Microsoft Launches WebsiteSpark Program

Scott Guthrie has announced on his blog that Microsoft Corporation recently launched a sponsor-based program called WebsiteSpark. The program is designed to help small professional web development and design service companies with 10 employees or less succeed by providing access to business opportunities, support, training, software and solutions.

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

What does the program provide?

WebSiteSpark provides software licenses that these businesses can use for three years at no cost.  Once enrolled, they 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.  Businesses can either self-host the servers on their own, or use the licenses with a host company.  WebsiteSpark makes it easy to find hosters who are also enrolled in the program, and who can use the licenses to provide them with either dedicated or virtual dedicated servers to host their sites on.

In addition to software, WebsiteSpark provides partner opportunities to grow and build these small businesses (including customer referrals through partner programs).  It also includes product support (including 2 professional support incidents) and free online training for the products.

You can read the rest off this announcement on Scott Guthrie’s blog.