Thursday, February 28, 2008

Free (as in free beer) Software from Microsoft DreamSpark

While gathering materials for an upcoming article on deeply discounted computer software for (most of) the general public I came upon an interesting link to a new and unknown to me at least Microsoft Software Offer to College / Higher Education Students.

The offer is part of the recent Microsoft DreamSpark initiative which can be summarized in the following statement from the official website:
“Microsoft DreamSpark enables students to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge.

I like “No Charge”. But what are you actually getting?
Currently only the following Microsoft Software is available for free:
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Expression Studio (consists of Expression Web, Blend, Design and Media)
Other free software developing tools (their Express Editions) are also listed for free download, but they are available directly from Microsoft’s website to anyone anyway, so I won’t count them as a part of this special offer.

The retail price of these software packages is anywhere from
$41.99to $689.99at, so getting them for free from the DreamSpark website will be worth it.

What is the process to obtain these applications for free?

Go to the official download website:

Sign in with your Windows Live ID
Get verified as a College or Higher Education Student
Download the ISO image
Burn it to a CD / DVD and...

Enjoy your Free Software!

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