Microsoft Software 

Microsoft's DreamSpark, a new program designed to provide free development and design software to students around the world, is now available to Penn State students. The program was unveiled on Feb. 19 by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates at Stanford University - and is part of a company-wide effort to provide future technology workers with a head start in the competitive job market.

According to Jeff Kuhns, associate vice provost for Information Technology, Penn State is well positioned to support DreamSpark, because of the University's leadership in federated technologies and its membership in the InCommon Federation.

"Penn State's use of collaborative partnerships and tools (such as InCommon and Shibboleth) foster a 'trust environment' at the University, that enables our community members to securely access resources beyond our network domain - while simultaneously preserving individual privacy," he stated. "Having these technologies in place makes it possible for us to provide programs like DreamSpark, and will enable us to provide additional collaborative programs in the future."

Some of the software that is available to students through the DreamSpark program includes "Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition" and the Web and graphic design toolset, the "Expression Studio" - as well as XNA Game Studio 2.0, SQL Server Developer Edition, Windows Server Standard Edition, and other resources.

To learn more about the DreamSpark initiative and to get started with downloading program software, click here.