Microsoft is encouraging students to attend this week’s TechEd 2005 conference on the Gold Coast by offering free tickets to the August 30 opening day.

Limited complimentary student tickets, available by registering on the TechEd Web site, allow admission to sessions from 11am until 6pm. The standard registration cost for all four days of the event is $1,979.

Highlights on the first day include technical information sessions on blogging, Windows Mobile, games development and Indigo architecture — a set of .NET technologies for building and running connected systems.

The Student Day, which proved popular at last year’s conference, is aimed at students studying Computer Science, Software Engineering and Information-based degrees, according to Microsoft.

TechEd, Microsoft’s annual developer and IT professional training event, will be held at at the Gold Coast Convention Centre until September 2. It features over 150 technical sessions in areas like developer tools, databases and security, as well as practical labs and a technology showcase.