Wednesday, February 20, 2008
How do you stay the dominant software company in the world? In part, you have to get at users when they're young so they become so used to using your software that they'll keep using it when they get jobs.
Microsoft is doing just this with its DreamSpark program, which will let college students in 11 countries (US, UK, Canada, China, etc.) download free copies of professional Microsoft software.
The DreamSpark program will make available for download tools like Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, SQL Server 2005 Developer's Edition, Windows Server 2003, and Microsoft Expression Studio.
If you're a student, you'll need to be at a university that has signed up to be an Identity Provider so Microsoft can verify that you're enrolled. This might sound a little scary, but they claim that only a "True/False" response is sent to Microsoft when you look into your student account, not personal student information or passwords.
An added catch is that you need to re-verify student status every 12 months to keep the software functional.