Microsoft has launched WebsiteSpark , a new program to provide free copies of Microsoft development tools, applications and server licenses to web developers and designers for a period of three years.
The program is the third and latest launch as part of the ’spark’ series to engage communities with new Microsoft products. The initial programs to launch were BizSpark , for startups, and DreamSpark, for students.
What does the program provide?
WebSiteSpark provides software licenses that you can use for three years at no cost. Once enrolled, you can download and immediately use the following software from Microsoft:
- 3 licenses of Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- 1 license of Expression Studio 3 (which includes Expression Blend, Sketchflow, and Web)
- 2 licenses of Expression Web 3
- 4 processor licenses of Windows Web Server 2008 R2
- 4 processor licenses of SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
- DotNetPanel control panel (enabling easy remote/hosted management of your servers)
The Windows Server and SQL Server licenses can be used for both development and production deployment. You can either self-host the servers on your own, or use the licenses with a hoster. WebsiteSpark makes it easy to find hosters who are also enrolled in the program, and who can use your licenses to provide you with either dedicated or virtual dedicated servers to host your sites on.
In addition to software, WebsiteSpark provides partner opportunities to grow and build your business (including customer referrals through our partner programs). It also includes product support (including 2 professional support incidents) and free online training for the products.
Who can join the program?
WebSiteSpark is available to independent web developers and small web development companies. The only two requirements to join the program are:
- Your company builds web sites and web application on behalf of others.
- Your company currently has less than 10 employees.
If you meet these requirements you can visit the WebsiteSpark website and sign-up.