Free MS Software for Students

In the Valentine’s Day spirit, Microsoft is now showing ‘the love’ to students with free full-featured versions of the following software suites:

  • Expressions Studio
  • Visual Studio 2008 Pro Edition (support for all languages and web development)
  • Windows Server 2003 – Standard Edition
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0

This is being done under the DreamSpark initiative.

To download software:
1) Go to:
2) Select the software to download.
3) Sign into Windows Live ID or register for a Live account.
4) Verify your UCSD student status by selecting region and university (UCSD is on the North America list).
5) This will direct you to Single Sign-On (Tritonlink password) for UCSD. Select “Student Sign-In”.
6) Enter PID and PAC/Password
7) You will be directed to a success/fail page where you can then start a download and key generation.

If you experience trouble, make sure to log out of Tritonlink, restart your browser and repeat the steps above.


2 thoughts on “Free MS Software for Students

  1. I am trying to think, what exactly is their businesss strategy behind this? After all, Microsoft is not exactly the type of company that gives out freebies, definitely not without any strings attached. Is is something like they have some snazzy upgrades they are relying on, so that once people get really comfortable with these, they would prefer to splurge on those upgrades, rather than shifting to a new software and starting afresh?

  2. The Microsoft business strategy is quite simple. “Get’em hooked while their noobs!”.

    Okay so this may make you cringe and feel like its big tobacco all over again, but is it really an “insidious ploy”?

    I’m not a Microsoft evangelist, Steve Jobs groupie or even a Googleite (followers of all that is branded by Google), but I am a student first and foremost. I’m a Computer Science major here at UCSD and I’ve learned that you have to be flexible to whatever your course, future employer, or your next Programming project demands. If Visual Studio (VS) will get the job done then great, or if the code has to be in Java and Sun’s Java Studio helps shave hours of the development time, them who am I to tell someone Visual Studio is the only way to go. What turned me away from Microsoft up until recently is the Student price for developer tools like VS. That all started to change back in 2005 when the Microsoft released VS in free sub divided components with the label “Express”. You could just go on to the VS downloads website and get a copy of Visual C/C++ Express or Visual Web Developer Express for FREE!. So is the move to make the VS Pro version free to students a great leap? Not in my opinion. Shoot you could already get a 90-day free trial of the Pro version.

    I think Microsoft is trying to cater more to the the game modders, amateur web developers, and student programmers in the world. Moving to user created content is a recent trend in the Software industry and its been a boon to the gaming sector when users create unique levels, skins, or scenarios which extend the shelf life of a company’s product. Counter-Strike and The Sims are perfect examples of how user created content keeps a game fun and fresh.

    This is also a direct attempt to compete with the more diversified and massive Adobe Systems (makers of Photoshop and Dreamweaver), since its acquisition of Macromedia back in 2005. My claim is not too far off from the truth of the matter when you look at the recent release of Silverlight 1.0. For those of you out there not familiar with Silverlight you can think of it as something like Adobe’s Flash in combination with Web 2.0 application functionality. A Wiki search will give more specifics.Once again Silverlight hopes to let users make rich and interactive content for their home grown sites or for the corporate customer it means capturing more eye balls on your site.

    So is Microsoft “evil” and does this free software confirm what we’ve all been thinking? Well as long as there are the Apple, Adobe, and Google’s out their making Microsoft listen to its customers and rethink the way it does business, then we aren’t all doomed. I also think this offer is a good side affect from the anti-trust smack down MS got a few years ago. Microsoft is competing and innovating, that must be a good thing for all of us.

    ~ Justin Allen ~
    ACS/ResNet Helpdesk Tech

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