“BizSpark provides fast and easy access to Microsoft tools and technologies, for their immediate use in design, development, testing, demonstration, and hosted application production and deployment.”
What this means is that if you are a start-up or small business who meets certain criteria, then joining the BizSpark programme will enable you to obtain and use Microsoft software at pretty much zero cost. An eligible business must have the following characteristics at the time of joining:
- Actively engaged in development of a software-as-a-service that will form a core piece of its current or intended business
- Privately held
- In business for less than 3 years
- Less than US $1 million in annual revenue
So what do you get if you meet these criteria and sign up to the programme? Well firstly, you get Design, Development, Test and Demonstration licenses for up to 25 developers at NO CHARGE for pretty much all Microsoft development tools (Visual Studio Team System etc.), all server products (SQL Server, SharePoint Server etc.) and all Microsoft Dynamics products (including CRM).
This in itself is great value, however you also get Production licenses that you can use to host customer applications also at NO CHARGE..!!! That’s right, you can develop and host SaaS applications at NO CHARGE whilst you are a member of the programme, using any or all of the following products:
- Windows Server 2008 Web, Standard and Enterprise editions
- SQL Server 2008 Web, Standard, Enterprise and Workgroup Editions
- BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Branch, Standard and Enterprise Editions
- Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Internet Sites
- *** Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 (coming soon) ***
So why are we doing this? Well most software start-ups have limited working capital, and many choose to build solutions on free technology platforms simply because they cannot afford the upfront software costs of our software. BizSpark removes this barrier to entry, and will help start-ups by providing access to Microsoft software when they most need it and can least afford it.
You can find out more details (including terms & conditions) and sign up for the programme here – http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark