Ballmer gives Norwegian students free love
Beware the flying herring
Microsoft believes it has "lost" a generation of developers who might have embraced Windows and .NET, thanks to the Mac and open source frameworks and operating systems.
In an ongoing attempt to woo the next generation Microsoft's rumbustious chief executive will next week announce the latest extension of a program offering Microsoft software worth thousands of dollars at a price point no student can refuse: free.
A Reg reader with an eye on the Norse lands has pointed to the fact Ballmer is due to meet Norway's prime minister and education minister in Oslo on Tuesday, to cut the local ribbon on DreamSpark - a program officially launched in February.
Steve's last European student experience
Unbowed by his last experience at the hands of Europe's ungrateful student body, Ballmer will announce Norwegian students can download versions of Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition, Microsoft Expression Studio, and XNA Studio 2.0 for free from a Microsoft web site.
Naturally, many will be suspicious of getting anything for free from Microsoft, but in this case, there's very little to worry about. Most of the software is several years old or - in the case of Expression Studio - so unused in the wider world that using them is unlikely to actually help you get a job.
The one exception: Visual Studio 2008.
Microsoft would not comment on the Norwegian DreamSpark extension, but in a statement confirmed Ballmer is visiting Europe next week to hold "high-level meetings with government officials in each country, customers and partners to discuss the impact of technology on business and society and Microsoft’s continued investment in the region." ®
All students studying any IT related subject in a Norwegian Technical High School (this is university level not A level) or university have had access to all the relevant MS tools for nothing for years. I studied C# by internet with Hist (Høyskole i Sør Trøndelag) several years ago and had access not only to the VS2005 cds but also full versions of XP.
I still used SharpDevelop for most of the exercises.
@The Other Steve
"The hardcore FOSS crowd want you to buy into their ideology, so they give you free stuff, MS want your dollars, so they give you free stuff. So what's the difference ? We get to choose between extortion or brainwashing, if you choose frame it in such extreme terms."
What nonsense! Nobody is asking for any ideological devotion when you download Free Software (to use the most ideologically loaded term of them all) - you can even produce proprietary software with Free Software developer tools. The only restrictions, when those tools are made available under a copyleft-style licence, are that you make the sources available when sharing the software with others. When did Microsoft last let anyone share the bulk of their software catalogue?
It's pure distortion to label as "brainwashing" a particular choice of licensing on the part of developers, especially when it actually encourages awareness of software licensing amongst users so that they know that it isn't as simple as "I got it without paying anything from [the man/my mates/bloke down the pub] - delete where necessary". If anything the brainwashing comes from those organisations who indiscriminately label content redistribution as "piracy" and who would rather Free Software went away.
Lost a few generations
After the way its treated its customers like shit and produced crappy products with its enhance, extend, exterminate policy to wring as much as possible by manipulating standards, its no surprise at all.
The generations have probably left in droves & guess what? They wont come back in a hurry either.