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Microsoft Extends Education Push With Acquisition of Flipgrid, a Student Video Discussion Platform

Microsoft buys student video discussion platform Flipgrid

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Microsoft turns off ads in Windows 10 email app. Pixabay
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As part of its attempt to win over students and educators, Microsoft has acquired video discussion platform Flipgrid which is used by more than 20 million teachers and students across the world.

“Thrilled to welcome @Flipgrid to Microsoft!” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, tweeted on Monday.

“To bring the power of video-based social learning to everyone, we’ll be making Flipgrid free for all educators and offering prorated refunds to everyone who has purchased a subscription from Flipgrid in the last year,” said Eran Megiddo, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Education.

Representational image.
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Flipgrid was created with the aim of helping educators recast the role of video in the classroom, from a passive experience to a tool that empowers and amplifies every student’s voice.

“Fans of Flipgrid can rest assured the Flipgrid they know and love, in joining Microsoft, will continue to grow and thrive across the Microsoft, Google and partner ecosystems, all the while retaining its distinct brand, culture and team,” Megiddo added.

Also Read: Microsoft’s Android Launcher Now Lets You Track Your Kid’s Location and App Usage

For Microsoft, which is facing increased competition in the classroom from both Apple and Google in recent years, the acquisition of Flipgrid is the latest in its effort to appeal to students and teachers, The Verge reported.

Microsoft has been improving its Office 365 for education offerings, and also overhauling its web versions of Office to be more modern and faster to use for collaboration, the report added. (IANS)

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Microsoft Starts Selling Amazon’s Echo Devices

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs

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Microsoft stores start selling Amazon's Echo devices. Pixabay

Following its partnership with Amazon to integrate their two Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered assistants Alexa with Cortana, Microsoft has now started selling Amazon’s Echo devices in its retail stores.

Amazon’s Echo Dot and Echo devices are available online and in Microsoft Stores in the US, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality.

The software maker now appears to be pushing it towards more business-focused areas like chat bots rather than its original consumer-focused launch, the report added.

Microsoft has been increasingly focusing on its Amazon partnership and Alexa integration, it added.

Microsoft and Amazon had announced to integrate their virtual assistants last year.

Microsoft
Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality. Pixabay

The tech giants performed the first such integration between the two intelligent assistants at the “Build 2018” developers’ conference in May this year.

Megan Saunders, Microsoft Cortana General Manager, and Tom Taylor, Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President, showcased how Alexa and Cortana would work together in the near future.

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“For all of you developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa will enable access to more people across more devices. And we can’t wait to see what you build,” said Saunders.

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs.

The integration works with the command: “Alexa, open Cortana.” (IANS)