Microsoft DreamSpark – Free software development tools for students

On Live in Europe, Brian Groth reported students can get free software development tools:

Over on Channel 8, the video blog for students, Bill Gates just announced free software for students in a program called DreamSpark.


DreamSpark is simple, it’s all about giving 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.

Available software:

  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0
  • 12-month free membership in the XNA Creators Club
  • Expression Studio (Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design and Expression Media)
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
  • SQL Server Developer Edition
  • Virtual PC 2007
  • Visual Basic 2005
  • Visual C++ 2005
  • Visual C# 2005
  • Visual J# 2005
  • Visual Web Developer 2005


At the moment it’s available to students in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium. More countries will be added to the list throughout the year.

In order to get this software from Microsoft at no charge, you will be asked to establish or verify your student status once every 12 months. This process is built into the DreamSpark site itself. Verification of valid student status will enable students from around the globe to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge. Note: You must 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.

After you setup Microsoft’s latest and greatest software development and design tools, please take a look at the Windows Live APIs and controls so you can start building your own great mashups and solutions based on Windows Live.

Great tip Brian, thanks. If I were a student I’d surely check out DreamSpark!