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.



Comments (22)

  1. LyalinDotCom says:

    I am very happy to see Microsoft doing this, I think helping young people have all the options so they can make the best decisions and grow through first hand experiences is the way to go.

    I was reading this on Slashdot the other day and was just sickened by the amount of negative criticism and Microsoft Bashing. No matter what MS does people hate it :(.

  2. Bill says:

    I’m hardly what you could call a Microsoft evangelist, but I love that they’ve decided to help the academic community with this program.  As a student myself, it’s nice to see that the same company who provides me with reduced-cost operating systems and office programs has decided to do the same (only better) with their dev tools; as a computer science student, it means all the more to me.

    For once in my life, I can say "Kudos to Microsoft" and not feel like I’m joking.

  3. Mark Gordon says:

    Hi Soma . . .

    It would be a great idea to transform Visual Studio into a true rapid application environment by including a

    native data centric language similar to Visual FoxPro. Lets give these student easy access to the tools needed to  build reusable middle tier business objects instead of mingling data codes in the UI.

    Soma, sieze the moment to have your developers build web form ui controls with native 2 way data binding and a class browser that has the ability inherit UI controls without having to write unnecessary code.

    I have seen too many promises of .NET give way to the brutal reality of  just how .BLOATED this immature technology is. Our students deserve the same opportunity that Visual Basic and Visual FoxPro developers had. With the right planning and motivation, Yes We Can, Spark their dream.


  4. Ganesh says:

    This is good,I hope students make use of this.

    I remember I used to work on CTP’s and Express edition’s of VS and wished I had the full arsenal of VS.

  5. Hitesh Davey says:

    This is just a fantastic news!

    Many thanks to Mr.Bill Gates and Microsoft for extending their full support to students and…How!

    Here the moot point is every thing has a side effect. This offering from MS to student world over will encourge even more s/w piracy in the market with ease. How Microsoft is going to cope with this?

    Soma, May I request you to share your views on this?


    Hitesh Davey

  6. Eric Travers says:

    And what if you have a full time job, a family to provide for and can not attend school? I just laid out $1700 for a new computer running Vista, $40 on a C# book and another $30 on powershell.

    I don’t have the time OR money for school. Does this mean I don’t deserve a little help? Since I study on my own instead of going to an actual school I’m left empty handed.

  7. Paul Benard says:

    When MSFT quit VB 6 development my company cut back on VB developers and outsourced .NET programming to India.  If this is how you enable economic growth stop before we are all out of a job. Thanks M$FT for destroying my dream!

  8. Svend says:

    You blog is listed on dotbloat. I support the petition to continue support of Visual Basic 6 and Foxpro. Dont VB and VFP developers matter to your company?

  9. Ahmed Essawy says:


    unfortunately Sir, this is NOT available in my country( Egypt )..

    Currently the program is available to 11 countries ONLY including: Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    but They will be adding more countries throughout the year .

  10. Somasegar says:

    Hi Ahmed,

    We started with these 11 countries but fully expect to roll it out to the countries around the world, including Egypt, in the coming months.  Stay tuned and as soon as we have a definite time-frame when we can make this available for you and others in Egypt, we will provide that information.


  11. Somasegar says:

    Hi Hitesh,

    We are passionate about enabling today’s students to have easy access to technology so that they can use technology to help realize their potential in their chosen field of study.  As part of this, we want to make sure that students can use our software in a lawful way.  The DreamSpark program is a reaffirmation that we want to make access to technology available in a friction-free way to students.  We hope that people realize that this program is for students around the world, and isn’t in any way meant to encourage software piracy by others.


  12. Kishore says:

    Hi Soma,

    I’m from a research team at Infosys and am writing a series of posts making a case for DSM and the Software Factory approach. Was just trying to give a new angle to the whole idea of "software reusability" based on that.. would like to hear your views on that.  Here’s the link.. http://infosysblogs.com/microsoft/2008/03/a_refactorability_approach_to.html#more

    Some of my older posts in the series are here.. http://infosysblogs.com/microsoft/software_factory


  13. [原文发表地址] DreamSpark – an inspirational example [原文发表时间] Thursday, April 10, 2008 11:27 AM 几周前 , 我们公布了

  14. Ehsan Hafeez says:

    Nice Blogs… really very informative.

  15. Jim Albert says:

    DreamSpark is a GREAT initiative!  Are there any plans to expand the program to include high school students.  Lets face it, the goal is to get developers into Microsoft before they’re heavily into Java.  The Express versions are a start, but not for very long and SilverLight requiring VS 2008 Pro (and up) means that they’re not going in the SilverLight direction at all.

  16. Jim Albert says:

    Sorry…  Typo… SilverLight is currently supported in VS 2008 Standard (and up), just not Express.  The end result is the same.

  17. Somasegar says:

    Hi Jim,

    Our plan is to absolutely enable DreamSpark for high school students around the world.  Over the next 6 months, I expect us to start rolling out DreamSpark to high school students and it will happen in the various geographies in a phased manner.


  18. Publicación del inglés original : Viernes, 19 de diciembre de 2008 20:34 PST por Somasegar Coincidiendo

  19. Hi Dear.

    My Question is: DreamSpark could be available for independent users what not are updated with the market of Work?


  20. Chris Reiser says:

    DreamSpark is definitely not designed for parents who are interested in discovering whether their child(ren)s school is currently enrolled.

    I would like to be able to find this information without having to go to the school to ask.  My 13 year old step-son could probably give the designers of the site a few tips (seriously, I’m not trying to be obnoxious).  More information needs to be available at all levels.

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