Free software from Microsoft! Words are too good to be true, no mate. Microsoft is indeed giving free software to students in their website, Dreamspark. Dreamspark is a program setup by Microsoft to provide design software and tools to students at no charge. Bill Gates, the then chairman of Microsoft announced this program on February 19, 2008 during a speech at Stanford University.
How Dreamspark works?
To be able to download software from Dreamspark one has to be student and should be able to prove that. You would need a students identity card. If you educational institute is not listed with dreams park then you need ask your institution to send a request to add it. Also, Microsoft used Shibboleth (an open source authentication software).
Here you will mainly get design and development tool like Visual Studio, Expression Studio, Visual Basic etc. However, you will not receive Microsoft’s flagship products like Windows OS, Office etc. Microsoft says such products do not enhance students knowledge much. But l think it is just a business tactics. In the market there are many design and development software from competitors. Moreover, there are good and stable open source software which has kind of nailed Microsoft products. So what should be the marketing strategy for Microsoft? Slash price, ad blitz …. huh? Giving free was never an option, as they are in business to make profit. Well, they have done even better. They have decided to give it free to them who matters the most. You are right, if you have guessed, students. Please note that students will be more comfortable using those software, which have used earlier. So these students enter their professional phase then they will prefer Microsoft products, as they will have proficiency in such products.
Check the Microsoft Student page on Facebook.