Cheap or free Microsoft software for students

25 Apr 2011

If you’re a student, you can get a bunch of software from Microsoft for significantly lower prices. The idea is that if Microsoft can get students to use the software, they’ll go out into the industry with those skills, leading to companies purchasing more MS software.


If you’re a current student with a .edu email address in the United States, you can get free copies of software from such as:

You’ll need to sign in to any Windows Live account, then click Get Verified on the left. After entering your .edu email address and some additional information, you’ll have access to the download.

The Ultimate Steal

At The Ultimate Steal the software’s not free, but it’s considerably cheaper than buying elsewhere. Again, you’ll need a .edu email address. Here’s what they’re offering:

  • Office 2010 Academic for $79.95 (compare to $395 for equivalent)
  • Windows 7 Professional Upgrade for $29.99 (compare to $168 for equivalent)

It’s worth noting that in many cases you can use Windows 7 Upgrade even if you’re not upgrading; as if it was the full non-upgrade version.


Lastly, if your school is part of the MSDN Academic Alliance program, definitely check it out. At my school it’s available only to students in the College of Engineering, but if you can gain access you might be able to get free copies of Windows 7, Office, and similar software.


Yesterday I attended my second gamejam, an eight hour event where teams form to work on small games together around some loose themes, which this time were Black & White, Rockets, and Masks.


It’s early to say this, and maybe a little crazy, but I can’t help but put Twenty, a simple game from Stephen French, in the same category as Tetris. Not just in the way it plays - though it shares that methodical feeling of clearing a space that transitions to crowded panic - but in how it takes just a single mechanic and a simple interface to create something truly elegant and timeless. Twenty deserves to be played for decades to come, just like Tetris.