DreamSpark

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Rachael
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DreamSpark

Post by Rachael » Sat Mar 01, 2014 13:31

If you're like me you've probably heard very little about Microsoft's almost best-kept secret. Yes - it is what it says in the Wikipedia article - Microsoft offering some of their more high-end tools to colleges, universities, and high schools for free. Of particular note is all recent Windows Server editions starting with 2008 and on, as well as all versions of Visual Studio Professional from 2008 on, are offered to you at no cost if you are a student or faculty member of any eligible school.

Additionally, for students and teachers of their respective school's STEM departments, if their school is paying Microsoft a premium subscription Microsoft offers even more software, such as free versions of Client editions of Windows, as well (professional versions of Vista, 7, 8, 8.1). If you are paying tuition to your school you DEFINITELY want to look into this - because you can darn well bet the cost is being passed through your tuition fees and you may have been paying for part of your school's subscription right out of your own pocket! But keep in mind, again, you must be in your school's STEM fields in order to qualify.

What does this mean? Basically, it means as long as you are going to or teaching school at High School level or above, Microsoft is offering you really expensive software for free. You have to verify yourself every 12 months to prove you are still attending school but it can be done through your school email address. If you no longer qualify, you still get all updates and service packs to your past DreamSpark software and can use it indefinitely after you leave your school.

I think this will be of particular interest to people who have wanted to compile 64-bit builds of GZDoom through Windows. Having server versions of Windows for free, though, really is not a bad deal. Back in their day they costed upwards to nearly 1 grand each per license, and they can be tweaked to work exactly like their client counterparts (i.e. playing games and being used as entertainment) with minimal effort.

You may be wondering what's the catch - there is one: Of course, Microsoft does not want you "pirating" or distributing the software or your license to use it (keys) - but more importantly they also don't want you using it for your own personal commercial gain, they do not want you selling anything created with software using a DreamSpark license - they are providing the tools mostly for experimental, learning use, and for other not-for-profit use.

Just posting this here for people who do not know about it - someone may find this useful. <3 Enjoy!
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Tiger
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Re: DreamSpark

Post by Tiger » Sat Mar 01, 2014 20:30

I heard about DreamSpark program in ##Windows at Freenode. After I spoke to my Networking professor, he quickly gave me all the information I needed to log in into the DreamSpark program. Thanks to this program, I was able to use Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Viso (I needed this for a networking project), and now my personal favorite - Visual Studio 2013 Professional all for free.
The only way to be included into this DreamSpark program, you must be in Computer Science or Computer Information Science. Though, that is if I remember correctly from gather more information about this program from my professor.
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Rachael
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Re: DreamSpark

Post by Rachael » Sat Mar 01, 2014 22:03

I am using regular DreamSpark without being in Computer [Information] Science. There is part of the program that is open if you are in school, at all, and that's the part that allows you to use the Visual Studio Professional tools. Windows 8 or 8.1 is not available through the program, but Server 2012 and R2 are - they are nearly identical to 8 and 8.1 other than how they are set up (but they can be tweaked).
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Enjay
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Re: DreamSpark

Post by Enjay » Sat Mar 01, 2014 23:38

Very interesting. As a teacher and as someone who has 2 kids in full time education, I'll need to look into this. Thank you. :)

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Re: DreamSpark

Post by Tiger » Sun Mar 02, 2014 0:27

Eruanna wrote:I am using regular DreamSpark without being in Computer [Information] Science. There is part of the program that is open if you are in school, at all, and that's the part that allows you to use the Visual Studio Professional tools. Windows 8 or 8.1 is not available through the program, but Server 2012 and R2 are - they are nearly identical to 8 and 8.1 other than how they are set up (but they can be tweaked).
I guess that depends if the university has other programs within DreamSpark (the school pays a lot of money to be part of the program). If I remember correctly, students with other focuses (nursing, law, economics, etc) are not allowed to be part of this program. I'll talk to my professor again and see if it is just CS and CIS students that can access DreamSpark with my college's subscription.
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Rachael
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Re: DreamSpark

Post by Rachael » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:44

Enjay wrote:Very interesting. As a teacher and as someone who has 2 kids in full time education, I'll need to look into this. Thank you. :)
You were one of the two main reasons i posted that, you are welcome. :)
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Rachael
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Re: DreamSpark

Post by Rachael » Sun Mar 02, 2014 17:02

Tiger wrote:I guess that depends if the university has other programs within DreamSpark (the school pays a lot of money to be part of the program). If I remember correctly, students with other focuses (nursing, law, economics, etc) are not allowed to be part of this program. I'll talk to my professor again and see if it is just CS and CIS students that can access DreamSpark with my college's subscription.
Truthfully - all that matters for DS is that you are part of a post-secondary school (and likely High School as well). It's DreamSpark Premium that has those restrictions. That's part of why I mentioned it in my original post - yes, my school has DreamSpark Premium, but I am not eligable for it because I am not going after a computer science degree. But seeing what they offer, I don't think I am really missing much anyway. The regular DreamSpark is just fine, and coming across client licenses for Windows is trivially easy.
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