Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Students Can Get Microsoft Software Free

Being a student is often just as challenging for your wallet as it is for your mind. Different colleges require different, advanced toolsets. Each software suite could cost you a small fortune. If not supplied in volume licensing by your school or college grant, you will be building up some serious debt.

Luckily, most of the software giants like to give their programs to you without any charge.  It’s a simple matter of  investing in the future. If you’re a student, read on to find out just what you need to do to get your hands on some very cool software!

The MSDNAA is a Microsoft program in which most major high schools and universities around the world are enrolled. The institutions pay an annual fee, in exchange for which the appropriate (probably not if you’re studying dance) departments can download Microsoft freebies. These may include:

  • Windows Server
  • Windows 7
  • Visio
  • Visual Studio
  • .NET Enterprise servers
  • MSDN Library
  • Microsoft Project
  • Visual Studio
  • Expression (Web, Blend, Design, Media)
  • SQL Server
  • Exchange Server

For more information, look for the above certificate on the website of your teaching institution, or perform a Google search for “institution name MSDNAA” (without quotes).

Click this link to visit the MSDN Academic Alliance Home Page.

Couldn’t find any link between MSDNAA and your teaching institution? Not to worry, there’s another way to apply for free Microsoft software for students. This program is called Microsoft DreamSpark and it invests in high school and college students around the world under the motto “Dream today, create tomorrow“.

A list of the software available includes:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Professional / Express
  • Windows Server 2008 / 2008R2 Standard
  • Windows Phone
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition / 2005
  • Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
  • SQL Server 2008 Developer / Express
  • XNA Game Studio 3.1
  • Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3
  • Windows Internet Explorer 9
  • Microsoft Virtual PC
  • Windows MultiPoint Mouse SDK
  • Windows Embedded CE 6.0
  • Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual C# 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition
  • Windows Server 2003

You can sign up in the left sidebar of the Microsoft DreamSpark website. There are three ways of getting verified. The first way is to get an access code from a local representative (i.e. applied for by your teacher) and enter it online. Second is if you have an ISIC international students card. The third way is to manually select your school from an incredibly long list of verified colleges.

If you still weren’t able to get verified, take a look at this page. It details a number of alternative ways to apply for DreamSpark, depending on the country.

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