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Microsoft DreamSpark Ignites Interest

Lots of free, high-quality software for students

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Around 35 million college students in 11 different countries may have cause to say "thank you" to Microsoft; through a new program called DreamSpark, they’ve gained free access to professional-grade development and design software.

Although it’s not a great read, the full list follows: Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, XNA Game Studio 2.0, a 12-month free Academic membership in the XNA Creators Club, Expression Studio, SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition, and Windows Server Standard Edition.

Microsoft DreamSpark Ignites Interest

Impressive, eh?  And the 35 million students should only have to navigate through a few screens to get at this software.  Also, Microsoft plans to expand DreamSpark in coming months, bringing it to high schools and different nations; the corporation expects that as many as a billion people might be reached in the end.

Now, this probably isn’t a selfless act; students are almost certainly supposed to use and become comfortable with Microsoft’s software, and then want nothing else for the rest of their professional lives.  But students should be more than capable of making those choices for themselves, and no one’s being forced to use the free programs.

Finally, in case anyone’s feeling edgy for another reason, we can report that Microsoft’s stock has gone (slightly) up since the program was announced; investors don’t seem to object to the DreamSpark giveaway.

Microsoft DreamSpark Ignites Interest
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