Representatives of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard are making the rounds to build support as Maine educators decide which laptops or tablets they’re going to provide to more than 70,000 middle and high school students this fall. Microsoft Education’s chief technology officer Cameron Evans acknowledges that educators are accustomed to Apple products after a decade of providing laptops to middle schools. But he says the HP proposal provides the same tools and more while utilizing a Windows-based platform preferred by entrepreneurs. Evans was in Maine last week to talk to educators after an HP ProBook 440 with Windows 8 won a competition to become the state’s preferred option for students. But schools can opt to stick with Apple if they’re willing to pay the cost difference. The deadline for a decision is Thursday.