How to Get Free Software from Microsoft

When you think of Microsoft, usually you don't think "free" or "cheap."  However, Microsoft offers a few free products.
  1. Evaluation downloads: Microsoft offers many free trials of IT and developer software such as Office 2010 and SQL Server 2008.  To get these, go to the Technet Evaluation Center.  Remember that these are trials and will expire, so you'll have to stop using them or purchase them at the end of the evaluation period.  However, you can fully use them during the try out period.
  2. Express products.  Microsoft offers free but limited "express" version of products such as Visual Studio or SQL Server.  To check these out, go to Microsoft Express.
  3. PowerToys for XP.  If you still run XP, you can check out Microsoft's XP PowerToys. Some, like SyncToy 2.1, have been updated to work on Vista and Windows 7.  Others do not run on those two operating systems without some modifications and some won't work at all.
  4. Microsoft Office Templates and Clip Art.  At Microsoft's Office website, you can download free templates and clip art.

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