Recently Microsoft launched a program called DreamSpark addressed to students from all over the world (though currently the program is available only in 10 countries) that allows them to used for free software created by Microsoft. This includes:
- development tools:
- Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- XNA Game Studio 2.0, 12-month free Academic membership in the XNA Creators Club
- design tools:
- Expression Studio (Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design, Expression Media)
- SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
- Windows Server Standard Edition
To take part in the program you must be at least 18 years old and be a student in one of the countries where it is available. You also have to have your student status verified each year. You can read more about the program on its home page. You can also watch a video with Bill Gates announcing the program.
Unfortunately, for Romanian students, the program is not yet available. If you want to read more about reasons and the programs available for Romanians read Todi Pruteanu’s blog.