MS dangles carrot in front of start-up developers

Microsoft is luring start-up software developers into its camp by offering them thousands of dollars of software for about $1600.

Microsoft is luring start-up software developers into its camp by offering them software it says is worth $30,000 for $1620.

Called Empower, the programme offers software developers who want to build a Microsoft packaged application five licences for Windows XP and Office XP, five Microsoft Developer Network licences covering Microsoft development tools, plus Windows Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint.

Until now only developers which had already built a Microsoft-based application could get discounts through the certified partner programme. There was no assistance available to those just starting out, says Microsoft channel manager Petrina Kerr.

Kerr denies the move is a reaction to the availability of open source servers and development tools that can be downloaded from the internet for free.

As for the vendor, “what Microsoft gets out of it is applications that are built on the Microsoft platform”.

Kerr estimates that of about 1000 independent software developers in New Zealand, roughly 700 would develop for Microsoft’s platform, though not exclusively.

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