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Microsoft BizSpark Set Up To Help Startups

   
5:27 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft BizSpark Set Up To [eweek.com]Help Startups
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. Technology Microsoft is making available includes Visual Studio, Windows Server, SQL Server and others including 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 technology.

The BizSpark effort, announced Nov. 5, is a global program to do just what the name suggests -- to 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.

8:28 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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When an old dog like me decides to go the LAMP route and starts playing with Open Office it's a sign that MS hasn't been connecting. This may be too little, too late.

"We will provide access to our software with no upfront costs whatsoever—qualified through a set of network partners,"

The above, from the article, reads too much like raptors will be handing out the meat.

Would you like some installation and customization services with that free software? It's only $25,000.00 extra per . . side dish . .

9:49 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'll take a pass on this one. MS's web technology has never been able to stack up to the free alternatives (LAMP).

Plus they are about 10 years late if you think about all the free resources and help out there for LAMP setups.

10:20 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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“We think Microsoft BizSpark addresses a fundamental challenge startups face: access to current, full-featured tools and technologies that help turn ideas into a thriving business,” said Suren Dutia, CEO of TiE Global, in a statement. “We will work closely with Microsoft to help startups bring their innovative solutions to market more quickly and effectively by providing educational programs, business mentoring and peer networking."

Sounds like a great idea to me. My business interests extend beyond just web applications and include Windows apps. So despite the Microsoft trolls affinity for LAMP, I will be taking a serious look at this. If not for anything but the MSDN subscription and development tools.

11:12 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Nice idea: Provide developers with free tools to build windows-only software so they can secure in the end more copies of windows will be sold. Some fanatics would call this "Sell your soul" I call it a plain marketing strategy, at the end of the day, for me it's a win-win situation, if they offer free tools why not taking them? The world has become such a competitive and changing place that you cannot think too much about the future, take what you can now, tomorrow it'll be too late.
11:17 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I remember when AOL use to hand out "free" software at every checkout register. Not all free things should be taken... ;-)
11:18 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft trolls affinity for LAMP

Spot on! Minus the insulting use of the "word" troll of course... ;-)

3:48 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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LAMP has been helping startups and small businesses for over a decade - for free. 10+ years ago I'm not certain I could have financially started my business if I'd have had to pay MS prices.

Using OSS/linux programs I was able to get started with basically no money and no financial obligation - just my time and sweat. The grand or two or more for an MS server, more for the database, and then for the software to run the store, well, it might have been too much for me to commit to on my shoestring business I was running after hours.

I'm in the too little, too late party. As much as MS has a stranglehold on the desktop, the linux/OS folks have a pretty good stranglehold on the small biz/startup market.

6:43 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"..access to current full-featured Microsoft development tools and production licenses of server products with no upfront costs and minimal requirements."

Heroin and crack dealers give potential customers enough of a taste of the product "with no upfront costs" to get them hooked too.

2:05 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So despite the Microsoft trolls affinity for LAMP

Troll? Moi? Me trolling against Microsmurf? Fella, you just made a 50+ year old "old MS dog" feel like a young open-source-techno-geek-stud.

Since 1982 I've been part of MS's reliable userbase. It's only been the past 2 years that I've decided to make a move away towards LAMP.

The objective of my comment wasn't so much to bash MS as it was to send the message that MS has been so leaden in its licensing, pricing and new product release ways that even longstanding MS addicts, such as myself, have decided that it's worth the learning curve cost to explore "other methods and sources".

Old dogs can also sense when free food is actually bait. Better to pass up a free meal than to become one.

Woof!

2:20 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Too many conditions attached - the worst is having to be "sponsored" by some of Microsoft partners. Microsoft should bite the bullet and drop prices on dev tools for their platform.
2:24 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ok, the use of the word Troll was a little strong. My apologies. Seems I'm still hung over from the political blogs.

BizSpark is something I'm going to take a serous look at. I'll report back what I find out.

4:07 am on Nov 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Major Fail.

I pretty much hate everybody - open source, ms, apple, linux, the works. But imo no one makes better dev tools than MS, and that's why I went with asp.net a few years ago. The tools were free btw (as part of some other promotion).

But this bizspark stuff is so weak. You have to concentrate to understand what they're trying to do, and that's always a troublesome sign. One Of the 3 features of bizspark is that they'll put your business on a web page that they created just for this initiative. It costs $100. You have to partner with a "network partner", whatever that means (didn't want to read into that).

Just make it simple. Give me 1-free software, 2-free hosting, 3-$10,000 of free adwords on whatever SE they maintain 4) A few #1 rankings on keywords for my business. See that's not so hard.

9:54 am on Nov 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Visual Studio is good.

SQL Express, DB2 Express or Oracle Express is good enough for most small businesses. MySQL is good enough in many cases, indeed.