The Chip In process is simple. Students choose the computer they’d like, create a profile and then link that profile to others through social media, where recipients can donate toward the purchase price. When the goal is met, Microsoft — which has contributed to the cost burden by lowering prices by 10% — ships the computer to the student pre-loaded with Office 365 software.
In addition to the computer, Microsoft is providing students with a four-year subscription to Office 365 to the first 10,000 students whose computers are funded by Sept. 1. The Office 365 applications can be downloaded to up to two devices. The service also provides an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 Skype “world minutes.”
The 15 currently-available options range from a Sony all-in-one desktop at $1,169 to an ASUS ultraportable at $404, with tablets and other portables and desktops from a range of manufacturers in between.
Chip In is available to full- or part-time students with a edu e-mail address or proof of student status. The program will run from now to September 1, 2013.