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Microsoft Giving Away Free Developer Software To Students

Microsoft is announcing right now DreamSpark, a new program that gives free developer, designer and related software to college students in 11 countries. DreamSpark goes live today in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, and gives away free stuff like Visual Studio, Expression Studio, and even Windows Server.

For gamers and game designers, an exciting inclusion in the program is the XNA Game Studio 2.0 software (as opposed to the free Express Edition), as well as a 12-month free membership in the XNA Creators Club, which means free running of XNA games on the Xbox 360.

The full list of free software:

  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0
  • 12-month free membership in the XNA Creators Club
  • Expression Studio, which includes Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design and Expression Media
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
  • Sql Server Developer Edition
  • Virtual PC 2007
  • Visual Basic 2005
  • Visual C++ 2005
  • Visual C# 2005
  • Visual J# 2005
  • Visual Web Developer 2005

We’re talking over $2,000 in free software, just for being a college student. We’re talking a huge gift to students, letting classes teach this stuff without software costs, lettings students develop software without these costs, and letting any student pick up some stuff to play around with without a monetary commitment.

Students will go to Microsoft’s Channel 8 site to download any of the software, following a third-party authentication process to verify they are a current student.

UPDATE: Channel 8 now has a video interview with Bill Gates about DreamSpark (requires Silverlight):


Bill Gates talks about Free Software, Students, and Technology

DreamSpark is live now at downloads.channel8.msdn.com

UPDATE 2: Running through the verification procedure with a college student now. It has a list of 40+ colleges it can do automatically, and an apology for the others:

School or organization not listed?
The world is a big place. We’re doing our best to get every country and school included quickly. If your location or school aren’t available, don’t give up. Click here to find another way to be verified on DreamSpark.

Running through the alternate procedure…

In the U.S., you need to get verified through Journeyed. In France, this site, in Switzerland, Microsoft’s Student Download site. In other countries, you need to obtain an ISIC card to get the software. Journeyed has 1,500 universities in its database.

My buddy was verified with a single click. Nice! He just entered his name, social security number and date of birth.

UPDATE 3: Boy, email confirmation is taking forever, still waiting on it 20 minutes later.

UPDATE 4: After about half an hour, the Journeyed confirmation arrived. You need to login before clicking the URL in the email, then you can download everything in DreamSpark. I’m trying the XNA Game Studio 2.0 and Creators Club subscription. You can download using a download manager or direct link.

Downloaded at a blazing 940 KB/s. Looks like everything worked perfectly. Enjoy your free software, students!

February 19th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers | 32 comments



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32 Comments »

  1. This is really cool. But honestly, it’s a great idea for Microsoft. Why wouldn’t they want to get future programmers used to working with their products, so that’s the only things they’re used to/comfortable with? It may cost them $2,000 in software now, but when these students go out into the real world to become developers and systems administrators, then they’re going to want to use Microsoft’s software. Sounds like a great investment to me.

    Comment by Joe Smith | February 19, 2008

  2. Please note that this is for NON-commercial use only, so whenever you build a great app and actually wanna make money with it you have to pull out your credit card and invest $2000 to be able to deploy your program in the wild. Most schools already have MSDN AA, but I guess this is nice for the non-computer science people who are looking for some fun way to build xbox apps. Nice initiative to battle opensource/free developer tools, but its just not for me.

    Comment by tom | February 19, 2008

  3. It is unfair that there is no India in this list. Especially when Microsoft says that India has some of the best talent in the world. How can they nuture this talent if they do not give it to the students in India. To read more visit my blog post http://sudeepdsouza.blogspot.com/2008/02/free-microsoft-software-for-students.html

    Comment by Sudeep D'Souza | February 19, 2008

  4. It is unfair that there is no India in this list. Especially when Microsoft says that India has some of the best talent in the world. How can they nuture this talent if they do not give it to the students in India. To read more visit my blog sudeepdsouza.blogspot.com

    Comment by Sudeep D'Souza | February 19, 2008

  5. […] more about it here Microsoft Giving Away Free Developer Software To Students Filed under: […]

    Pingback by Mark Johnston's Blog : DreamSpark is here.... Visual/Expression Studio and more for FREE for university students... | February 19, 2008

  6. […] Read more about it here Microsoft Giving Away Free Developer Software To Students […]

    Pingback by DreamSpark is here.... Visual/Expression Studio and more for FREE for university students... - Noticias externas | February 19, 2008

  7. […] Read more about it here Microsoft Giving Away Free Developer Software To Students […]

    Pingback by MSDN Blog Postings » DreamSpark is here.... Visual/Expression Studio and more for FREE for university students... | February 19, 2008

  8. My local drug dealer has a similar program. He gives a one time free packet of drugs, just enough to get you hooked to any 1st time users, not just college students.

    Comment by Pietro Watanabe | February 19, 2008

  9. […] Inside Microsoft […]

    Pingback by The Sean Blog : If you are a student, Microsoft loves ya! | February 19, 2008

  10. […] http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/archives/2008/02/19/microsoft-giving-away-free-developer-softwa… Published Tuesday, February 19, 2008 5:38 PM by walterst Filed under: DreamSpark […]

    Pingback by Walter Stiers - Academic Relations Team (BeLux) : DreamSpark: Microsoft Giving Away Free Developer Software To Students | February 19, 2008

  11. So why do students get Expression Studio along w/ all the other developer tools? When they graduate the natural transition from a bundle like this is to get a full version of MSDN, but paying MSDN subscribers only get Expression Blend and Web? Makes no sense to me.

    Comment by Al | February 19, 2008

  12. […] http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/archives/2008/02/19/microsoft-giving-away-free-developer-softwa…"Microsoft is announcing right now DreamSpark, a new program that gives free developer, […]

    Pingback by Joteke's Blog : Microsoft Dreamspark: MS supports students all over the world by giving free developer tools | February 19, 2008

  13. Students in Sweden interested in DreamSpark go to www.mecenat.se or www.csn-kortet.se for verfication.

    Comment by Måns Thuresson | February 19, 2008

  14. It’s not really up to the developer what they develop on though. It’s really up to the company, however Visual Studio is very frequently used, so it is nice to develop a familiarity with it at least.

    Comment by Anon | February 19, 2008

  15. Does this program also cover teachers, or is it students only? I ask since not every teacher in a college or university teaches a course in the IT field, and may not actually have access to whatever resources their institution offers, especially if they’re adjuncts.

    Comment by Jane Doe | February 19, 2008

  16. This is an amazing offer. I really appreciate the help as an aspiring programmer.

    They didn’t have my school on the list, and I had to email them verification of my college status so I wonder how long I’ll have to wait (not a big deal). Either way, I am excited. Thanks!

    Comment by xxdesmus | February 19, 2008

  17. Looks like everyone trying to get verified all at once has broke JourneyEd :(

    Comment by Justin White | February 19, 2008

  18. Dang, sure with I was in college right now. I was working on making some cool C++ games with XNA but my computer crashed and my software was a no-go. But oh well, if this maneges to run for two more years then I’m gold.

    Comment by CARmakazie | February 19, 2008

  19. […] http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/archives/2008/02/19/microsoft-giving-away-free-developer-softwa… […]

    Pingback by From The Northern Edge Of Microsoft : DreamSpark - Empowering Students With The Best Tools - Free. | February 19, 2008

  20. […] » Microsoft Giving Away Free Developer Software To Students » InsideMicrosoft-part of th… - This is a great deal for college students, if only for the XNA Creators’ Club membership and Expression Studio, two things I’d LOVE to get for FREE! The list of free software includes pretty much all the major MS dev tools — over $2K of software. […]

    Pingback by shawn rider dot com » Blog Archive » Links for February 19th, 2008 | February 19, 2008

  21. Too much of a hassle.

    Comment by Nick | February 19, 2008

  22. […] http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/archives/2008/02/19/microsoft-giving-away-free-developer-softwa… […]

    Pingback by DreamSpark - Empowering Students With The Best Tools - Free. - Noticias externas | February 19, 2008

  23. […] http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/archives/2008/02/19/microsoft-giving-away-free-developer-softwa… […]

    Pingback by MSDN Blog Postings » DreamSpark - Empowering Students With The Best Tools - Free. | February 20, 2008

  24. Sounds like a great project for all involved. As a student, having costs associated with using development tools steers me away from them. This would give everyone who usually doesn’t have access to these tools a great opportunity to work with them.

    If only it was in Australia : (

    great to see though.

    tiger

    Comment by tigerAUS | February 20, 2008

  25. Why is Australia not listed countries participating?

    Comment by GalileoAce | February 20, 2008

  26. Like the idea, just a shame it excludes the old school small scale developer, who’d love to play with this on the side and do some cool stuff. I graduated in the 90s so I’m SOL I guess - I just don’t have that $ for a hobby.

    [Which if it went well, maybe would lead to more, win/win]

    Ideally it’d be bigger, and maybe then they’d excite those already in the marketplace - make it so no *company* can run with it and deliver with it… I’m disappointed it’s current student or bust, why not the whole indie scene.

    Oh well, still good stuff for the kids…!

    Comment by CKaz | February 20, 2008

  27. Interesting that Australia isnt on the list

    Comment by DAN | February 20, 2008

  28. i would be very greatful for this opportunity to be able to experince and learn this software. this will greatly aid me not just as a gaming fanatic but i am also taking computer programming at A-level next year sixth form. many thanks Bradley Allen.

    Comment by Bradley Allen | February 22, 2008

  29. i was just woundering how i would recieve this software? and how long would it take for me to recieve this after i have replyed? i would be very greatful if you would be able to e-mail me with any infomation you have in this software, thanks Dan Mahon

    Comment by Dan Mahon | February 22, 2008

  30. Its erally great to get all under one roof that also by a certifide one.

    Comment by Nishi Kashyap | February 27, 2008

  31. My son is in high school and avid xBox360 gamer. Since Bill Gates started at a very young age (13) will you be limiting it only to college students? If so that is a shame as those in high school could hone their skills and passion which could cause others to become interested in the xBox rather than Sony’s system. Just my thoughts on the matter, thanks for listening.

    Comment by William Temple | March 4, 2008

  32. Just because your son plays the xbox 360 does not mean they will hone programming skills. High school would be a great place to give free software as well though. If they truly want to get the best programmers, starting programming classes in high school is the way to go.

    Comment by Bob Jones | March 10, 2008

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