Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mircosoft DreamSpark!

Starting last week, college students in 10 countries are able to get Microsoft's Visual Studio and several other programs for free as part of an effort called DreamSpark. Over the next year, Microsoft plans to offer the program worldwide for college and high school students. In addition to giving away its Visual Studio tools, Microsoft is also providing no-charge access to its Expression Web design tools and its XNA studio for developing Xbox 360 software.

Microsoft already provides discounted academic versions of its software, as well as a free "express" version of Visual Studio. Students can also get free copies of Windows Server and the developer version of the SQL Server database. There are a lot of possibilities that comes with this small list of products. Included in those initial 10 countries are the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, and Germany.Clearly, Microsoft has a couple of goals here. One is to get more students who have enough design or science aptitude to enter the software field. The other is to get them using Microsoft's tools early. "That next generation and future generations of technologists, they are vital to any industry leader like us," Joe Wilson, Microsoft's senior director of academic initiatives, said. Wilson said his goal is to be able five years from now to spot businesses that got their start because a student used Microsoft's tools for free. "I expect that to happen," Wilson said. "Maybe it's hundreds or thousands of companies." Bill gates have given an interview and a speecha t Stanford university, videos of which can be found on http://channel8.msdn.com/.

In my view, this can be an excellent oppertunity for students as well as a great deal for Micorsoft. Untill now, even after all the efforts that the company is doing, piracy rate of Microsoft Softwares in many countries was crossing leaps and bounds. Most of the users of these pirated software content were students as they needed these tools to successfully complete their course of study. Although there are express editions available of these software, why would someone use a crippled version when they can get the professional one for virtually no charge. Also when they got to work in industry, they'll have to work on these real tools not the crippled ones. So why not take the experience of the 'real thing'? Now, Not all of them were able to buy these, so they were pirating. And many of these 'pirates' almost never used these tools for commercial use. So now that these are being given away for free, students will more freely use these to implement their innovative ideas into working softwares. On the other hand, Microsoft besides getting praises from the industry, will also get higher profits because of the huge rise in number of Microsoft Technologies Professionals in the market. Also, by registering these copies, Microsoft can have a better estimate of its market presence.

To take benefit of this program, one needs to be a student of a regular course of study from a school, college or university. if you are an isci card holder, then also you are eligible for this program. For more details about isci card programs visit http://www.isic.org

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