DreamSpark – No-Cost Software Access Program for Students


This is super exciting news! I've been telling students about Channel8 and today on Channel8, we launched an unprecedented No-Cost Software Access Program called "DreamSpark."

Microsoft DreamSpark ™ is a program that provides no-cost access to Microsoft designer and development tools for verified students around the world, to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. This program equips tomorrow’s developers with the professional tools to inspire and create today.

Today, Microsoft DreamSpark is available to university students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., the U.S., and right here in Canada. The program will expand in the next six months to college students in many more countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Microsoft DreamSpark will be expanded to include high school students by late 2008.  Upon launch, students with a valid ISIC (International Student ID Card) will be accepted.  These cards can be obtained at 132 ISIC offices across Canada. Students can find a nearby location at www.isic.org. We will be rolling out a number of other verification means over the next 12 months.

Check out the official news press: Microsoft DreamSpark Helps Ignite the Imaginations, Careers of Today’s Students

Tools that are included in the program are:

Microsoft developer tools. These professional-grade products provide a security-enhanced and reliable environment, enabling students to program everything from a cell phone to a robot or to create their own Web page. Students will also be able to invent compelling new gaming content and make their dream game a reality by porting their creations to their Xbox 360 console.

Microsoft designer tools. This ultra-versatile suite of tools will enable students to vividly bring their creative visions to life in vibrant new Web site designs and more effective digital content, including animation, imagery and photography.

Now you future designers out there can try out Expression tools for free and use them to work on your class design projects or your hobby projects.

Microsoft platform resources. The foundation for development and design platforms, these products deliver a security-enhanced and reliable environment, reliable and manageable environment for students to more quickly turn ideas into reality.

Some of you may be wondering how does DreamSpark differ from Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDN AA)?

MSDN AA is an important program where Microsoft works with universities to put Microsoft software in the hands of students registered in a science, technology, math and/or engineering program. It will continue in close cooperation with schools around the world. MSDN AA is a paid membership program for college and university departments that enables them to issue software to their students. DreamSpark will allow all university students in countries where the program is available to quickly download select developer and designer software directly from Microsoft, versus going through their university departments.

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