Microsoft announced a program called DreamSpark recently. DreamSpark is a program to give over $2,000 worth of Microsoft development software to students free!
The free software available to students includes:
- Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- XNA Game Studio 2.0
- 12-month free membership in the XNA Creators Club
- Expression Studio, which includes Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design and Expression Media
- SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
- Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
- Sql Server Developer Edition
- Virtual PC 2007
- Visual Basic 2005
- Visual C++ 2005
- Visual C# 2005
- Visual J# 2005 and
- Visual Web Developer 2005
This is a clever ploy by Microsoft to get students used to full-featured, integrated, rich IDEs at an early age, however, I think they need to make this program available at an even earlier age.
By the time most programmers to-be enroll in a university they have already selected their favourite development platform and the free development tools available to pre-university students are the very Free and Open Source development environments that Microsoft are trying to kill off with this initiative.
For now, DreamSpark is being rolled out in 11 countries (United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium).
Anyone from Microsoft Ireland care to comment on when DreamSpark will be available in here?