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WebsiteSpark Targets Open Source

Microsoft launched another 'Spark' program today to help build the developer base for its Web products.

The WebsiteSpark program, which follows DreamSpark for full-time students and BizSpark for software startups, offers free licenses for tools and server applications, along with technical and marketing support from Microsoft and its partner network.

Qualified companies with 10 employees or less will receive three full licenses for Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, two licenses for Expression Web and one license for Expression Studio 3, which includes the Expression Blend design software and SketchFlow. WebsiteSpark participants will also receive two production licenses for Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 when available, SQL Server 2008 Web Edition and third-party DotNetPanel to manage their sites.

A major plus in the current economic climate is that the program provides the opportunity to participate in a WebsiteSpark marketplace, promoted by Microsoft, which showcases the products and services of participants.

"One of the things that we recognize--and we have been doing a lot of work on the Web platform as well--is that it is really about helping companies build their business, get customers and make money, whatever size they are," says Lauren Cooney, a group product manager on the Developer Platform & Tools team at Microsoft.

BizSpark, which was launched in November 2008 in 82 countries, has more than 15,000 startups in the program, including Red Beacon Inc., the winner of the TechCrunch 50.

You can read more about WebsiteSpark and the new Web Platform Installer 2.0, also released today in my news article, Microsoft Launches 'Spark' Program for Web Developer and Server Products".

Can these programs help Microsoft counter the threat of open source software? Have you participated in 'Spark'? Express your thoughts below or drop me a line at [email protected]

Posted by Kathleen Richards on 09/24/2009

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