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You all know how much I love BizSpark… well, I am now so very excited, as last week at Web Directions, the newest member of our Spark Family was announced: WebsiteSpark.

In a similar vein to our BizSpark & DreamSpark programs, WebsiteSpark is the new global program, designed to ignite the success of professional Web developers and designers by driving new business opportunities through connections with global partners and customers. WebsiteSpark also provides Web professional companies with Microsoft tools and hosting solutions, as well as the support and training they need. There is no upfront cost to enrol in Microsoft WebsiteSpark.

To be eligible, a Web design and development company must have the following characteristics at the time of joining:

  • A professional service firm whose primary business is providing Web development and design services for its clients, with
  • no more than 10 members (including owners and employees).
  • the company must deploy a new public and Internet-accessible website developed using Program software within 6 months from Program enrolment, and report it and other new websites through the WebsiteSpark Portal.

So, why should I join WebsiteSpark?

Get Business Opportunities: Get opportunities to expand your customer base and drive new business through showcasing your capabilities and connecting with partners, by featuring your talents in Microsoft marketing and business networking vehicles such as:

  • WebsiteSpark Marketplace, a site where customers can find a participating WebsiteSpark
  • Web developer or designer.
  • Partner Solution Profiler, a Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) resource for promoting solutions and services to the more than 170,000 customers who search Microsoft.com for technology experts every month
  • Web App Gallery, a resource that provides Web developers and designers with instant access to the most popular community Web applications available, and where Web developers and designers can also submit and showcase their work.

Get Support and Training: Get professional support from Microsoft and get connected to WebsiteSpark Network Partners, Hosting Partners, and other Web developers and designers with complementary technologies or business models—an entire ecosystem that can provide a wide range of technical and business resources for every Web professional need. Benefits include:

  • 2 professional support incidents
  • Free online training
  • Managed newsgroups on MSDN (a community of over six million developers) and/or other Microsoft online properties
  • Access to broad community support through connections with Network Partners, Hosting Partners and peers with complementary services and technologies

Get Software & Solutions: Get fast and easy access to Microsoft's current full-featured development tools and Web server production/hosting licenses for immediate use in designing, developing and bringing to market differentiated, innovative and rich Internet

Technology offering: The WebsiteSpark technology offering for participating Web professional companies currently includes:
For design, development, testing and demonstration of new websites – for a total of up to three users per Web design and development company:

  • Visual Studio Professional
  • Expression Studio 2 or 3 (1 user) and Expression Web 2 or 3 (up to 2 users)
  • Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 (when available)
  • SQL Server 2008 Web Edition

For production use – that is, to deploy and host new websites developed using Program software – using a total of up to four processors per Web design and development company, of the following (physical or virtual) dedicated servers:

  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2 (when available)
  • SQL Server 2008 Web Edition

Deployments may be on 4 servers or VMs of 1processor each, on 2 servers or VMs of 2 processors each, or on 1 server or VM of 4-processors