Microsoft System Centre 2012 cloud and datacentre solutions provide a common management toolset for your private and public cloud applications and services, and help you deliver IT as a Service to your institution.
A core component of this solution, Microsoft System Centre Virtual Machine Manger 2012, helps you mange virtualised and cloud environments by:
Learn more at www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/vmm2012
Additionally, for a more comprehensive overview of System Centre 2012, view/download our brochure below.
“We believe that the saving by deploying Microsoft Lync 2010 instead of buying a new PABX will be around £2 million over 5 years” says, Adrian Wells, Assistant Director of IT Infrastructure, The Open University.
Check out the video below to learn more about the project and the benefits that Lync 2010 offers The Open University.
Things are changing very rapidly in the way that ICT services can be delivered and used in schools. You may have functions in your school that span across traditional, private and public cloud computing environments - Microsoft provides common management (with System Center), identity (with Active Directory), virtualisation (Hyper-V) and development tools (Visual Studio, .NET) that work across private and public cloud environments.
Using System Center App Controller 2012, you are empowered with a “single pane of glass” to manage and run applications across private and public cloud environments, offering full visibility and control to deploy, manage, and consume applications.
There are a large range of cloud-based services and traditional software available, from productivity to business apps to platform:
We are the only provider offering a commercial SaaS offering (Office 365), a public cloud computing platform (Windows Azure Platform) and a private cloud solution that works with both of them. Office 365 features the applications customers are familiar with like Exchange email and SharePoint collaboration, delivered through Microsoft‘s cloud. Windows Azure is our cloud computing platform, which enables customers to build their own applications and IT operations in a secure, scalable way in the cloud. These cloud services require no large up-front expense, no long term commitment, and enable you to pay only for the resources you use. You can choose to build your own private cloud, use a public cloud service or a combination of the two.
For more about private cloud you can view and download our Microsoft Private Cloud Whitepaper below:
With any luck we will soon be into summer, when we can (normally!) rely on good weather conditions for travel into school and work. But winter 2012 again saw more extreme weather conditions. These continued to increase school closure days and education institutions suffered the effects from unforeseen absences. As well as the snowy conditions stopping teachers, staff and students getting to schools, there are also other factors that can stall learning and the running of education institutions. According to the department of education, between autumn 2010 and spring 2011, 61% of student’s absences were due to illness. To add to this 2,700,000 teaching days each year are lost through sickness.
The great thing is, there is still a way for education staff and students to communicate even if they are absent from their school, college or university. Microsoft Lync 2010 is a communication solution where you can connect anywhere, anytime. It’s a unified communication client which includes instant messaging, meetings and voice options. With management possible from all devices including PC, Mac, browser, tablets, mobile and desk phones, it means increased access and availability when students and staff are using Lync.
Lync works with SharePoint, Outlook and other office applications, so it allows students and education staff to click from within applications that they routinely use. You can also collaborate more effectively with built-in application sharing, so assignments and documents can be shared between students, staff and peers.
Interaction is easily achieved, with whole-classes and teachers being able to communicate remotely, also making distance learning easy. Students and educators can communicate at any time from any location, so flexible learning is possible. Users can choose when to communicate with controlled availability.
Here’s a summary of how your education institution can benefit from using Lync:
Connect with the right people fast
Find the right teacher, student, administrator, or staff person, and make richer connections, with new enhanced presence features, including pictures and locations.
Choose how you want to collaborate on projects
Collaborate your way, using desktop and application sharing, PowerPoint uploads, or rich whiteboarding, including the ability to copy and paste images.
Schedule and join meetings with a single click
Need to meet with other educators or students? Schedule a parent-teacher conference or staff meeting? Schedule and join meetings with a single click in Microsoft Outlook or in the meeting reminder.
Consolidate management tasks in one location
Dramatically simplify navigation with the new Silverlight-based, scenario-driven unified graphical management tool. Improve the security of your communication system using role-based Access Control (RBAC) with built-in and user-defined roles.
Extend and adapt Lync to your school’s changing needs
Embed Communicator UI elements in Word and other applications, and enhance collaboration by enabling educators and students to launch PowerPoint or other applications right from Communicator. Extend Lync access to all unified communications-enabled services from smartphones, and deliver advanced speech technology in 26 languages.
So what is DreamSpark? You may have seen a selection of DreamSpark related content on the blog throughout the week. In the event that you missed them, here are a couple of slides on Slideshare to give you the basics.
If you are after a more detailed overview of the programme, this is the blog post for you. Here goes in more detail!
DreamSpark is the first step for students, educators and institutions to make learning software development from the basics eg KODU, to full on App development with Visual Studio more motivating, relevant, and engaging for today’s students by providing no cost access to professional-level development, design, and gaming software.
DreamSpark is simple; it's all about giving them our professional-level developer and designer tools at no charge so they can chase their dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on your career.
DreamSpark gives Students the chance to develop world class software, web applications, cool and creative designs as well as amazing games. Microsoft believes that students can do amazing things if they only have the right tools. Check out the DreamSpark getting started-guide on Slideshare.
DreamSpark is about giving educators no cost access to the same professional-level developer, designer and gaming software so you can reach, motivate, and ensure students achieve their greatest potential. DreamSpark gives you the software and resources to ensure classrooms always have the latest technologies to challenge, motivate, and keep students engaged in new ways. Plus DreamSpark Premium has a few more products in it!
Learning must be relevant, exciting, and engaging. DreamSpark is aligned with universities, associations, and employers to ensure that educators are able to discover, create, and deliver courses to students that lead to increased technical proficiency, employability and of course creates the next generation of technical leaders. Again on Slideshare DreamSpark & EES licensing.
If you want to talk with us locally then but all means email us at email@example.com, or @msukstudents on Twitter or of course www.facebook.com/microsoftukstudents. We’d love to hear your success stories through using DreamSpark.
DreamSpark Pricing Model and usage
For more details regarding Microsoft DreamSpark offering contact the DreamSpark support team.
NB. Licensing does not allow for the products to be used in class, and FREE licensing does not cover educators
Changes to licensing and costs
DreamSpark for Schools, College and Universities subscription is now available and priced at $99 FREE for EES customers – This change allows all DreamSpark software to be installed for teaching and learning on Institutional Lab machines and it’s a campus license as per EES so you only need to purchase 1 license and not 1 per school or faculty and if you’re an EES subscriber its included for FREE. It now covers educators and students for personal non-commercial usage and is available for all taught discipline, previously this only covered students usage and not licensed for intuitional equipment.
DreamSpark Premium – Previously MSDNAA - includes more products including Visio, OneNote and Project and is aimed at STEM FE and HE institutions and all IT Academy Subscribers. The cost has been reduced to $499 from £1000+ (it now covers educators and students for personal non-commercial usage and all lab installations).
More information on this can be viewed/downloaded below.
Microsoft was started when many of the founders were still students so we know that anything is possible. To make this happen, we are aligning with universities, associations, and other communities around the world to make sure that DreamSpark reaches everyone as fast as possible.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Written by Kush Depala - Microsoft Student Partner and advocate of Coding for Kids.
Big things are happening at Microsoft. With the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and Windows Phone gaining traction, there has never been a better time to start developing for the two Operating Systems. The Windows Phone Application Marketplace is taking off, and creating an application that is well received could lead to thousands of downloads, and student developers can even win a free Windows Phone for their effort. And with the release of the Windows 8 Store in the Consumer Preview, you could be one of the first people in the country to have a fully-fledged Windows 8 application, for people to download, especially when the new edition of Windows releases.
But where should you begin? Well, as students, you have the ability to download professional-grade, industry-standard development tools for free. That’s right, for free. Microsoft DreamSpark provides these tools to students. All you need is your ISIC card, a .ac.uk email address or an activation code from your school/college/university IT department, then go to www.dreamspark.com/ and sign up. There are countless tools available, from Windows Server Editions, Kodu Game Studio, to Expression Studio, to Visual Studio, and so much more.
As developers, Visual Studio is the place to be, and not just for the reasons aforementioned. Visual Studio is a brilliant place to start application development, due to the speed and simplicity of its User Interface, and the base coding provided by the software. With pre-built templates for Windows Phone applications, and now, Windows 8 applications, transforming ideas into reality has never been so easy. You can even have the choice of a plethora of languages to code in. And cross-software interaction with Expression Studio is a joy to use.
And, with your DreamSpark account, membership to AppHub is free as well, meaning that Windows Phone applications (as well as independent X-Box games) can be put onto the marketplace at no cost! Resources for developers are rich and numerous as well, from MSDN posts, to Channel 9 tutorials help is at hand for almost every query possible.
The tools are free, the software is simple, all we need is you.
Imagine you want to build your own house; you’ve managed to acquire your piece of land, got your planning permission and grabbed a few raw materials. Now, do you grab your trowel and bricks cementing away with just a vague idea of what you want your finished house to look like? Of course you wouldn’t. Or at least I hope you wouldn’t. A similar concept applies to creating websites, applications and software, although there is obviously a much better chance of your website development succeeding that your house building endeavours without design. There is a distinct reason that my university lecturer created an entire module around design patterns and why Facebook considers designers the ‘key to the company’s long-term strategic success’.
Design is important.
Good applications, websites and software start at the design stage. We understand how important design is in the process of creating something that is going to lead the market by being beautiful, user-friendly, ground-breaking and unique, so we’ll tell you about something that may lead you in that direction. But firstly, let me ask you the same question that I ask at all of the presentations that I give, to all of the audiences that I encounter; have you heard of DreamSpark?
DreamSpark is a comprehensive selection of the tools that professionals use to build real apps, real games and real solutions and it is absolutely FREE for students. If you’re a budding designer or you’re an avid software developer then download the Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate suite which gives you access to:
· Expression Web 4 for creating compelling websites visually
· Expression Blend 4 for creating rich web experiences, games, desktop apps and more
· Expression Design 4 for creating sophisticated vector graphics
· Expression Encoder 4 Pro for your video production needs
If you need a little inspiration or help in getting started and using these tools there are lots of resources available for you.
To learn how to use Expression Studio there are courses and tutorials available for you to get stuck into once you’ve downloaded the tools.
Windows Phone is an amazing technology to start developing with if you’ve not done much development before or even if you’re a seasoned developer. Expression Blend is a great accompaniment to developing for Windows Phone as it enables you to do most of the design easily in an intuitive and simple user interface, especially using tools such as SketchFlow which comes included in the Expression suite. To learn how to use the Expression suite to design Windows Phone apps take a look at this video featuring Celso Gomes and Peter Blois.
If it’s a bit of inspiration you’re after then have a look at ubelly’s interviews with designers who’ve worked on our top phone apps including IMDB, Twitter, Facebook and Shazam. There’s plenty more where that came from if that’s not enough here.
Start designing some amazing stuff today!
Guest post from Gerald Haigh, freelance writer. Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft blog(s).
Do you think all the attention being given to systems, types of schools, local authorities, inspection regimes, exam structures and the rest, is a distraction from what really matters, which is what our young people are learning in and beyond the classroom?
When I suggested as much to a friend, he directed me to this paper, published towards the end of last year by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) . As my friend pointed out, the fact that it attracted relatively little notice in this country when it came out actually makes my point. ‘We’ve all been far too busy arguing about academies and free schools to read a paper about learning,’ he said.
And sure enough, this really is a solid read, 80 pages plus, on the urgent need for patterns of learning to change if young people across Europe are to survive, and more importantly to thrive, in a largely unpredictable and scary future .
‘This report,’ it says, ‘Aims to identify, understand and visualise major changes to learning in the future.’
The key, say the report’s authors, lies with personalisation, collaboration and informalisation. It’s acknowledged that these aren’t new ideas, but now they have to move centre-stage, and become guiding principles for the whole of life-wide and lifelong learning – ‘A central learning paradigm…shaped by the ubiquity of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)’
The aim is to produce citizens who are, ‘..lifelong learners who flexibly respond to change, are able to pro-actively develop their competences and thrive in collaborative learning and working environment.’
And so, ‘Problem-solving, reflection, creativity, critical thinking, learning to learn, risk-taking, collaboration and entrepreneurship will become key competencies for a successful life in the European society of the future.’
Again, we’ve heard that before. What’s new here is the sense of urgency. Educators at every level are called on to respond both to individual learners’ needs and to fast changing requirements from the labour market. The inevitable conclusion that almost everything we assume about schools -- which skills are important, how they’re learned and taught, where, when and by whom, and how they’re assessed – will have to change. Along the way, there are big challenges which include tackling multicultural integration, reducing early dropout, fostering individual talent, promoting fluent transition from education to work, helping re-entrance to the labour market for the long-term unemployed, and providing career-long opportunities for updating skills and competencies.
That’s just a taste of a paper which puts up a wide-ranging, cogently argued case for a Europe-wide rethink not just of what future education might look like, but of what it will necessarily have to become. And, of course, at the heart of it as a driver, facilitator, motivator, there’s ICT.
The Report specifically mentions some ICT applications and possibilities, including targeted online courses, recognition of informal learning, flexible time schedules, online networks and collaborative tools (including peer to peer and intergenerational models), virtual learning environments, games and simulations.
So after I’d read the paper once, I went through it again, thinking this time about the technologies that we have available in today’s schools and other learning institutions here in UK, and wondering whether we’re anywhere near being ready to surf this particular zeitgeist.
The quick answer is that the major global and national technology developers and suppliers, of which Microsoft is a prime example, are entirely in tune with the JRC message. The growth of cloud services, ‘anytime, anywhere learning’, personal devices, games-based learning, advanced tools for communication and collaboration all ensure that UK education ought to be well equipped to step up to the plate.
All that’s necessary is the right mindset. And there, as Hamlet said when his own train of thought hit the buffers, is the rub.
Because for a long time, perhaps understandably, all of us, from government to lecture theatre to classroom, have stayed in our comfort zones, working the way we know so well, and regarding ICT as teacher’s little helper. That’s how we were taught to use it after all, when computers first arrived in school.
‘Think of it as just another tool,’ our new IT advisers said, ‘Like a blackboard or the library.’
So that’s what we did, and technology became absorbed into a style of working that had, in all essentials, been around for a century. We believed ourselves to be at the cutting edge through discovering that, for example –
Electronic registration is a lot better than paper registers for tracking attendance and catching truants.
Online pupil data improves on traditional reports.
Whiteboards are an improvement on blackboards.
Management information systems improve, well, er, management information.
Learning platforms are more convenient to handle than textbooks and folders of work.
Games enliven lessons.
Personal devices ease the pressure on the computer suite.
‘Anytime/anywhere’ learning means an overlap between homework and schoolwork.
In other words, we treated ICT as one useful tool of choice in appropriate circumstances, and failing to notice that it had the potential to become the very environment in which we live and work.
Well, maybe that’s unjust, and you will hasten to say I’m describing the Eighties and Nineties, and you’re way ahead. And of course there really are exciting things happening, as Microsoft’s Innovative Teachers’ Network shows us, to say nothing of the schools we showcase here on these blogs. Here, we’ve seen Oldham College rejigging its whole management structure to take advantage of the collaborative possibilities offered by SharePoint and Project Manager, http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukfe/archive/2011/05/24/the-oldham-college-improves-its-efficiency-with-microsoft-sharepoint.aspx ,universities using Lync 2010 to transform the way they engage with students, and, very recently Cadoxton primary realising that its new MultiPoint Server network implies a rethink of the whole curriculum.
The JRC report, though, sees quite a lot further than that. Its emphasis on ‘lifelong’ and ‘life-wide’ learning actually challenges the very notion of what we mean by words like ‘classroom’, and ‘lesson’, even ‘school’ itself. In fact the Report suggests that currently emerging technologies – including ‘cloud’ – imply
‘a seamless education continuum that is centred on the student not the institution.’
Is any of this even on the radar for other than a far sighted few? Do the schools that embrace cloud technology see it as a good and cost-effective way of receiving an efficient ICT service, or are they looking to a time not so far off when the technology will enable them to become something entirely new and different – ‘flexible, open and adaptive infrastructures , which engage all citizens….’?
And if not, then why not? Is it because, as I suggested at the start, we’re thinking too hard about top-down structures and not hard enough about what learning is, what it’s for, where it’s going?
The great thing about these blogs, mind you, is that if I’m wrong about this, you’ll be pretty quick to let us know.
Since its introduction in 2001, students and educators around the world have utilised DreamSpark to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, maths, science and engineering activities. This software equips them with the tools they need to succeed during their academic experience and the skills they will need after graduation.
DreamSpark can also be used by educators as they have access to the top technical development and design products on the market just like their students. Teachers can teach classes on web development using Expression Studio.
Students today get excited about seeing technology in action, and not just simply learning the fundamentals. With access to products like XNA and Visual Studio, educators can build exciting applications that demonstrate the power of technology.
Here’s a helpful Q & A for you to learn about what DreamSpark is and how it can be used.
Q. What is Microsoft DreamSpark™?
A. Microsoft DreamSpark ™ is a program that provides no-cost access to Microsoft designer and development tools for verified students around the world, to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, maths, science and engineering activities. This program equips tomorrow’s developers with the professional tools to inspire and create today.
The program has two primary goals:
Q. What is DreamSpark Premium?
A. Advanced software applications can take years to develop, a costly investment that is often reflected in the purchase price. Microsoft makes these highly desired, advanced programs available to students far below the retail cost of any one program in the list. With this subscription, students can access a free online portal through e-academy that provides them with instant and easy access to all DreamSpark titles while also ensuring that institutions will not need to add internal resources or overhead to manage the DreamSpark software program.
Q: What are the benefits of the DreamSpark program?
A: Much more than a software subscription, membership includes:
Q: What happened to Developer AA?
A: Developer AA isn’t gone—it’s simply been renamed to DreamSpark Premium. All of the titles that were previously available to you are still available. If your school had a Developer AA subscription through MSDNAA, you’ll continue to access software titles as you did before.
Q: What happened to Designer AA?
A: Helping students who want to be designers is critical, but we wanted to find a way to make this easier for institutions, so we have changed up the program. Instead of Designer AA membership, institutions can purchase a new DreamSpark membership that gives them access to all of Microsoft’s development and designer tools. If you currently have a Designer AA membership, don’t worry. You can continue to enjoy those benefits until your membership expires. When it’s time for you to renew, we’ll work with you to get you set up with a new DreamSpark membership.
Q: What software will be included in the DreamSpark program?
Software for Production Use
Developer & Design Tools
Visual Studio Professional
Visual Studio Premium
Visual Studio Ultimate
Q: What is the benefit of the DreamSpark program for educators?
A: DreamSpark will give educators a chance to learn new technologies and develop courses that will excite students in the classroom. It will also help educators expand their personal and professional portfolios and enhance classroom objectives.
Q: Why do educators need free developer and design tools?
A: By providing the latest professional developer, design, and gaming software to educators at no charge, educators will have a unique opportunity to motivate and engage students and support those that wish to pursue a career in programming or design after graduation
Q: What will students be able to do with this software?
A: Students using these tools will be limited only by their own imaginations and time. Use of developer tools in engineering, maths, science and technology activities allow students to program everything from a cell phone to a robot or to create their own Web page. Students will also be able to invent compelling new gaming content and make their dream game a reality by porting their creations to their Xbox 360 console. Design tools allow students to vividly bring their creative visions to life in vibrant new Web site designs and more effective digital content, including animation, imagery and photography. And platform offerings deliver a security-enhanced and reliable environment, reliable and manageable environment for students to more quickly turn ideas into reality.
Q. When and where will Microsoft DreamSpark be available? A. Today, Microsoft DreamSpark is available to university students in 137 countries.
Q: How do students download software?
A: Visit www.dreamspark.com and follow the three steps to get verified located on the home page.
Q. Is this program available to ALL students? What are the limitations?
A. Yes. The focus of the program is technical students, but it is open to anyone looking to explore the possibilities of Microsoft’s development and design tools. The only limitation is students are only licensed for learning and research.
A: Providing software by download does not involve the production costs of creating physical copies, so it works well with software being provided at no charge.
Q. How many students total will this offer be available to eventually and how did you come up with this number?
A. According to UNESCO, there are more than one billion university and high school students in the world today.
A: Providing software by download does not involve the production costs of creating physical copies, so it works well with software being provided at no charge. Microsoft is not trying to prevent non-broadband students from receiving the software. On the contrary, we hope to eventually provide this no-charge software benefit to all students, in all countries. It will take a concerted, cooperative effort on the part of both Microsoft and academic institutions to connect to areas without existing infrastructure of student databases and server technologies.
Q: Why are you giving software away?
A: In giving tech tools away without charge to students around the world, Microsoft is providing future developers and designers with professional-grade tools to create and expand their skills. We believe that it is very important to equip students with tools that will help to foster their education in technology. Such tools would typically be beyond the reach of these students even at very low prices.
Q. What is the commercial value of this software?
A. This software is being provided to students for non-commercial use in particular academic activities. Pricing for commercial uses varies by channel and the associated rights, but products for non-academic use by non-students would typically be hundreds of dollars or more.
Student Identity Verification
A: Microsoft verifies students by using various reputable student databases to confirm student identities. Students will choose the identity provider that maintains the database (i.e. their school, organization, or other academic-based group) that will confirm their student status. The Microsoft system will connect with the identity provider, and the student will supply his or her credentials to the identity provider for verification. Microsoft will then receive confirmation from the identity provider as to whether the student is a current student.
Q: If students are receiving the full professional software versions, then can’t professionals just find a college student to obtain the software license from?
A: All students receiving free software through this program will need to accept an end user license agreement (EULA) that specifies that the software will only be used by the student for non-commercial use to support and advance their STEM-D learning and skills. Students will only have rights to one single-user license per verified identity. If a student were to obtain a valid single-user license and give that license to a non-student that would be in violation of the EULA and the student would no longer be eligible to continue to use the software or to obtain other software under the program.
A: The sign-in process allows students to get verified initially once and bypass the verification step for future visits to DreamSpark. Once verification is completed and if they are signed in, students will be brought directly to the download page. All students will keep their eligibility for 12 months and will have the option to renew after 12 months.
A: Microsoft is not collecting any student information from third-party identity provider databases, other than binary notification of whether the person is a student or not. When students seek to download the software, they will be asked to verify their student status with a verification source of their choice, and the verification source will request the student’s credentials in order to verify their student status. The credentials students provide to the verification source are not viewed or tracked by Microsoft – that is, the student is verified externally by their chosen verification method and not by Microsoft, and any exchange of sensitive credentials with the verification source will be between the student and the verification source. Microsoft will store the general location of students, which assists with download bandwidth efficiencies.
Q: Is there an approved list of universities? Are only students enrolled in brick and mortar universities included or are online students as well? (i.e. what about 2-year or community colleges)
A: As this is a cooperative effort with local communities, we are working with local entities within each country to determine who the universities are.
Q: Are only undergraduates qualified or can graduate students download DreamSpark?
A: Graduate students are welcome to participate.
A: This program is designed to give students Microsoft technology tools at no charge as long as their student status can be verified. University administrators hold the keys to enable verification. If administrators are willing to cooperate and enable their students to verify themselves against the university database, universities will be able to equip them with free professional-level tools.
A: This benefit is available to all students around the world. However, this program requires all students to have their status verified by an authorized verification source. Academic institutions or governments may already have all the requirements necessary to verify their students. Microsoft can help prepare student databases to use the program. Once institutions determine they have a reliable database of student information, we can help them become an identity provider (IDP).
A: Microsoft is pleased to be able to use Shibboleth, an open source authentication and authorization infrastructure product, as one solution for verifying students so they can receive Microsoft DreamSpark program benefits. Shibboleth is an existing middleware solution that is widely used by universities, and federations using Shibboleth software exist in many countries. Its use provides access to a network of institutions and students, enabling immediate connection to over 10 million students, with a path for other academic institutions to sign up. Shibboleth also enables sites to manage the authorization decisions permitting the sharing of specific information between an identity provider database and an external party (such as Microsoft) – such as binary notification of whether the site user is a student or not, without releasing other student information.
A: Microsoft is putting developer and design software in the hands of verified students to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. The student developer population has been growing recently, with many developers coming from fields of study other than computer science. Even non-technical majors can benefit from using these products. We want students to grow their capabilities by providing them with developer and designer tools that expand the limits of their imagination. We’re putting tools in the hands of students that they would typically not be able to afford.
A: This program targets students and educators, who represent a fraction of all software developers and designers. Software under this program is only available for non-commercial use to support and advance students’ academic work involving science, technology, engineering, math and technical design activities.
Q: Are you embracing the “free software” model by offering development and design tools to students at no cost? Will you make it free for all?
A: Our design, development and platform tools offer significant benefits for developers, customers and partners alike. Our goal with Microsoft DreamSpark is to ensure that today’s students have even greater access to the tools they need to succeed in their studies and prepare themselves for today’s increasingly competitive business world.
Q: Is this just a ploy to keep up/compete with open source proliferation in education?
A: No, Microsoft is not offering students free access to developer and design tools to compete against open source software. This program is targeted specifically at students to provide them with access to the software tools used in business today and help extend the skills of the next generation of developers and designers. The company has and will continue to make strategic bets on the Windows platform while continuing to support interop and other open source initiatives and partnerships.
Microsoft products offer tremendous value that is perceived by the marketplace and by our customers.
Microsoft is a platform company committed to building technologies that empower communities of developers and partners to deliver compelling software solutions to customers. This approach is reflected in the size and health of the technology ecosystem in which Microsoft participates, including millions of developers around the world who have created a vast array of applications using Microsoft platform technologies such as Microsoft Windows, Windows Live, Microsoft Office, .NET platform, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft Xbox. Microsoft’s open source strategy is focused on helping customers and partners be successful in today's heterogeneous technology world. This includes increasing opportunities for developers to learn and create across both community-oriented open source and traditional commercial approaches to software development.
Q: Is this the first step in Microsoft lowering its prices (possibly even free) to compete against open source? What are the next products that might be included in this program?
A: Microsoft products offer tremendous value that is recognized by the marketplace and by our customers. This program is targeted specifically at students in connection with their academic studies to help prepare them as the next generation of developers and designers. DreamSpark is the latest in a series of offerings for students just as MSDNAA (Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance), Imagine Cup, and other offerings Microsoft provides to academia. Additional developer tools may be made available to students in the future under this same program, but we do not foresee that other major customer groups or products will be significantly impacted by this program.
Q: Do any other companies offer a free software package like this? A: Yes, other software vendors like Adobe and IBM have offers in market to make software available to students at low costs or no charge. However, we believe that Microsoft is leading the way in providing such a comprehensive offering available to the student market at no charge.
DreamSpark is a platform that offers free software and tools to support students - it’s the place to get all our developer and designer tools for free. In this video, students, lecturers and IT Professionals explain what DreamSpark is and how it can be used.