As a follow-up on my post on Bizspark, Microsoft’s initiative to provide startups with free versions of their software, here is DreamSpark.
Basically, DreamSpark is the same thing as Bizspark but aimed at students all over the world. DreamSpark is simple, it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools at no charge. DreamSpark enables students to download and use Microsoft developer, designer, gaming tools, Windows Server 2008 and more. In order to access the softwares available on DreamSpark, students only need to verify their student status once every 12 months.
The full list of software that is available for free on DreamSpark’s site is:
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
- Expression Studio 2 (includes Web, Blend, Media and Design)
- SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition
- Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
- IT Academy Student Pass
- Robotics Developers Studio 2008
- SQL Server 2008 Express Edition
- Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition
- XNA Game Studio 2.0 (with 12-month Creators Club Student trial membership)
- Virtual PC 2007
The Microsoft developer, designer and gaming tools available on DreamSpark are NOT 30-day trial versions; they’re the complete and full professional grade versions.
There is a little problem however. If you’re living in Canada like me (and probably in other places too), not every university is participating in this program. Here is the list of the canadian’s universities that are participating as of today:
So, if you’re canadian and not a student of one of these universities, you can’t benefit from this program right now. However, i’m sure that Microsoft is working on integrating more universities into their program.
If you want to have your university added to this program, or if you are a administrator of a university that isn’t currently on Microsoft’s list, go to this page to get more information about enrolling.