Friday December 5, 2008

Free Software with Microsoft DreamSpark

Free Software with Microsoft DreamSpark

by SoftwareGuru
Friday 5th December 2008 10:08 GMT

Software4Students, alongside our sister site Sam UK, strives to do everything we can for students and their families as well as schools and charities in relation to their ICT needs.

As an official Microsoft partner, we are pleased to bring the DreamSpark campaign to your attention.

DreamSpark is the name given to a collection of free design software put together by Microsoft. It includes the likes of Expression Studio 2, Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, XNA Game Studio 2.0 and much more! 

Since it launched earlier this year, only 3rd level students were eligible.

However, all secondary schools in the UK will be eligible by January 1st 2009.

Over the next few months our Software4Students YouTube channel will feature DreamSpark related clips so keep an eye out for that.

Bill Gates discusses DreamSpark

More About DreamSpark

DreamSpark gives students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on your career.

The website should answer most of your questions with its comprehensive FAQs.

ICT departments in UK secondary schools are encouraged to contact Microsoft using this page for more information as to how they can sign up for this free software.

We'll post more details here as soon as we have them.
What's The Catch?

Quite simply, there isn't one! It won't be long before any 2nd or 3rd level student in the UK can access all of the free software available through the DreamSpark program.

In the current economic climate, a company as large as Microsoft is in a position to enhance education and student learning. Once ICT departments learn of this opportunity it is hoped that many will take up the offer.

Naturally, there are concerns within the education industry about interoperability and not being seen to favour any one software company over another.

To succeed in the future, it is important that a company like Microsoft acknowledges these issues and has enough confidence in it's own products that it can encourage learning using a variety of software.

For example, the latest version of Office for Mac was designed by experienced Apple Mac users.

Therefore, a future lead designer on a Halo game or Expression Design product could be an Adobe software fan. Or perhaps an open source guru will spearhead a fantastic version of Microsoft Word.

So no matter what software you're a fan of, it's always best to learn everything you can about other possibilities.

Microsoft DreamSpark is such an opportunity and we strongly encourage all students to find out more and start discovering!