Tuesday, April 08, 2008

DreamSpark, Free MS Software for Students

I know that this is really late to talk about this Microsoft DreamSpark program. It was officially launched by Bill Gates quite a while back at the end of Feb '08. It is a program through which students around the world get access to Microsoft's professional-level developer and design tools at no charge.

This will give students a breakthrough in technology. Moreover, being able to use a professional tool is always an advantage to budding developers. By providing these tools free, MS is giving students a never before heard of opportunity to be exposed to exactly the same tool set that professionals use.

It is worthwhile to mention that MS has been giving away free tools to students for quite sometime now. They have various programs under which this is done.

  1. Express editions of Visual Studio compilers and IDEs have proved indispensable for hobbyists, casual developers and students. It is a great way to get introduced to the development platform provided by Microsoft.

  2. MSDN Academic Alliance is yet another program which gives an institution to distribute the entire line of MS products (barring just a handful) to all its pupils and use it for academic purposes.The students are encouraged to even install it in their home PCs.

  3. Participants of this year's Imagine Cup have also got free download access to professional editions of Visual Studio, Source Safe, Vista Business Edition and some more softwares at absolutely no cost.

However the DreamSpark program is still in a nascent stage and it is initially only being offered to students from US, UK, Canada, China and a couple of European countries. It is supposed to be implemented in stages and I am sure we will soon see India on that list.


  1. Thank you so much for telling me this, I didn't know this option was available and now I'm downloading VS2008!

    All the best!


  2. Glad to be of help Jonas. Sadly, the program still isn't launched in India ... maybe, someday I'll be able to tell this to my fellow pupils.


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