The move, part of an exclusive 15 month contract, follows the gifting of the BBCmicro:bit to up to one million school children in Year 7 (or equivalent) across the UK, and means that children who did not receive a BBC micro:bit as part of the BBC’s Make it Digital initiative will now be able to buy a micro:bit, helping to further broaden the opportunity for young people to get into coding.
The BBC micro:bit can now be pre-ordered from element14, the Microsoft Store, Technology Will Save Us, Kitronicand Sciencescope and other resellers with prices ranging from £12.99 for a single BBC micro:bit; £14.99 for thestarter kit ‘BBC micro:bit Go’, which includes a BBC micro:bit, mini USB, battery pack and four project ideas toget users started to £140.00 for a ‘BBC micro:bit Club’ pack, which includes 10 devices and the material needed to set up a coding club.
The BBC micro:bit will ship in July.
The micro:bit was launched in March 2016, with the aim to inspire a new generation of programmers, and was seen as building on the ground-breaking role of the BBC Micro, which helped introduce the nation to computing back in the 1980s.
Commenting Richard Curtin, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances for element14, said: "We believe that the BBC micro:bit is a foundational programme that will support a new generation of digitalmakers. This is why we are helping to extend the project by making it available through the Microsoft store. We want everyone beyond Year 7 to now have the opportunity to own a BBC micro:bit."
element14 also revealed that it was also progressing opportunities to distribute the BBC micro:bit outside of the UK.