DreamSpark is a program set up by Microsoft to provide students with software design and development tools at no charge. The program was originally available for university/college students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. but has now been expanded to more than 80 countries and is offered to many high school students. To register, students must visit the Dreamspark Website and verify their identity.

Without any charge through DreamSpark students can get the following software products (full versions!):

  • CCR DSS Toolkit 2008dreamspark_header
  • Expression Studio 2
  • Robotics Developer Studio 2008
  • SQL Server 2008 Express
  • SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • VirtualPC 2007
  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional
  • Visual Studio 2008 Express
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional
  • Visual Studio 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • XNA Game Studio 3.0

Also you get an IT Academy Student pass which provides free e-learning courses to students who are interested in extending their technical skills with Microsoft technologies.

The facts above are not really new. What is new is the fact that through DreamSpark students can get a MCTS Certification voucher. With this voucher they are provided with a free certification exam. Without the voucher the exam costs $50 which might be an important sum for a student.

One of the following exams ca be taken with this voucher:

  • MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Presentation Foundation Applications
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Workflow Foundation Applications
  • MCTS: BizTalk Server 2006
  • MCTS: Business Desktop Deployment
  • MCTS: Connected Home Integrator
  • MCTS: Designing and Providing Volume Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations
  • MCTS: Designing and Providing Volume Licensing Solutions to Small and Medium Organizations
  • MCTS: Enterprise Project Management with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007
  • MCTS: Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 – Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Forefront Client and Server – Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office Groove 2007, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, Applications
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office Project 2007, Managing Projects
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – Application Development
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Office Visio 2007, Application Development
  • MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence
  • MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
  • MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development
  • MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
  • MCTS: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Configuration
  • MCTS: Microsoft Team Foundation Server: Configuration and Development
  • MCTS: Microsoft Virtual Earth 6.0, Application Development
  • MCTS: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Development
  • MCTS: Windows Essential Business Server 2008, Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Mobile 5.0, Applications
  • MCTS: Windows Mobile 5.0, Implementing and Managing
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2003 Hosted Environments – Configuration and Management
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Application Development
  • MCTS: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Small Business Server 2008, Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Vista – Configuration

The only restrictions are:

  • There is a limited supply of registration seats. Recipients must register voucher code online with Prometric to ensure redemption.
  • Vouchers must be redeemed by June 30, 2009. This means you must register and take the exam before this date.
  • Vouchers are not transferrable and cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with any other offer
  • Offer not valid in China, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam

Click here to go to DreamSpark's website.