Free Microsoft Software for Students at DreamSpark
This was posted 2 years 8 months 29 days ago, and might be an out-dated deal
Free full versions of Microsoft software for students, great if you have an .edu/.edu.au email.
I believe this has been mentioned before, something like a year and a half ago—before it was confirmed to work in Australia—so I figure it's worth posting again. As long as you hold an email at a certified educational institution (typically an email that ends in .edu/.edu.au), you can "Get Verified" and download full versions of Microsoft software, for free!
All you need is a Live/Passport account, and your educational institution email. The two do not have to be the same, as you sign in to your Live account first, and then you give it your .edu/.edu.au address, and they send an email to confirm that you are a student and you own that address.
Here is a list of software available (as of posting):
Visual Studio 2010 Professional Edition
Windows Marketplace for Mobile - Live for Students!
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition
Visual Studio 2010 Express Edition
Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition
XNA Game Studio 3.1
Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3
Virtual PC 2007
Windows MultiPoint Mouse SDK
Windows Embedded CE 6.0
SQL Server 2008 Express Edition
Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition
Visual C# 2008 Express Edition
Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition
Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition
Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
Even if you aren't a programmer/software developer/engineer/etc., it's worth pointing out that you have access to full versions of Windows Server 2003/2008/R2, which are essentially XP/Vista/7. Windows Server can be adjusted to work as a regular workstation OS with minimal amount of effort (search for terms "Windows Server workstation"), and is great considering the price, i.e., free.
Software can be downloaded with the Akamai Download Manager, or directly from their servers. I assume that MS will continue to add software to DreamSpark as time goes on, so it might be worth keeping an eye on the site for updates.
I suppose I should mention that they also provide "training materials" by linking to MSDN and other site tutorials/texts/videos. Links on the right hand side of the site.