consumers in an attempt to boost sales.
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