Microsoft has this neat little program, BizSpark, that gives a company free access to pretty much all of their products for three years for a total of $100. The idea is that if they can get startups hooked on Microsoft operating systems, databases, and development tools, then if the companies are still alive after three years they’ll become thriving, paying customers.
Seems like a smart idea to me. After all, startups generally have to be run “on the cheap”, so most of them turn to Linux and open source solutions. BizSpark is keeping Microsoft competitive, helping out startups, and is an all-around good thing.
So, my company, Zeta Centauri, Inc., was just accepted into the BizSpark program and I now have access to all these neat development tools, including Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite (which is $10k retail). It’s still downloading, but I’m sure I’ll have to post about some of the bells and whistles that come with it. I’ve never worked with anything above Visual Studio Professional. With any luck these new and shiny tools will help me build something awesome.