PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp.
Chairman Bill Gates today will unveil a software giveaway that will
ultimately provide millions of college and high school students around the
world with access to the latest Microsoft developer and designer tools at
no charge to unlock their creative potential and set them on the path to
academic and career success.
The Microsoft DreamSpark student program (http://channel8.msdn.com)
makes available, at no charge, a broad range of development and design
software for download. The program is now available to more than 35 million
college students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. Broad global coverage, as well
as an expansion of the program to high school students around the world,
potentially reaching up to 1 billion students worldwide, will continue
throughout the next year. Gates will share details with students and
faculty at Stanford University as part of a U.S. and Canada college tour
that kicks off today.
"We want to do everything we can to equip a new generation of
technology leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to harness the
magic of software to improve lives, solve problems and catalyze economic
growth," Gates said. "Microsoft DreamSpark provides professional-level
tools that we hope will inspire students to explore the power of software
and encourage them to forge the next wave of software-driven
Priming the Talent Pipeline
Microsoft DreamSpark is available to all students whose studies touch
on technology, design, math, science and engineering. Students of today are
more technical in their everyday lives than ever -- representing both their
personal interests and what is expected of them when they arrive in the
workplace for the first time. The following cutting-edge software will be
available to empower students to unlock their ingenuity by building
-- Microsoft developer tools. Visual Studio is the Swiss Army knife of
computer programming. These professional-grade products provide a
security-enhanced and reliable environment, enabling 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.
-- Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
-- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
-- XNA Game Studio 2.0
-- 12-month free Academic membership in the XNA Creators Club
-- Microsoft designer tools. This ultra-versatile suite of tools will
enable 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.
-- Expression Studio, including
-- Expression Web
-- Expression Blend
-- Expression Design
-- Expression Media
-- Microsoft platform resources. The foundation for development and design
platforms, these products deliver a security-enhanced, reliable and
manageable environment for students to more quickly turn ideas into
-- SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
-- Windows Server, Standard Edition
"The opportunity, as a student, to use the same professional tools that
I can expect to use after I graduate gives me a real head start in my
career," said Nathan Murith, a computer science student at the University
of Geneva in Switzerland, who tested the service in a pilot before today's
launch. "I'm already getting more out of my studies, applying my learning
to try out new ideas, and gaining new insights into careers in software
design and development."
Demand for Software Expertise in All Marketplaces and Economies
Technological innovation is a critical economic growth engine and is
expected to generate 7.1 million new jobs in the global economy over the
next four years, according to a study of the economic impact of IT across
82 countries and regions carried out in 2007 by IDC and commissioned by
Microsoft. The same study found that the IT employment base will grow to
42.5 million people, with the sharpest growth occurring in developing
"Technology is the ignition key for job growth, economic development
and creating sustainable solutions to global problems," said John Gantz,
chief research officer at IDC. "The emerging economies are forecast to
drive over 25 percent of the new IT jobs over the next four years. These
jobs will be driven by an evolving, highly skilled labor force. Tech skills
are key to employability."
In the next six months, the company expects to expand Microsoft
DreamSpark to college students in Australia, Czech Republic, Estonia,
Japan, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and many more countries in the Americas,
Asia and Europe, as well as to high school students by the third quarter of
2008. Students should check http://channel8.msdn.com for regularly posted
updates to see when Microsoft DreamSpark will be available to them.
Microsoft is working with academic institutions, governments and
student organizations around the world, such as the International Student
Identity Card (ISIC) Association, to ensure the necessary local student
identity-verification technology infrastructure exists to bring Microsoft
DreamSpark to all students in markets around the world. The program will be
expanded as fast as this community-based effort with government and
organizations can be connected at a local level in new countries.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
their full potential.
SOURCE Microsoft Corp.