Microsoft gives Free Developer Software for students
Microsoft is giving away, free of charge, development software that would normally cost about $3,300, a move that intensifies its competition with Adobe Systems Inc. and could challenge open source software’s popularity. The Redmond-based software maker said that it will let students download Visual Studio Professional Edition, a software development environment; Expression Studio, which includes graphic design and Web site and hybrid Web-desktop programming tools; and XNA Game Studio 2.0, a video game development program. The company will also give away SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition and Windows Server Standard Edition.
“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,” Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in a statement.
It’s not all altruistic, of course. Microsoft hopes that by giving students software for free, the students will be more likely to purchase the paid versions later.
In the beginning, DreamSpark will provide college students in 10 countries access to all this software, and Microsoft hopes to expand the program worldwide and to high school students by the end of 2008. Students will log into a site on Microsoft’s Channel 8 student-oriented Web site to get access.
The software will be available under an educational license, meaning that it isn’t licensed to use for business. However, it won’t stop working when students leave their institutions, and Joe Wilson, Microsoft’s senior director of academic initiatives for developer and platform evangelism, said in an interview he hopes students will use the software as a way to get their business careers started.
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