What is Microsoft doing – giving away software for free?
Did you hear about the BizSpark program from Microsoft? This is a new thing, where Microsoft adresses new software business – younger than 3 years and with a business smaller than 1 (one) million USD per year. So… startups generally…
Companies that join this program can get their hands on a full MSDN license – including Visual Studio Team System – for each of the developers in the company. On top of that the company gets licenses for running a buck-load of software internally in the company, basically meaning that these companies (that generally dont have eny money for buying licenses) can now have a fully licensed microsoft infrastructure with Windows 2008, Exchange, SharePoint, Systems Center – the works…
ON TOP OF THAT – if the company is building an online application – did you read Cloud computing / SaaS or Service + Software here? – they can even use software like sharePoint, IIS, Windows and SQL Server on the internet. The value of this is absolutely wild – in terms of dollors. Why are Microsoft suddenly giving away so much money?
Well – the thing is… we all know that there is a major shift towards online services and cloud computing. Most of us think daily – and some of us nightly – about how we can get the next big idea of a service in the cloud that will change the world and possibly at the same time make us stinking rich. Microsoft is doing the same thing (except that they are already pretty loaded, naturally…)
But Microsoft have also seen the other side of this big market for online services. They are already pushing this concept of Software + Services and BizSpark is going to get them exactly to where they want to be in that respect. we will see a forrest of small start-ups that will now be using solid Microsoft infrastructure and platform technology to produce the next Google, MySpace, WordPress og Facebook.
One thing is that microsoft will be making money of securing that the Windows/.NET platform will be the base of these new services – at least fast a growing part of them – but as Microsoft will finish the Azure platform, where the softwarecompany themselves will provide services – hosting etc – to the people these new super-website/service start-ups.
This is a good strategy and – from my point – shows that Microsoft has put themselves in a leading position in Cloud computing – at least on a strategic level. I have been working with bizSpark only for a few weels (it still a very new thing) and already have been contacted by 4 companies that all have very good ideas and great prospects for the future.
So – now you know! There is an idea behind this giving away expensive stuff, and I think this is it. It’s a good idea as – no matter what you feel – Microsoft does have a broad and solid platform for running the services of he future. So even though it’s probably going to make more money for Microsoft, it is still a heck of a deal for software startups. and I have only mentione the software peice. There are also a set of support and guidance bundled with this, so I can only aplause the BizSpark program for innovation and completeness.
You can read more about this stufff at www.microsoft.com/bizspark.
If you are a danish company, and you have interest in getting to know more about this stuff, let me know. Netmedia Software at www.netmedia.as are a Bizspark Network Partner and can help you get setup for this program. just swing by the website and register.