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General Information

Microsoft has set up the MSDN/DreamSpark program so that instructors can allow students to get free copies of software that is necessary for their class. It is not intended as a way for students to get any or all Microsoft products, but only those that are directly needed for a particular course.
Students enrolled in CS courses at UVa can download complimentary copies of some Microsoft software related to the course through the department's participation in Microsoft's Academic Alliance. Software distribution is handled through a web interface called the DreamSpark Web Store, which provides secure software distribution to students through http downloads. This is a brief introduction to DreamSpark and what it can provide for your students.

Software Available

Most Microsoft products are available. The main exceptions are parts of the Office Suite, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. As of 11/7/2013 some of the major titles available are:
  • Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 in various formats
  • Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2 in various formats
  • Project Professional 2007, 2010, and 2013
  • Visio Professional 2007, 2010, and 2013
  • Visual Studio Professional 2010, 2012, and 2013
  • Various Microsoft SDK packages

Professor Instructions to allow access to students

If you want students in your class to have access to this software, send the systems staff ( a message in text format with the student emails, one per line. A sample file would look like the following:
Once the emails are loaded into DreamSpark by one of the systems staff, each student will receive an email detailing his/her username and password.
Once they have a username and password, students can download copies of the software from the DreamSpark Web Site

How to download software via DreamSpark

1) Log into DreamSpark using your user id, typically

2) Once successfully logged into DreamSpark you can search for or browse through the available software to find the package you need

3) If there are multiple versions available determine the correct one and click its "Add to Cart" link

4) On the next page double-check that the correct software was selected and then click "Check Out"

5) Carefully read the DreamSpark EULA agreement and click on "I Decline" or "I Accept"

6) Proceed with the order and follow the instructions to download the Secure Download Manager and execute it when it is done. The Secure Download Manager will download the software package from the DreamSpark server.


How long does it take for the students to get emails with their account information?
Within 48 hrs from the time the class list was loaded.

The student didn't get an email with their account information, what happened?
Either the student wasn't on the uploaded class list or they already have an account on the E-Academy site and it was just reactivated. The reactivation of an account will not email the student; his/her password and login will remain the same as before.

If a student doesn not remember their password, what do they do?
Go to the "Log in" url and click on "Forgot Password" or "Click here for a reminder". As a last ditch effort, they can email and state that they need their password changed.

If a student working with me, but not in my class, needs to download software, what should I do?
If the student is working on an academic project or research, then the instructor should email root@cs. and the systems staff can set up an account for the student.

Can students borrow copies of CDs to install the software, instead of downloading it?
Not at this time. However, the students can download and burn CD images of the software.

How long are the licenses valid? Can students use the software after the semester is over?
Answer from the "Microsoft and ELMS Usage Agreement": When you are no longer a registered student in a department that is a member of the MSDN Academic Alliance, you may no longer receive updates for your personal use computer. However, you may continue to use previously installed software on your computer, provided you continue to follow program guidelines.

What should students do if they have trouble installing the software? Is it the job of the instructor to help them with any installation problems?
If students have trouble with installing the software, they can email . Please ask them to include in the email that they are trying to install software downloaded from ELMS.