Windows 8 looking for a foothold in higher education
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Windows 8 looking for a foothold in higher education

Microsoft has long been at the forefront of revolutionizing numerous different industries, from healthcare to retail. The computer magnate focuses on both personal and professional tools that can be used for different purposes. For example, the company is often among the first to develop new mobile products, craft security programs and enable retail management.

The technology mavens at Microsoft have also had a long-standing presence in the education sector. Students worldwide are familiar with certain pieces of software, like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, which are particularly popular in the classroom. Now many eager learners will soon become well-versed with the latest Microsoft platform, Windows 8.

Windows 8 enrolls at Seton Hall

Administrators at Seton Hall University will, come September, be promoting the new operating systems to all entering freshman. The college has a history of giving out laptops to all new students, paid for by the tuition and various other charges. This year's class of 2016, as well as the junior class, will be given either a Samsung Series 7 tablet or Samsung Series 5 ultrabook, both of which will be equipped with Windows 8.

"From students' perspectives, Windows 8 delivers an environment that allows them to be as productive as possible," explained Seton Hall CIO Stephen Landry, adding that the integration capabilities make Windows 8 particularly appealing.

Moreover, the entire campus is switching over to Microsoft Office 365, to enable synchronized communications between peers, professors and members of the administration. This will also facilitate remote access to campus resources for those working from home.

New accessories complement updated operating system

Though Windows 8 is a recent development, Microsoft is already releasing unique new computer accessories to accompany the offering. The Wedge Touch Mouse and Mobile Keyboard are among the newest Microsoft solutions to hit shelves.

The mouse, noted to be small enough to fit into a standard pocket, features a four-way touch scrolling ball. The accessory is wireless and connects with Bluetooth enabled devices. Finally, the mouse boasts BlueTrack technology, which means that it can be used on almost any surface, unlike traditional offerings.

The slim Wedge Mobile Keyboard is also leverages Bluetooth technology for wireless performance, though the product is designed primarily for tablet users. Windows Hot Keys and media keys are featured on the fill-size board, making accessing certain applications easier and faster.

Microsoft solutions continue to develop

The latest adoption of Microsoft tools does not spell the end of the line for the computer giant's presence in the academic realm. According to PC Magazine, the company recently held the 10th annual Imagine Cup, which honors student innovators who solve social, medical and environmental problems using technology.

The magazine reported that education is one area in which Microsoft gives out awards for efforts made in the field. Many of the creations thrust into the spotlight at the recent event enable learning. For example, the source detailed, the winner of the mobile game design category was an American team, the Drexel Dragons, who created an elementary school game to teach children about math problems. The other game that won a prize, in the Windows and Xbox sector, was a Thai video game that teaches children about the effects of deforestation and the need for environmental protection regulations, the magazine stated.

Moreover, the winner of the people's choice award at the forum was Team D Labs, a contingent from India. Attendees of the conference voted the group's Kinect for Xbox 360-based tools the best technology solution that can change the world, PC Magazine explained. The team crafted a way for kids with dyslexia to use Kinect to recognize alphanumeric characters.