Microsoft is offering free developer and design software for students all around the world. Students can download professional-level Microsoft developer and design tools.

The downloads currently (as of this posting) listed are:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Expression Studio
  • xna Game Studio 2.0
  • xna Creators Club Online
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition

Other free products include:

  • Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Web 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft Visual J# 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft Virtual PC

In order to get this software from Microsoft at no charge, you first have to log into the website using your Windows live account, and if you don’t have one it’s easy and free to create one. You are then asked to establish or verify your student status and you have to do this verification once every 12 months. This process is built into this DreamSpark site itself. You need to be at least 18 years old or have otherwise reached the age of majority in the place (province, state or country) where you live, or if not, your parent or legal guardian must accept the Microsoft DreamSpark software license terms on your behalf, in order for you to download and use the software.

As of this posting, the countries listed were:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States.

If your school is on the list then the verification process is easy. If not, you have to go a step further and provide more information to attempt online verification. If that doesn’t work then you need to mail in your information such as current school ID to them for verification.The other thing to keep in mind is that the software being offered is only accessible via a download, and as you know these are not small programs, so you’re in luck if you have a fast internet connection. Considering that these are full editions, and not limited student editions, I think that if you’re a student or a parent of a student who is into computers and coding, it’s definitely worth the process to get the free downloads.

To access the download area, select your product and start the verification process:

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1 Comment

  1. Mary,
    You don’t need to be a student to download the software.

    Check it out:

    I downloaded VB 2008 Express!


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