If you are a student and wants to develop applications by using visual studio 2008 for free then here is a way "Microsoft DreamSpark Professional Developer and Designer for students tools at no charge" at channel 8 you can find 4 Microsoft products totally free for students these products are
1. Microsoft Visual studio 2008 Professional Edition.
2. Microsoft Windows 2003 standard Edition.
3. Microsoft Expression Studio.
4. Microsoft Game Studio 2.0
But wait please read this from Microsoft before you go;
“We are kicking this off in 11 countries/regions, giving DreamSpark to millions of students in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium. If you are not residing in one of the countries listed keep checking back, we will be adding more countries throughout the year”
So if your country is not in the list then wait for your turn ;)
Following is the link