Just before students head back to school, Microsoft is releasing its Minecraft: Education Edition for the iPad. The educational version of the popular block-builder game launched in 2016, and will be available for the iPad starting next month.
In March, Apple announced a cheaper iPad geared specifically toward teachers and students, in an effort to catch up to Google’s dominance of the education market. (Google’s Chromebooks have nearly 60% market share for education hardware in the US.)
The iPad version of Minecraft: Education Edition will also help Microsoft ride on Apple’s coattails into the classroom. Though Microsoft offers other educational software products like Microsoft 365—its productivity suite that includes apps like Powerpoint and Microsoft Word—this new release will help make education software more accessible, especially to younger students for whom Minecraft is already incredibly popular. Microsoft bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014.
Microsoft says Minecraft: Education Edition already has 35 million users in 115 countries, and given the new iPad version, those numbers will likely grow.