Image via CrunchBase
To join the program, companies must fulfil the following criteria;
- Is in the business of software development
- Is privately held
- Has been in business for less than 3 years
- Has less than US $1 million in annual revenue
Successful applicants will receive a host of design, development, hosting and support offerings – full details here.
I’m going to post a completely schizophrenic set of thoughts and will leave it up to the readers to decide which is right.
Awesome – Microsoft gets with the free model
This is great. The move creates lots of goodwill within the developer community, gives fragile start-ups a real hand up and lets Microsoft join the legions of those offering software for free.
Proprietary software holds the most stability and consistency and until now penny-pinching start-ups were forced to utilise free but sub-optimal software – the BizSpark program changes all that.
It’s Like Giving Crack to Kids
Microsoft are like the old dope peddler in the old Tom Lehrer song, giving free samples to kids in order to gain future users. Microsoft is banking on enough start-ups becoming locked into the MS proprietary solutions that a nice on-ramp of future customers is created.
The fact is that young vibrant start-ups are turning in droves away from proprietary software and using Google for their email/office productivity, silverstripe for their CMS needs, LAMP for their backend stuff and a whole heaps of other free or cheap products.
More thoughts on the announcement below;