What do you think about when you think of Microsoft? An evil corporate giant? Frustrating software? Viruses and worms? Or perhaps you’re actually a fan of M$?
Well regardless of your opinion, if you’re a student in high school or college, Microsoft wants to give you some of their software – free. Indeed, full versions of Windows Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010 Professional, and more, are free to download with no strings attached. The program is called DreamSpark, and was announced over two years ago by Bill Gates himself during a speech at Stanford University. Somehow I didn’t catch word of this until just a few months ago when I started to look into building a new server.
So why am I mentioning this? Well, to be honest, I am a bit of a Microsoft fan. I’ve been using their operating systems and software ever since the arrival of the 486. But I’ve also now taken advantage of the DreamSpark program to download and install Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (an OS that would normally set you back more than $500). In fact, it’s now hosting this blog (and playing a few other roles as well).
In the future I’ll probably comment on my experience with Windows Server, but for now I’ll just say the setup was pretty painless. I’ve toyed with Linux servers in the past, and configuring 2008 was, by comparison, approximately one million times easier. So, thank you Microsoft! (And please, Linux users, be nice to my new server. K? Thx!)