IEEE and ACM availability of Windows 7 from MSDNAA

The MSDN Academic Alliance program was established seven years ago as a membership service to provide access to MS platform and development tools to STEM departments at educational institutions throughout the world. In 2008, Microsoft extended availability of MSDN AA to organizations such as IEEE and ACM whose mission was to support the educational and professional development of students in technical disciplines.

The release of Windows 7 through these subscriptions triggered an unanticipated situation that put the program at risk: We saw signs that non-students were joining ACM and IEEE as student members solely to obtain Windows 7 through MSDN AA. This infringed on the intent of the program and the conditions of the MSDN AA license. As a result, we decided to remove Windows 7 from the association MSDN AA memberships while we evaluate approaches to ensure that the offering is reaching only the target audience: students and educators. While we expect to have a final position on the matter resolved in the near future, we cannot guarantee that Windows 7 will be available through this associations due to the complexity of student enrollment verification. We recommend the technical students and educators use their institutional and department MSDN AA subscription to obtain Windows 7. Find your department’s MSDNAA availability at (Once you find your school/department, click on the ‘Get Software’ link)

Background: The MSDN Academic Alliance program was established seven years ago as a membership service to provide access to MS platform and development tools to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) departments at educational institutions throughout the world. Through the program, 500+ professional-level Microsoft developer and design software products and tools are available to students, faculty and labs in these departments with a license for teaching/learning and research (non-commercial) purposes.

MSDN AA is available at over 20,000 departments world-wide and over 5000 departments in US.  All of these institutions do include Windows 7 professional as part of their MSDNAA membership and are making Windows 7 Pro available to students at no cost. Please contact your school/department to encourage them to use MSDNAA and make Windows 7 available to all eligible students.

If your school/department does not have MSDN AA (i.e. not listed at, encourage them to sign-up for MSDNAA membership at

If your school/department has MSDNAA, check if Windows 7 Professional edition is available for student download - This post also lists what the MSDNAA admin at your department has to do to make Windows 7 available to students via ELMS download center.

If you have access to Windows 7 from MSDNAA and want information on downloading and installing it, refer to

If you still have questions about MSDNAA availability of Windows 7 Professional at your school/department, please contact or call 866-643-9421


Responding to other questions raised:

  • Windows 7 Professional is included in MSDNAA for student distribution – this is the final version and not RC. If you are seeing RC in your MSDNAA- ELMS, contact your administrator to get them to make Windows 7 Pro available to students. This is also the full version and not an upgrade offer, so you can install it on a clean machine, by burning the ISO image onto a DVD (image is too big for a CD).
  • Windows 7 Enterprise is included in MSDNAA for lab installs and is not intended for student distribution. (I have passed along the student concerns about this to the MSDNAA program owners at Microsoft and will make a post when a decision is made)
  • Students and Faculty in the STEM (science, engineering, Technology, math) departments are eligible for Windows 7 and all 500+ of MSDNAA software products and tools.
  • By default each eligible student (and faculty) gets one license key to install any MSDNAA software (including Windows 7) on one PC. MSDNAA does not restrict a student to only one license key and provides your local department Administrator with the ability to distribute additional license keys, at their discretion – contact your admin if you have another PC you want to install MSDNAA software on.
  • If you are not a STEM student, you can still download MS design and development tools at no cost at, although this does not include Windows 7.