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Will Microsoft’s Surface tablet computer be better for students than the iPad?

Bill Gates didn’t say that explicitly, but he did talk about the importance of giving students devices with keyboards when asked about the subject during one portion of an extensive interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher. And it’s never going to work on a device where you don’t have a keyboard-type input,” he said. “Students aren’t there just to read things. They’re actually supposed to be able to write and communicate. And so it’s going to be more in the PC realm—it’s going to be a low-cost PC that lets them be highly interactive.”

Microsoft’s Surface, unveiled last week, will have two types of keyboard accessories that attach to the edge of the tablet. The company hasn’t yet said whether they will come with the devices or be sold separately.

Read the full Chronicle of Higher Education interview here.

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