The First One’s Free . . .
but once you’re hooked, you’re hooked. Microsoft is offering certain qualifying students free software (as in beer, not open) to convince them to try their stuff instead of free and open source software.
No stranger to the perils of online piracy, Microsoft has taken steps to ensure that only students have access to the software freebies. Verification of student status will take place through the DreamSpark Web site with the help of academic institutions and student organizations, a process that students will need to repeat every 12 months.
Here’s my suggestion. If you’re a student, stick to free and open source software from the beginning. There is no verification, and unlike with Microsoft, once you’re no longer a student, you still don’t have to pay.