windows-surface-rtApparently the first 10,000 registrants to ISTE 2013 get a free Microsoft tablet, which is incredible no matter how much of an Apple or Android fan boy or girl you might be.

While Microsoft has seemingly fallen out of favor with the cutting edge among us, their productivity suite is still world-class, and they still run the majority of the world’s computers.

While the tablet from Microsoft doesn’t seem to be the ringer the iPad or even Nexus devices are, a tablet that integrates into the operating system so many of us still use can’t be all bad.

Margo Day, Vice President of U.S. Education at Microsoft even implied that Windows 8 can help teachers “imagine new and personalized learning for their students,” which is, of course, incredible.

Here’s hoping for another press release soon clarifying that one. As for your free Windows Surface tablet? There is more information below in the press release, including some fine print you may want to take a close look at.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 13, 2013 – The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) today announced that Microsoft Corp. plans to give a Microsoft Surface RT to 10,000 ISTE 2013 conference attendees as part of the Windows in the Classroom Surface Experience Project. Online ISTE conference registration is open until June 18 for the world’s premier education technology event slated for June 23-26 in San Antonio.

“Access to meaningful technology for all learners is at the core of ISTE’s mission, so there’s tremendous synergy between our goals and Microsoft’s generous investment in our 2013 conference attendees,” said Brian Lewis, ISTE CEO. “This bold move is illustrative of Microsoft’s commitment to the effective use of technology in education. It’ll be fantastic to watch attendees take their conference learning experience to the next level through the power of their new Surfaces and to hear about the ways they use them with their students.”

Supported by hands-on workshops and sessions in the Microsoft Learning Lounge at ISTE 2013, the Windows in the Classroom Surface Experience Project provides an opportunity for educators to experience how a Windows 8 touch device makes learning come to life.

“Educators using Surface RT have the best of both worlds: the wonderful experience of a tablet combined with a no-compromise experience of a full-functioning laptop that includes Office and allows for creation and collaboration, and not just consumption,” said Margo Day, Vice President, U.S. Education, Microsoft. “Educators already using Windows 8 tell us they are able to get grading and planning done more quickly because they can multi-task and they can imagine new and personalized learning experiences for their students.”

To participate in the Windows in the Classroom Surface Experience Project, registered ISTE 2013 attendees may go to to learn more on how to qualify. Educators must have a school official and/or ethics officer sign a gift acknowledgement letter provided by Microsoft and bring it to the ISTE conference in order to receive a free Surface RT device for their school.

The world’s premier education technology event, ISTE 2013’s agenda is headlined by three provocative speakersJane McGonigal, Steven Johnson and Adam Bellow, and features nearly 700 sessions and interactive learning environments. The ISTE Expo will include more than 500 exhibits from ed-tech companies around the globe.

About ISTE 

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in advancing excellence in learning and teaching through the innovative and effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home to ISTE’s annual conference and expo and the widely adopted NETS, ISTE represents more than 100,000 professionals worldwide. For more information, visit; ISTE 2013