Why it matters: Microsoft is likely to welcome millions of new users to the Minecraft universe this fall as the Education Edition makes its debut on Apple's iPad, one of the most popular tech-based learning tools for teachers. Next stop - Chromebooks.
While many of us spent the summer around the pool or hanging out with friends, Microsoft was hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year. On Monday, the Redmond-based company shared the fruits of its labor - expanding Minecraft: Education Edition to the iPad.
From September, educators will be able to download the Minecraft: Education Edition app onto iPads. Microsoft licenses the game via yearly subscriptions that can be purchased through the Microsoft Store for Education, through partner resellers and via volume licensing agreements.
With the expansion, Minecraft: Education Edition will soon be available on three platforms: Windows 10, Mac OS and iPad. That's not nearly as many devices as the consumer version which is offered across 21 platforms but as Deirdre Quarnstrom, general manager of Minecraft Education at Microsoft, points out, they're eyeing additional platforms.
"Chromebooks is probably one of the biggest requests we get from educators," she said.
Microsoft purchased Minecraft from Mojang in 2014 for a whopping $2.5 billion and acquired MinecraftEdu, a version designed specifically for use in the classroom, two years later. Today, the software is used by more than 35 million licensed educators and students across 115 countries.
Microsoft also announced that the Chemistry Resource Pack, originally launched earlier this year for the Education Edition, is now available on the consumer release of the Windows 10 and Xbox console version of Minecraft. The pack introduces element blocks, lab tables and items that are only craftable using the new feature.
To get it, navigate to the "Create New World" section and under the "Cheats" menu, toggle the "Education" option.