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Microsoft Dreamspark for Students

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DateWednesday, April 01, 2009


Microsoft has launched an initiative called Dreamspark, which will allow thousands of second and third level Irish students get access to the latest developer and designer tools at no charge, and complements Microsoft's BizSpark programme,  designed to help indigenous technology start ups to grow into successful businesses.



Dreamspark allows Second and Third Level Irish Students Access to Professional Microsoft Tools Used in Industry - Here, Robert and Martha Rotter Pose at the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference with a Robot Made With Microsoft's Robot Developer Studio


DreamSpark provides professional-level tools including Visual Studio 2005 & 2008 Professional Edition, XNA Game Studio 3.0, Expression Studio 2.0, SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition, Windows Server 2003, Robotics Developer Studio 2008 Edition, Virtual PC, Microsoft CCR and DSS Toolkit 2008, in fact everthing needed to 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.




Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland said, "Innovation will be at the heart of Ireland's future success. Through our Bizspark programme we help small businesses grow and develop - something that is critical if we are to achieve a true innovation economy. However, to ensure that we have a ready pipeline of entrepreneurs to join that programme, we also need to look to our students and young people, helping to foster the spirit of innovation from as early an age as possible, not only to participate in an Innovation Economy but to determine its shape and structure."


Whilst the Dreamspark scheme is open to all in education, it is particularly beneficial to spark the computing interest in second level students. Use of developer tools in engineering, maths, science, technology and design activities allows students to programme 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.



Seamus Ryan, Education Officer, County Meath VEC said, "Access to professioal tools is a wonderful way to encourage secondary school students to pursue the sciences and technology at third level. By giving students access to technology that would otherwise be closed to them until later in life really opens their eyes to the possibilities and opportunities that studying and pursuing a career in software development will lead to."



DreamSpark has been available on a pilot basis since late 2008 and has had over 5,000 downloads to date.



Students from IT Carlow mingle with Irish Microsoft Technology Conference Speakers Richard Costall, Dave and Craig Murphy

Carlow IT student Darren Doyle said, "Dreamspark is more than just giving students free software, it's about giving us the professional tools used in the computing industry to amplify and expand our abilities. Microsoft knows that students can and will create amazing, innovative solutions to solve some of the biggest issues the world faces today."



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