Microsoft Launches Crowdfunding Method to Help Students Buy PCs

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Mashable  | By Vignesh Ramachandran  Posted on Jun 4, 2013

Microsoft-ChipIn-1

Microsoft launched a new way for college students to pay for Windows PC purchases on Tuesday — a Kickstarter-style crowdfunding program.

The tech giant's new "Chip In" program lets friends and family crowdsource donations toward purchasing a Windows PC for a college student.

The program works like this: A college student selects a new Windows PC device on the Chip In site, then creates a campaign page and shares it out to friends and family, asking for help funding the computer. Microsoft contributes 10% of the PC purchase as the first donation.

When the new computer is funded, the student receives a promotional coupon code to buy the device from MicrosoftStore.com. Though anyone can set up a crowdfunding profile (parents, relatives or students themselves), only a student with a .edu college e-mail address or international student identity card (ISIC) can redeem the coupon to buy a computer. The purchase also comes with a four-year subscription to Office 365 University.

 

Microsoft's promotional program for students, which starts Tuesday, runs through the first of September.

A Microsoft Windows spokesperson told Mashable that this approach toward crowdsourced consumer purchasing is still new for the company and the industry.

"You think about all of these big purchases that we make throughout our lives and a lot of them come as gifts," said Kristina Libby, head of Windows consumer PR for Microsoft. "So, encouraging your community to help you purchase a large good — we think that it's going to become a much more standard practice [across the whole industry]."

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