First, off, if you are a student taking Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM), and your school isn’t a member of MSDNAA, then you are losing out.  Through MSDNAA, your school has access for the students in the STEM classes have access to most of the products made by Microsoft.  There are few exceptions: MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint are the most noticeable, the XBox Games made by Microsoft are missing as well.

This means that there are a BUNCH of products that you can get for NO COST to you as a student in the STEM disciplines:

Visual Studio Ultimate, the version on MSDNAA is the FULL version, that you get to keep when you get out of school or the class you are in, link: MSRP Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate at: , when you are out in the big world away from school, this is the price you would pay for Visual Studio Ultimate, or something close to it.

Expression Suite, the version on MSDNAA is a FULL version that you keep when you complete class, link to MSRP pricing.

Windows 7 Professional link to MSRP pricing

Visio 2010, MS Project 2010, MS Publisher are also included in the package available to the STEM students, as well as Sharepoint Server, Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange, and so forth.  Just keep in mind that if you try to use Sharepoint, or Exchange, you need at least 16 gigabytes of RAM.

Now with all of that, why should you care about Visual Studio Ultimate?  That will be covered over the next few blogs, but initially Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate offers a full range of design tools.  And if you have Visio 2010 on your system, then it is even better!

Here are some of the advantages of VS Ultimate?  For the developer audience the reasons for purchasing Visual Studio Ultimate are:

  • Offers a comprehensive suite of application lifecycle management tools for teams to ensure quality results from design to deployment
  • Simplifies solution development, lowering risk and increasing return, while providing tools for every stage of the lifecycle, from design and development through test and deployment
  • Helps you deliver business results using productive, predictable, customizable processes while increasing transparency and traceability throughout the lifecycle with detailed analytics
  • Bring your vision to life by targeting an increasing number of platforms and technologies, including cloud and parallel computing
  • Realize increased team productivity by utilizing advanced collaboration features and use integrated testing and debugging tools to find and fix bugs quickly and easily
  • Provides an integrated environment where developers can use existing skills to model, code, debug, test, and deploy a growing number of application types
  • Simplifies common tasks and helps all team members explore the depth of the platform and partner community

However, for you as a student, what are the reasons.  That is the purpose of this blog for 2010-2011.