Get Windows Server 2008 for FREE through DreamSpark (Students Only)

Windows Server 2008 Box
Windows Server 2008 Box

Want a free download of Windows Server 2008? It’s yours, if you qualify! Microsoft recently updated their DreamSpark offerings to include Server 2008, among other products. All you have to do is verify that you’re a student, and start downloading.

Download link –

What is DreamSpark? Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Microsoft DreamSpark enables students to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge.

Now, for the first time, Microsoft is giving its valuable software developer and design tools directly to students worldwide at no charge! This site enables students like you to download professional-level Microsoft developer and design tools to unlock your creative potential and set you on the path to academic and career success, by supporting and advancing your learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities.

What products are offered? A lot! In addition to Windows Server 2008, you can freely download:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition (and 2005 Professional)
  • SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • MS Expression Studio 2
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0
  • XNA Creators Club Online (12 months access)
  • IT Academy Student Pass (up to 22 hours of FREE e-learning courses)

You will need:

  • A Windows Live ID
  • Valid Student Status

My university was not on the main list, but they were able to quickly verify me online via JourneyEd. Within minutes, I started downloading Windows Server 2008, which can actually function very well as a desktop or workstation. With a few clicks, you can essentially transform it into Windows Vista, but without most of the bloat. Look for some articles relating to Server 2008 soon.

Best of luck. Despite my affinity for Linux, it’s hard to turn down free, legal software!

UPDATE: Be sure to see my article on how to turn Server 2008 into an excellent workstation OS.

5 thoughts on “Get Windows Server 2008 for FREE through DreamSpark (Students Only)

  1. Maybe I read it wrong, but after clicking on “What is Dreamspark?,” it said that you need to verify your student status every 12 months. In the FAQ, it implied that your student status would be verified only once more after a year. I don’t know which is true, but you definitely need to be a student for at least one year.

  2. You didn’t mention that it’s an EVALUATION license, or perhaps you didn’t realize it.

    FROM THE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS PAGE UNDER Installation and Activation:

    “Evaluating Windows Server 2008 software does not require product activation or entering a product key. Any edition of Windows Server 2008 may be installed without activation and evaluated for an initial 60 days.

    If you need more time to evaluate Windows Server 2008, the 60 day evaluation period may be reset (or re-armed) three times, extending the original 60 day evaluation period by up to 180 days for a total possible evaluation time of 240 days. After this time, you will need to uninstall the software or upgrade to a fully-licensed version of Windows Server 2008. “

  3. dana – NOT TRUE. That’s the generic description for ALL Windows Server 2008 licenses. No, Server 2008 does not require an installation code at install, and it is possible to extend the evaluation period up to 240 days.

    However, the license key generated for you by Dreamspark is a legitimate license. My copy of Server 2008 is fully-licensed, installed, AND activated. If you want to use Server 2008 beyond the evaluation period, you must activate using the generated license key.

  4. Look to me it is legal to continue to use the software after your student status ends:


    a. End of Student Status. If You no longer qualify for the Student Program (by failing to meet the definition of “You” above), then Your membership in the Student Program will automatically terminate, however, You may continue to use the Software You obtained prior to termination of Your student status subject to the terms of this license.

    b. Termination. Microsoft may terminate Your usage of any Software obtained from the Student Program if You fail to comply with any of these terms.

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