Microsoft <3's Students

One thing that frustrates me with Microsoft is that so many great projects and services take place and are available but….. NO ONE EVER HEARS ABOUT THEM!!!  Our public facing PR sometimes, okay often leaves me shaking my head. I can not count the number of times I have been talking to someone about free services and such we have that address just the challenge they may be having yet they never heard of it. I sort of hit a I AM ABOUT TO SCREAM moment today when someone asked me if Microsoft had any resources for students as this particular client has a senior at home who is heading off to college next year, just like my own son. Well the answer was/is YES! As I sent them the link and then Twitted it as well I decided to quick put together a list of some great online products and services that are free. They can be a big help whether you are a student heading off to college, a small business owner looking to establish a credible online presence, a high school student looking to dive in to the world of programming or video game design. There is so much I won’t even scratch the surface and unfortunately there is not one central location you can go to find freebies from Microsoft….. well maybe there is but that would be another best kept secret.

Best Kept Secrets From Microsoft:
  • Live@EduThe Microsoft Live@edu program provides institutions of higher education and K-12 with a set of free hosted and co-branded collaboration and communication services for students, alumni, and applicants, leading with an offer of Windows Live™ Hotmail®, a hosted e-mail service, and Office Live Workspace, an online space to collaborate on Microsoft Office documents. Although Microsoft hosts the e-mail, the institution maintains control: you continue to create, delete, and store institution e-mail addresses for your constituents—as you do today
  • Microsoft DreamsparkOther than totally cool? Glad you asked. Here’s how it works: if you’re a current university or high school student, you can download professional Microsoft developer, designer, and gaming software through DreamSpark at no charge. Yes, students get to download software at no charge. DreamSpark enables students, like you, to download and use Microsoft tools to unlock your creative potential and set you on the path to academic and career success by advancing your learning in the areas of technical design, technology, math, science, and engineering! It doesn’t matter what classes you’re taking right now, just as long as you’re a current student in a verified, accredited School and use the tools in pursuit of advancing your education in one of these areas.”
  • Microsoft Office LiveMicrosoft Office Live Workspace beta is your online place to save, access, and share documents and files. Use it to group related information for work, school, or personal projects. No downloads are required—just sign up and go.”
  • Download Office SharePoint Designer “Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides the powerful tools you need to deliver compelling and attractive SharePoint sites and quickly build workflow-enabled applications and reporting tools on the SharePoint platform, all in an IT-managed environment.”
  • Free MCTS Vouchers for College StudentsWe know that tech savvy students like you will be driving business and technology decisions for tomorrow’s companies. Microsoft will be there with you through every step of your career with career planning, training, certification, community and certification! It’s no secret that there is a shortage of qualified IT Professionals and Developers in today’s workforce. But did you know that:
    • 55% of hiring managers consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring
    • 46% of Hiring Managers consider employee certification as a criteria for promotion
    • 43% of individuals reported salary increases as a result of Microsoft certification
  • Get Live EssentialsNow in one installation, Windows Live Essentials gives you instant messaging, e-mail, blogging, photos, and more.”
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