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Student Programmers, get your code on with Microsoft Dreamspark!

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Student Programmers, get your code on with Microsoft Dreamspark!

If there is one thing that Dream.In.Code can do, its inspire programmers to try out new algorithms, techniques, and languages. This is important to hone in your abilities for your entrance to the professional world. Whatís also important is familiarizing yourself with the professional tools as well. Lets face it, even if you are already familiar with those tools, they have great features to help your ideas come to life.

So how do you get access to these tools? As I student myself I know any money that I have is quickly whisked away by my university, so it is quite hard to get my hands on professional grade tools. Well listen up because if youíre a student and you have a dream that you want to come true, Microsoft has a solution!

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Microsoft Dreamspark is a program that gives students access to many great programs for FREE! There are many great tools packaged in this program like Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, XNA Game Studio, and much more. Also by registering with Dreamspark you can get the $99 dollar registration fee waived for Windows Phone 7 developers.
All you need to do to get signed up is visit While it isnít necessary, an .edu email will be quite helpful when registering. Also check your school, because they may already have a program set up to help you get registered.

To show you how easy it is to sign up, I will do it right now with my student account; follow along and get programming with some of the best industry tools and get cracking on that code!

Step 1: Sign into your live account (if you donít have one you can create one here)

Step 2: Get verified, which involves a few simple steps. First find you school like so:
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Next, fill you your information for your school to verify
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If that was successful you should receive an email for verification! Inside this email, you will find an Access key, and a link to place it in
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Copy and paste the code into the web page and submit, voila your all done!
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9 Comments On This Entry

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22 January 2011 - 04:06 AM
Yeah this is great! I remember mentioning it a while back. Unfortunately my school isn't a part of it, but luckily there is another way to get free software from Microsoft and it is the MSDN Academic Alliance which can help you get hold of free development software but doesn't have as much choice as Dreamspark :)


22 January 2011 - 09:30 AM
This is a really great initiative. I learnt of it a while back, and unlike other student programs, which usually aren't helpful for anyone outside the US who doesn't have a .edu email, this was great because I could just walk in to a nearby designated dreamspark center (it was actually a computer training institute), and request 2-3 Dreamspark CDs with all the software loaded. No need to even waste bandwidth. They weren't particularly interested in verifying my student status as long as I was willing to sell my soul (contact information) and that of 5 of my made-up friends to be informed about training programs at the institute.


22 January 2011 - 09:49 AM
Although Microsoft has had it's bumps along the way (Vista anyone?) they are by far one of the most involved companies with their customers. With programs like Dreamspark and their small business solution, whose name is escaping me now, Microsoft really helps to build up their customer base, unlike other companies which are out there only to make money off of their customers. I think they have found a great balance between how to make money off their products, and making people really enjoy working with Microsoft.


22 January 2011 - 11:23 AM
For those who are in schools not listed you can still get the software. When I asked the dreamspark support about getting verified when your school isn't listed, they told me to scan my student ID and email it to them. They then sent me a verification code and now I'm verified. True what xheartonfire43x said.


23 January 2011 - 11:42 PM
xheartonfire43x, are you thinking of Bizspark?


24 January 2011 - 02:15 PM
@stayscrisp: My college wasn't a part of this before. Yesterday I checked and found three entries for my college :S. And we have no ISICs nor .edu student email I wrote to MS asking them how to verify myself as a student. And, heh, they just sent me an activation code..without verifying!?

However their website has an issue : After downloading 1 product, it asked me for verification again...and this time the same activation code doesn't work :(. I sent them an email again. They'll report back within 3 days they said. Damn, I should have downloaded Expression Studio first *bangs head on wall*


25 January 2011 - 02:13 PM
Thank you so much for this!


29 January 2011 - 10:52 PM
NOTE: You can't verify yourself with the Windows Phone Developer account unless you are 18 years old (that's in Australia).

Got caught by that one, fairly pissed about it too.


31 January 2011 - 05:41 PM
@styacrisp, yes some schools already have signed up for MSDNAA, the difference with that program is, the college has chosen what software will be appropriate for the students, where as the Dreamspark is the set list that is up there. My school has MSDNAA so I currently have an account for that and as seen in my post i have a Dreamspark account as well.

@jokham, good point! Microsoft is quite eager to help students out, so if your school isnt listed, it is probably worth your efforts to send and email to see if you can get acsess

@dawmail333, have you found a way to to get registered or do you need some help still?
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