Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

WebSiteSpark: Spark of hope for Small companies in this downturn

September 24, 2009 2 comments

Today Scott Gu announced yet another cool program from Microsoft called WebSiteSpark.

What is WebsiteSpark?

WebsiteSpark is designed for independent web developers and web development companies that build web applications and web sites on behalf of others.  It enables you to get software, support and business resources from Microsoft at no cost for three years, and enables you to expand your business and build great web solutions using ASP.NET, Silverlight, SharePoint and PHP, and the open source applications built on top of them.

Technology Offering

For design, development, testing and demonstration of new websites – for a total of up to three users per Web design and development company:
• Visual Studio Professional
• Expression Studio 2 or 3 (1 user) and Expression Web 2 or 3 (up to 2 users)
• Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 (when available)
• SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
For production use – that is, to deploy and host new websites developed using Program software – using a total of up to four processors per Web design and development company, of the following (physical or virtual) dedicated servers:
• Windows Web Server 2008 R2 (when available)
• SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
Deployments may be on 4 servers or VMs of 1processor each, on 2 servers or VMs of 2 processors each, or on 1 server or VM of 4-processors.

Note:This includes up gradation of latest software. For example if VS2010 is released you will get VS2010.

Responsibilities of the company or individual

Companies participating in WebsiteSpark must:
• Enroll on the WebsiteSpark website and maintain an up-to-date profile on the WebsiteSpark website.
• Renew their membership on an annual basis.
• Report the new websites they deploy using Program software (including at least one within six months of joining the Program).
• Agree to abide by WebsiteSpark terms and conditions, per the:
o Program Web developer and designer (Web Pro) Agreement and Program License Terms
o Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) agreement
o Program website, including Terms of Use and Privacy Statement as well as this Program Guide
o if choosing to self-host their websites, the SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) Essentials agreement.
• Pay a USD $100 Program Offering Fee at the end of their participation with WebsiteSpark

Support for the software?

It also includes product support (including 2 professional support incidents) and free online training for the products.

Eligibility to join?

WebSiteSpark is available to independent web developers and small web development companies.  The only two requirements to join the program are:

  1. Your company builds web sites and web application on behalf of others.
  2. Your company currently has less than 10 employees.

For more information visit WebSiteSpark now!

This will surely help small start-up companies in some developing countries. At least, I guess this will help small companies to come out of their illegal usage of pirated software. They must use this opportunity.

This reminds me of what Reliance did few years back in India. Some 10 years back there was only BPL which provided cell phone services in India and they were charging for incoming calls too. Then all of a sudden, after 2 years, Reliance came in to the market and offered cell phones for just Rs 500 and most interestingly didn’t charge for incoming calls. This changed the way how the cell phone market worked for ever in India. Needless to say that Reliance did all these things, not on good will but to get dominance in the cell phone market.

Anyway, tricky things apart, this cool announcement looks highly motivating for small companies. What do you guys say?

Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Microsoft announced the CodePlex Foundation yesterday.

The CodePlex Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities, launched today, September 10, 2009.

So what’s the difference between CodePlex Foundataion and

CodePlex Foundation is an extension of the CodePlex brand established by has not only built a strong community, with more than 10,000 projects now hosted on the site, but has steadily built a recognized brand. launched in June of 2006 out of a need for a project hosting site that operated in a way that other forges didn’t – with features and structures that appealed to commercial software developers. The next chapter in solving for this challenge is the CodePlex Foundation ( The Foundation is solving similar challenges; ultimately aiming to bring open source and commercial software developers together in a place where they can collaborate. This is absolutely independent from the project hosting site, but it is essentially trying to support the same mission. It is just solving a different part of the challenge, a part that isn’t designed to solve.

Well, I didn’t get it exactly. But one thing is clear Microsoft, after years of learning right from the release of .Net beta in 2001, has finally learnt the importance of open source projects.

I still remember the fight I had with my manager in 2005 to implement ajax using the open source project Ajax.Net for framework 1.1. My manager was so skeptic about this third-party not so professional (in his eyes!) framework. But I won finally and we used it in a major project. That project was a success and it is still running fine.

But this is long back. Now the situation is changing rapidly. Organizations are opening up to open source projects; else how would NHibernate and Spring.Net would have been embraced like this? Let alone ASP.NET.MVC, we’ll have to wait.

What I like most with open source projects is this: Open source projects can be influential up on Microsoft. They make Microsoft to learn and adopt to the trends.

Scott Bellware says Microsoft has donated one million dollars to this foundation. In all perspectives, Microsoft’s change in direction looks promising. And this change is for good I hope.