Visual Studio 2010 Professional Free Offer

If you are an individual who is thinking about any aspects of web design as a business then you are able to download a massive range of microsoft software and use it free of charge for 3 years. Included in the available downloads is Visual Studio 2010 Professional.

All you have to do to apply for the Microsoft offer is to be thinking about professional web design. Web design includes a wide range of skills so it is worth thinking about. Thinking about it will not cost you any money :)

I've made a quick blog about this offer, a number of users have reported today that they have now downloaded Visual Studio 2010 Professional for free, have installed the free Visual Micro Arduino addin for Visual Studio and are happily up and running developing Arduino projects.

And what happens after 3 years?

All of your code is automatically re-possessed by microsoft? Or do you throw all of your projects away? If you have to move all of your code to something like netbeans or eclipse in 3 years, why not do it now already?

Stuff like that doesn't actually improve my opinion about that company at all. Offering software 'for free' for a limited time... and when people have used it and can't easily do without it, then start to tighten the thumbscrews and ask for money - or else... No no no!

It's either 'free forever' (maybe limited to a certain release version) or demanding a sensible price for their product right away.

@madworm The visual studio addin uses exactly the same methods as arduino so your sketches will work in any of the enviroments both now and in the future.

The idea of the free offer is to allow you to polish your web design skills and make some money allowing you to buy the software.

If you find that during the 3 years you can't live without it then you are simply saying the other free products are not very good. Maybe they are not very good because nobody can affort to spend the time making them good!

If I offered you a free ride to work every day for 3 years would you refuse it?

And what happens after 3 years? All of your code is automatically re-possessed by microsoft? Or do you throw all of your projects away? If you have >to move all of your code to something like netbeans or eclipse in 3 years, why not do it now already? You are not going to develop MS code/projects or Win applications. The idea is to use the VS environment as a "better IDE" - for editing of the arduino code only. The sources remain the same as when done with arduino IDE. So after 3 years you may move back to arduino IDE.. :)

I'm not saying the microsoft IDE itself is a bad product. I just don't like microsoft's overall behaviour and history. In my opinion they're a bunch of cut-throats, just like apple btw. Earning money with what they do is a good thing, but what these companies lack is modesty and moderation.

@madworm I'm with you on avoiding the parasites but I don't mind paying for good software. In this case we get good software for free for quite some time. Hopefully by then some other deal will be available.

You can join Bizspark and get all just about everything for free as well. You do have to renew after a couple of years but I don’t think it costs anything/much.

I can download VS2010, W7, you name it any time, but I don’t have the bandwidth :frowning:


Bizspark looks good for small businesses but I can't see any reference to individuals being allowed to sign up?

The websitespark terms and conditions specifically allows any individual who is thinking about professional web development, this might apply to most of us at one time or another :)

Bad news about the bandwidth. You might be able to contact microsoft and ask them for a dvd.

but I can’t see any reference to individuals being allowed to sign up?

That’s true, however I’m a member because a friend signed up and added me to the list of “employees”. This friend is a one-woman band, no real business although she is selling a VB product from home. When she signed up though there was no product.

So I’m guessing the criteria aren’t that stringent.

You might be able to contact microsoft and ask them for a dvd.

I could probably ask my friend to download for me, truth is with the exception of VS2010 I can’t see a single thing I’d want to download :slight_smile:


So all I have to do to qualify for a free Visual Studio Pro download is, like, lie ? (Oh I know: "web developer" is such a broad brush I'm sure to qualify if I ever do so much as update a wiki page, and I've already done that...)

Hey let's keep this VS Professional :)

I am not going to discuss whose freind in business did what, because I am sure there are plenty of valid and free offers for that friend.

This whole offer is an opportunity for many to learn and/or investigate new skills and to get the benefit of using some of the best software in the world. As a learning opportunity we should first of all click the "Learn More" button on the websitespark intro page.

Eligibility Requirements: An eligible Web design and development company must have the following characteristics at the time of joining: •Company: A professional service firm whose primary business is providing Web development and design services for its clients, with •no more than 10 members (including owners and employees). •Individual: An individual that performs web-related development and/or design services for its current customers or plans to provide such services to its customers in the future. An Individual does not have his/her own company and/or does not work for a web design or development company. •Companies and Individuals do not have to be members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) prior to joining the Program, but enrollment in MPN is a feature of Program participation. Companies and Individuals will agree to the terms of the MPN Community Agreement when they accept the WebsiteSpark Agreement. We will compare the Company's or Individual's contact information entered by the Company or Individual during its WebsiteSpark Program enrollment process with

You can see from the quote that Individuals are allowed who are merely thinking about providing professional web design services at some future stage. Yes that covers a wide set of skills and/or services!

If you do decide to sign up you should invest some time researching the "other" free microsoft products. You might learn something that will be of benefit but more importantly you will be doing justice to the free offer.

It's up to each person to decide if they want to take this offer seriously. It seems little to ask for such great benefit.

I'm not privy to what my friend said to MS to join Bizspark, but the facts are she was intending to start a business, she's not a programmer and at the time I was going to write the software for her product.

That didn't work out, nevertheless she is now selling the VB-based product, so while it's definitely a back-yard thing and a side line it is a business and I was intending to be an employee, albeit in on a very casual basis.

Even if all that wasn't the case it sounds like they aren't very fussy anyway for obvious reasons, you get hooked on their product(s).

As for my copy of VS2008, I paid for it despite having access to Bizspark, it was easier to walk into a shop than ask a download favour and wait around in the next town for a DVD in the post.


@Graynomad Understood. Fair points. Intentional or not it certainly seems to be attracting some new users :)

VS Express has been a free download for some time now. What "new skill" would I be able to investigate using VS Studio Professional that I couldn't do using VS Express? (does the Arduino/AVR environment even run under Express?)

.. .. it works with Express as an editor, compilation/upload has to be done via arduino IDE..

As you say the the express solution doesn't compile, upload, burn boot loaders, have serial windows, have menus that allow libraries to be added, refresh intellisense as you code and a bunch of other things. Express is okay if you are working on a relatively fixed set of projects or a single project. The professional solution is a complete solution that makes life quite a bit easier.

The WebSiteSpark offer includes a wide range of microsoft client and server software. Learning some of these products and technologies will help anyone who is looking to expand their career options. The available software enables us, amongst hundreds of other things, to create our own lan based internet servers for testing and learning, it includes a professional database and data design tools for anyone who wants to learn how to design data layers, it includes front end ajax and graphical web design tools that can integrate seemlessly with each other, includes working examples that will provide many people with a starting point for their projects.

In short it includes all of the software required to setup just about any business and that which is used by just about every business.

How can this not be good knowelge for the majority of people? Let's face it, anyone who feels they don't need to expand their career options or has nothing to learn will not be needing a free copy of anything!