Hello all, I wanted to help out this community a little by telling you about a free service provided by Microsoft, known as Microsoft DreamSpark. The basic idea of the program is to allow students utilize professional, full version, Microsoft products free of charge. It’s pretty easy to set up, all you need is your grade card.
So what all can you get? – A LOT
• Visual Studio 2008 Pro Edition
• Visual Studio 2005 Pro Edition
• Expression Studio 2
• Windows Server 2008
• Windows Server 2003
• Xna Game Studio 2.0 (year subscription)
• MS IT Academy Student Pass (Free training)
• SQL Server 2008 (Developer)
I enjoy designing websites and web graphics, and I happen to fall in love with Expression Studio. Well studio 2 quickly came out, and now it’s completely free! You can build web pages, tweek/create graphics, render silver light applications and other WPF applications using Expression Blend. Expression Studio directly competes with what used to be Macromedia (now adobe) Flash, Fireworks, Dreamweaver set.
Using visual studio and xna, you can create rich game experiences basically free. You can develop for windows for free anyway, normally you have to pay a yearly subscription to develop for the Xbox 360- but you get a year free with dream spark (I believe it’s a $100 value). Of course you can do many other neat things with Visual Studio!
Windows Server is also a great freebie, one of the most robust OS’s out there. I currently use it to webhost and as a local host for media, there’s a lot you can do with it so start learning now!
If you plan on becoming MS certified, the Academy Free Training pass will help you out, supposedly has 22 hours of training- I have not tried it yet but am excited to.
Enough rambling- DreamSpark is to get you to learn MS products, and I suggest that you do since they are free. It costs nothing, and you can get started here: https://www.dreamspark.com/default.aspx
Some student verification- a grade card works fine
A Microsoft passport (such as windows live, hotmail, xbox, and MS service really)
And of course you need a windows OS to run the stuff, that’s it!
**Note these are not trial versions
, only the xna and training service are timed base, have fun with it!
Contact me here if you need any help! (I’m not in any way related to Microsoft, I just love this program)