Aaaanyhow, get yer software at the Microsoft DreamSpark site.The weird thing is that Brown University has an MSDNAA agreement (the MSDN Academic Alliance program, which allows schools to provide free and deeply discounted MS software to students). In fact, we have 4+ agreements! Check if your school has a sane policy in place. Here, I'm a grad student in the Dept of Neuroscience, working in a lab that's part of the Engineering Dept. Somehow, I qualify for almost nothing, as far as these MSDNAA memberships go. Oh, wait. I can get a free copy of Windows XP! Woo! The school pays me, through grants to the lab, but I don't qualify as an employee or staff member. Fair enough. But I don't qualify for the CS Dept or Engineering Dept programs because I'm not taking any classes in the departments. I could TA, but even then I'm not technically enrolled. I've fired off a few hot-headed emails, but the responses have been the usual Brown hand-waving/"Wait until we start the
Program"/"We're talking with people about that" types. It was easier for me to sign up for the IEEE and hunt down offers like this, rather than deal with my own school, which still gets paid $45k/year for tuition. Amazing.
If you're not a student, there are 'Express' versions of many Visual Studio tools available for free. These lack MSDN Library access, which is a great thing to have, as well as 64-bit compilers and some of the more powerful tools, but they're free, legit, and lack alot of the bloat you would usually just throw into a new install. (Am I going to be using SQL Remote Doppleganger USB Ninja FlipFlap elements? I dunno. Meh, just install all of it.) Get them here.