DreamSpark - Students get your FREE software here


Microsoft is Jump Starting the student developer with an offering of FREE developer tools. Just for being a student, you get professional-level developer and design tools as a download, at no-charge and with no strings attached.  The DreamSpark offering of software compliments MSDNAA program and MSDN AA program continues in its current form.

There has been a significant drop in Computer Science and engineering student enrollments in the US universities. A big part of this drop is the perception that the software jobs will become scarce in the US. While the overall software and technology jobs in US do not reflect this belief, there is evidence of a growing demand for skilled professional in the tech industry. At attempt to bridge this disconnect is to enable the students to be educated in computer science but also be skilled in the technologies and tools to the degree that the industry needs. By providing FREE access to Microsoft's industry leading professional toolset, student snow have a chance to supplement their college education with skills-development on the technologies and tools relevant for obtaining those high-paying software jobs.

The hope is as brightest energetic students take-up computer and software education and gain skills in software, they can drive huge advances in the computer technology in the next decades. Additionally technology skills and expertise are becoming increasing integral to almost every discipline, every profession and every job and students in any major can differentiate themselves by demonstrating their skills to potential employers.

What software is available in DreamSpark?

  1. Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  2. Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  3. Expression Studio, including Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design, Expression Media
  4. SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  5. Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
  6. XNA Game Studio 2.0 with 12 month free membership to XNA Creators Club

Where can I get DreamSpark software?

While the DreamSpark is a world-wide offering and is available to all currently enrolled students, the process of verifying student status has been a challenge. Today enrolled and verifiable  students in United States, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium can download software from https://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/ . As the student verification system is built out around the world, the students from around the world will be able to et these software tools within a year. High School students will also be eventually included in this offering.

See Bill Gates talk about how he had to get access to software as a student at  http://channel8.msdn.com/.

How do I get verified as a student in US?

All Higher education students in US go through a quick validation of their student status using one of the following existing identity federations to verify their student identity. Students get to choose the identity provider that confirms their student status (i.e. their school, organization or other academic-group)

  1. InCommon Federation , with verification provided for students at institutions who are members of InCommon, using SAML-based Shibboleth - an open identity standard
  2. International Student Identification Card (ISIC) - Students who have this card have a simple access to the DreamSpark offerings
  3. JourneyEd - a third-party student status verification system that uses the national Student Clearing house and some direct to university connections to validate students and in the process facilitates a standard check-out with DreamSpark in the shopping cart.

While having a Windows Live ID is a requirement in all 3 scenarios of student verification, and enables student access to DreamSpark software offerings for a 12-month period, at no time will Microsoft collect any student information from third-party identity providers, other than the binary notification of whether a person is a student or not. The credentials students provide to the verification source of their choice are not viewed or tracked by Microsoft.

Support and More Information:  If you have a problem downloading or accessing the DreamSpark software, get DreamSpark Technical Support by clicking on the Contact Us link located in the navigation panel and completing the inquiry form for technical support   OR  visit the Student Union Forum on Channel 8 to get answers from the student community.

Students can find out more information about the program at  https://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/FAQ/Students.aspx  and Administrators at https://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/FAQ/UniversityAdministrators.aspx




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