We’ve had some changes in the DreamSpark program lately and the web site feels all different to me. So what I decided to do was to step though the process of first signing up for DreamSpark for students with Activations codes such as you get in a high school Dream Spark program of if you get a code from someone at Microsoft. The first step is easy – head over to http://www.dreamspark.com and find the link (highlighted in yellow below) for how Dream Spark works for students.
Clicking on that link gets you to this page where you find the sign up link (circled in red).
You will be asked to enter account information for your new DreamSpark account. Use the email address for a Windows Live ID (You can create one for free if you don’t already have one) Note that there are several options for verification. The Institution/School and ISIC Card options are for university students. If you are at a university and have a EDU email address you can use one of them. For most high school students we’ll be using the Activation code.
Pick a good password. The system wants letters, numbers and special characters so give it some thought. After this you will get an email to validate your address. Be sure and check the email account you used and validate the address before going further.
Now jump over to the AppHub at http://create.msdn.com/en-US/ and sign up. Be sure to use the exact same Windows Live ID that you signed up to Dream Spark with. Why? Because AppHub is going to verify that you are a student who is allowed to register phones and submit apps to the marketplace for free. Free is good. You will get to a page like this one below. Be sure to select the right country and that you are a student. Also accept the terms and conditions.
Once you accept the system will attempt to verify you with Dream Spark. Assuming you validated your email and used the same Windows Live ID for both DreamSpark and the AppHub you should get the next screen to enter you personal details.
Be use to answer this all accurately. You may want to get paid for your software on the market place some day.
Next you pick an avatar and a gamer tag. The gamer tag is used for the Xbox market place and if you have an existing gamer tag you should use that. If not now you can create a new one.
The activation registration will be sending your email another activation link. Yeah again. Just trying to make sure people are using real working email accounts.
Once you verify your email address you will get this screen and know that your account is all set up.
Now if you have a Windows Phone (and if you don’t go get one!) you can register it as a developer phone for free. This will let you test your apps on the real phone and not just on the emulator. The instructions for this are pretty clear at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg588378(v=VS.92).aspx Just scroll down to Registering Your Phone to Unlock It for Development
Dang. Thank you for reminding me. I have to fix my DreamSpark account. It won't take any of my possible Windows Live credentials. And by the way, the changes to the site were brought on by what I think was a rather fierce battle I fought with their customer service to get the site more accessible for blind and visually impaired users (which thankfully, it is!).