Microsoft’s efforts to attract young developers entered its latest, and biggest, stage this week with the announcement of the DreamSpark program.
Through DreamSpark, certified students can get free versions of the following products:
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
- Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
- SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
- Expression Studio
- XNA Game Studio 2.0
- XNA Creators Club Online
As the DreamSpark site indicates, thus far the program is open to residents of 11 countries; alphabetically, they are Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
DreamSpark represents a huge expansion of Microsoft’s free product push, aimed primarily at students but at more casual developers. The move began with the Visual Studio and SQL Server Express editions and had been extended with the Web mashup tool Popfly.