To my knowledge Windows 7 was the first offering final versions for free to beta testers. No other OS, or product from Microsoft ever did that before.
Alternatively, and possibly a more complete solution for you is BizSpark. This was my safe harbor and little corner in the sky. You start your own company, and you can enroll. For 3 years you get the equivalent of a MSDN Premium subscription, with access to all of Microsoft's software (keys are lifetime and it's usually 2 keys per product) and with the ability to subscribe new employees, up to 10, for their own free 3 year-long MSDN premium subscriptions.
As I understand the process of starting a company in Ontario is pretty much similar to here. It can be done in 24 hours, costs are minimal, and you only have to worry about getting an accredited accountant, who you pay once or twice an year. All together the costs of maintaining, even an entire open-source business like yours, are far inferior than the costs associated with buying all that software you will now starting to get for free.