Microsoft's new BizSpark project is an effort to spur startups and entrepreneurs to use Microsoft technology when launching new companies. Microsoft is giving away software, services and support to startups earning less than $1 million to help them get off the ground and to the next level. The technology Microsoft is making available includes Visual Studio, Windows Server, SQL Server and Windows Azure.
Microsoft has launched a broad new effort, known as Microsoft BizSpark, to
help entrepreneurs and startups get off the ground using Microsoft tools and
The BizSpark effort, announced Nov. 5, is a global program to do just what
the name suggests-help spark new companies to enter the business world. Dan'l
Lewin, corporate vice president of strategic and emerging business development
at Microsoft, said with BizSpark Microsoft will be providing entrepreneurs with
access to Microsoft technology, support and visibility.
BizSpark provides startups and entrepreneurs with fast and easy access to
current full-featured Microsoft development tools and production licenses of
server products with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.
"We will provide access to our software with no upfront costs
whatsoever-qualified through a set of network partners," Lewin said. The
software available to the BizSpark participants include Microsoft's Visual
Studio application development tool set and "and virtually all of our
servers," including Windows Server, SQL Server and other technologies, such
as Windows Azure-Microsoft's recently announced cloud computing platform, Lewin
Indeed, as part of BizSpark, Microsoft is providing startups with a
three-year MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) Professional subscription, which
enables them to download a broad set of development tools needed to build, test
and maintain an application on the Microsoft platform, including Microsoft
Visual Studio and the Microsoft .NET Framework.
Through MSDN, BizSpark also provides professional support services and expert
For startups building hosted software, BizSpark includes production licenses
for application hosting and management servers, including Windows Server,
Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server, BizTalk Server
and Systems Center,
with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be added
soon, the company said.
Moreover, Microsoft will provide a worldwide network of hosting partners,
offering discounted hosting services to startups that would like to take their
business or product online using their BizSpark licenses. Also as part of the
program, Microsoft will promote the startups on the BizSparkDB, an online
startup directory, the company said.
And in addition to the core BizSpark offering, BizSpark startups also will
be allowed access to the CTP (community technology preview) of the Azure
Services Platform, a new computing platform that will help developers build the
next generation of applications that will span from the cloud to the enterprise
data center and deliver compelling new experiences across the PC, Web and
The BizSpark startups also will have access to the CTP of the Live
Framework, Microsoft's framework for developers to access and consume Live
Services. Live Services is a set of building blocks within the Azure Services
Platform for handling user data and application resources, which includes Live
Mesh technologies for synchronizing users' data and extending Web applications
across multiple devices, the company said.