Microsoft just announced some exciting news for school and college students. Their popular student program, DreamSpark, underwent a rebranding and is now called the Microsoft Imagine program. This change has been done to put it in sync with the annual Imagine Cup that honors talented students.
It’s not just the name that has changed; Microsoft is also planning to add some more functionality to the program by increasing the level of interaction with institutions involved. Microsoft Imagine will now be indulging most closely with institutions periodically with program updates and news.
Even the visual design and appearance of the program’s web interface will be revamped. Administrators of the website will get a design overhaul and increased options in terms of managing the rewards and recognition. The good news is that there will not be any change in the value of benefits due to the transition and students will have access to the same rewards as was the case beforehand.
While the revamp was officially announced today, changes to the services like the website and program details have already been changed a few days back. The branding now reads ‘Imagine’ everywhere, with the physical benefits coming to members soon. Microsoft is expected to completely take off the DreamSpark name by early-2017.
While Microsoft Imagine Standard edition includes access to just the standard and pro versions of the company’s software, Imagine Premium includes almost any Windows operating system and access to all editions of Visual Studio instead of just the professional editions found in the Standard list.
The Imagine program was announced by Bill Gates as DreamSpark on February 20, 2008, during a speech at Stanford University. It is estimated that up to 35 million students will be able to access these software titles free of charge through this program.