If you are a college student, Microsoft provides you with some of their tools completely free.
It does this through the DreamSpark initiative that is available in many countries around the world.
DreamSpark is composed of two parts; one is the general part, available to all college students, and the other one is the specific agreement between Microsoft and your university that will give you access to different software depending on the university you are in.
Let’s go first with the software available in the general part:
- Visual Studio Professional 2013
Visual Studio is considered the best integrated development environment (IDE) for programming in Windows.
Regular price: $499.
- Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro
Latest version of the embedded (predefined tasks) Windows version.
Regular price: depends on the dealer.
- Windows Server 2012 R2 (Datacenter & Standard)
Latest version of Microsoft Server.
Regular price: $4.809 y $882 respectively.
To access this software, all you have to do is going to the [DreamSpark’ Students Page] and sign up verifying that you are a student through your university login system.
Then you click on [Software Catalog] and choose what you want.
And now the software I can get for free because of the agreemente between my university (Carlos III de Madrid, Spain) and Microsoft:
- Microsoft Windows 8.1
Latest version of Windows.
Regular price: $119.99.
- Microsoft Project, Visio, Access, Lync and InfoPath 2013
Latest version of; Visio (flowcharts), Access (databases), Lync (communication) e Infopath (web forms).
Regular price: from $109.99 to $299.99.
- Microsoft Office Suite 2007
This suite includes Word, Excel and Powerpoint 2007. This is the major flaw because the latest version, 2013, is not available.
Regular price: not for sale now.
To download these you have to go to the “onthehub” page of your university. The easiest path is to search “onthehub + name_of_your_university” in Google and get into the first result. For example: “onthehub uc3m” in my case.
You will get a page like this one:
The first thing you have to do there is to click “Sign In” and then click in the “Single Sign-On” box:
After login with your user and password for your university, you will return to the main page where you can choose what to download.
That’s it, pretty easy.
I thought it was important to make this post because many of my classmates were unaware of the existence of these agreements with Microsoft and could have saved a lot of money.
This post was written more than 6 months ago, maybe things have changed or I don't think the same way anymore