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Microsoft gives students access to technical software
Posted on 19-Feb-2008 20:18. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates will announce a software giveaway that will ultimately provide millions of college and high school students around the world with access to the latest Microsoft developer and designer tools at no charge.

The Microsoft DreamSpark student program makes available, at no charge, a broad range of development and design software for download. The program is now available to more than 35 million college students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.

Broad global coverage, as well as an expansion of the program to high school students around the world, potentially reaching up to 1 billion students worldwide, will continue throughout the next year. Gates will share details with students and faculty at Stanford University as part of a U.S. and Canada college tour that kicks off today.

“We want to do everything we can to equip a new generation of technology leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to harness the magic of software to improve lives, solve problems and catalyze economic growth,” Gates said. “Microsoft DreamSpark provides professional-level tools that we hope will inspire students to explore the power of software and encourage them to forge the next wave of software-driven breakthroughs.”

Microsoft DreamSpark is available to all students whose studies touch on technology, design, math, science and engineering. The following software will be available to accredited students:

• Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
• Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
• XNA Game Studio 2.0
• 12-month free Academic membership in the XNA Creators Club

• Expression Web
• Expression Blend
• Expression Design
• Expression Media

• SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
• Windows Server, Standard Edition

In the next six months, the company expects to expand Microsoft DreamSpark to college students in Australia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Japan, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and many more countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe, as well as to high school students by the third quarter of 2008.

Microsoft is working with academic institutions, governments and student organizations around the world, such as the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) Association, to ensure the necessary local student identity-verification technology infrastructure exists to bring Microsoft DreamSpark to all students in markets around the world. The program will be expanded as fast as this community-based effort with government and organizations can be connected at a local level in new countries.

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