I've spent a lot of time saying that rather than pursuing additional H-1B visa's Microsoft which arguably hurts American educational competitiveness, they need to do more to just the opposite, improving American educational competitiveness.
Looks like they may have listened they have just introduced the DreamSpark program aimed at fostering technology innovation worldwide. Through the DreamSpark program, Microsoft is giving away development and design software to university and high school students around the world, including those right here in the United States.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to unveil the DreamSpark program Tuesday at Stanford University on the first stop of a U.S. and Canadian college tour. 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.
Software available to students through DreamSpark includes Microsoft's development environment, Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, and its Web and graphic design toolset, the Expression Studio, also available through the program is the XNA Game Studio 2.0, SQL Server Developer Edition, Windows Server Standard Edition and other software and resources.
The programs available include:
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
- SQL Server 2005 Express Edition
- Expression Studio
- XNA Game Studio 2.0
- XNA Creators Club Online