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WebsiteSpark Developer Program Is Extinguished

The Spark never caught fire, and now, it's been crushed out of existence.

That may be a little overly dramatic, but it's essentially what happened to Microsoft's WebsiteSpark program. As Mary Jo Foley reported earlier, Redmond notified developers that the Spark is being quenched, as of today.

"The WebsiteSpark program will no longer be accepting new membership applications," is how the company put it on the Spark site. The good news is that membership benefits, like the Expression design tool and Visual Studio Professional, aren't being immediately phased out. They'll be available for another year, through March 2014.

WebsiteSpark was designed to make it easier to design and build Web sites. It seems like it never really caught on with the development crowd, leading to its demise.

Trying to soften the blow, Microsoft says on the site that it "has created new offers at no cost to help Web Pros like you continue to create rich interactive web applications." Not everyone is on board with that sentiment, as various Twitter comments demonstrate.

AJ Smith, ‏@audibledesigns, tweets that he's "Moving a few domains over @WindowsAzure when I find out my #WebsiteSpark membership is getting axed. 2 small for @bizspark".

Iain Magee, ‏@iainmagee, doesn't like the alternatives. "Real shame @WebsiteSpark program getting killed off especially as@bizspark entry requirements are so inflexible."

John Obeto II, ‏@johnobeto, said that it's not the positive step Microsoft has portrayed it as: "email is worded as if changes are for our benefit when they are clearly not," he tweeted.

Posted by Keith Ward on 03/12/2013

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