Free Copies of Windows Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio 2008

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 22, 2008
Updated • Mar 19, 2012

Heroes Happen {Here} is what Microsoft calls the promotional tour for three of its 2008 products which will come to many cities in the United States this year. Users who attend a launch event will get a promotional kit of the three Microsoft products Windows Server® 2008 operating system, Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008, and Microsoft Visual Studio® 2008.

Not everyone can just walk in though and grab the copies, you need to register to be able to attend an event and even then kits will only be given out as long as supplies last. Events will also take place in other countries. A quick check revealed one event in Germany where attendees have to pay a fee to be able to attend the event. They still get the software kit with the newest versions of the applications though.

You have to give a company name and job title during registration. It is unclear if Microsoft will reject applications if they do not meet certain criteria. The first event is on February 27th in Los Angeles, the last on May 22nd in Reston.

Update: The Heroes Happen promotional tour has ended, and there is currently no option to grab a free copy of Visual Studio, SQL Server or Windows Server.

Microsoft has however released beta versions of upcoming product versions which can be used for free for a limited amount of time.

You find information about each new product (Visual Studio 11 and Windows Server 8, as well as download links by following this link.

Users interested in a free copy of Visual Studio may want to take a look at the Visual Studio 2010 Express product lineup, a free basic version of the development environment. They are well suited for beginners who want to start to code their first programs without having to spend money on a commercial product.


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  1. kurios said on February 1, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I haven’t been to a conference that MS gave away Windows Sever, and for some reason this kit strikes me that it would probably have just a trial of Windows Server. As for Visual Studios – probably standard edition, and SQL server 2008 – maybe dev edition.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love free stuff, but just skeptical if they would give away full blown Windows Server… at least that is what I perceive… any other thoughts?

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