Microsoft offers free tools to univeristy students

In a move theat smells suspicously like the business strategy they used once in a day to win the Internet Browser wars, Microsoft has announced DreamSparks, a new opportunity for univeristy students. Under the new program, Microsoft will donate access to free downloads of their development platform to qualified university students.

From Channel 8 Microsoft Developer Network site:

"Microsoft DreamSpark enables students to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge. Now, for the first time, Microsoft is giving its valuable software developer and design tools directly to students worldwide at no charge! This site enables students like you to download professional-level Microsoft developer and design tools to unlock your creative potential and set you on the path to academic and career success, by supporting and advancing your learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. In order to get this software from Microsoft at no charge, you will be asked to establish or verify your student status once every 12 months. This process is built into this DreamSpark site itself. Verification of valid student status will enable students from around the globe to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge."
Some legal mumbo jumbo, with respect to terms:

"Note: You must be at least 18 years old or have otherwise reached the age
of majority in the place (province, state or country) where you live, or if not,
your parent or legal guardian must accept the Microsoft DreamSpark software
license terms on your behalf, in order for you to download and use the software.
It is our hope that the DreamSpark program will spark your creativity and help
you harness software’s transformative magic to turn your good ideas into
reality, by equipping you with the tools you need to succeed and excel during
your academic experience and skills you will need after graduation. "
If you are a student and you are new to this site, you may want to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (Students) page for more information. If you are a University Administrator and would like to make the DreamSpark site available to your students, you may want to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (University Administrators) page for more information.

The software that will be available for download is....

Microsoft developer tools:

  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0
  • 12-month free Academic membership in the XNA Creators Club
Microsoft designer tools:
  • Expression Studio, including:

    • Expression Web, Expression Blend

    • Expression Design
    • Expression Media
Microsoft platform resources:
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition

  • Windows Server, Standard Edition
I'm not sure if Puerto Rico will qualify as part of the U.S. promotion, but I think any one interested should go ahead an apply and see what happens. I'll be checking with Interamerican University of Puerto Rico to see if they will be able to participate. When I get the answer I'll let everyone know. No matter how you feel about Microsoft, this is a valuable opportunity to get access to great tools, I'd jump on it if I were you.



19 de febrero de 2008, 21:46
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Reaction to the increasing popularity of Open Source?
Linux guys, time to stop the installfest strategy and try to get more Open Source as part of the curriculum.