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A few weeks ago a lot of sites were writing about a web developer program from Microsoft that provided web-related software at no upfront cost. When you end your membership you will, however, have to pay a $100 fee. If you look at the overall value of the software you’ll see that it’s still worthwhile.

There’s another program that Microsoft offers which is an even better deal if you qualify… BizSpark. It’s targeted for small businesses that have been around for less than 3 years, make under $1 million a year, and are privately held. Once you get in you’ll have access to pretty much all the software Microsoft makes including all versions of Office 2007 (Ultimate, Professional, Enterprise, etc…), all versions of Windows 7 (Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, etc…), all versions of Vista, and so on. You’ll basically get a full retail MSDN subscription.

Here’s a more detailed list of the requirements:

  • An eligible startup must have the following characteristics at the time of joining:
    • Actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that will form a core piece of its current or intended business
    • Privately held
    • In business for less than 3 years
    • Less than US $1 million in annual revenue
  • To be eligible to use the software for production and deployment of hosted solutions, startups must also be developing a new “software-plus-services” solution (on any platform) to be delivered over the Internet. To meet this requirement your software must:
    • Add significant and primary functionality to the integrated Microsoft software
    • Be owned, not licensed, by you

After you apply it should take about one business day to get accepted (they’ll send a confirmation email to you). Once you’re in you’ll be able to enjoy 3-years of Microsoft software, and similar to the web developer program you’ll have to pay a $100 fee when you exit the program. That’s a heck of a deal for all of the software you get access to.

BizSpark Homepage
Thanks Chris for the details!