Microsoft Giving Away Visual Studio, SQL 2005, Expression to College Students
This morning, Microsoft Corp. announced that it will be giving away Visual
Studio 2005 and 2008, SQL Server 2005, Windows Server Standard Edition, XNA
Game Studio 2.0, and its Expression suite of products to college students worldwide
-- and eventually to high school students.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced the program, called DreamSpark, today on the company's Channel 8 site. The downloads will be available on the site here.
Currently, only 11 countries are eligible -- including the U.S., Canada, China
and several European countries -- but Microsoft said it will be expanding the
program to many more countries by the third quarter of this year. To determine
eligibility for the free software, "the system is linked to schools and
organizations around the world that can confirm student status."
"We want to do everything we can to equip a new generation of technology
leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to harness the magic of software
to improve lives, solve problems and catalyze economic growth," Gates said
in a prepared announcement about the program. "Microsoft DreamSpark provides
professional-level tools that we hope will inspire students to explore the power
of software and encourage them to forge the next wave of software-driven breakthroughs."
As for why the company chose the software it did for the program, Joe Wilson,
Microsoft's senior director of academic initiatives, described the rationale.
"We hand-picked the products that make up DreamSpark with the
current and future development of the IT industry in mind; so by design, the
offering straddles three of the industry's highest growth segments: development,
design and gaming," he said in a statement.