I am a big believer in enabling easy access to technology for students so that they have the necessary tools and training as they get ready to be the next generation leaders in the world.

I’m very excited about a program that we just announced, Microsoft DreamSpark, that makes professional-level developer and design tools available to students around the world at no charge, to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. This program equips tomorrow’s leaders with the professional tools to inspire and create today.

The software that is included in this program includes Microsoft Developer tools such as Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, and XNA Game Studio 2.0. It also includes our tools targeted at Designers with the full Expression Studio. And lastly, it includes our platform resources including SQL Server 2005 and Windows Server, providing a security-enhanced and reliable environment for students to more quickly turn ideas into reality.

Technology has the power to transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and economic growth for everyone. Microsoft DreamSpark is just another way of helping this next generation of young leaders seize the opportunity to change the world.

If you are a student, I encourage you to take advantage of this program. Visit Channel8 for more information and to access these tools.