Today Microsoft announced BizSpark: http://www.microsoftstartupzone.com/bizspark

This program gives ISV startup with less than USD$1m in annual revenue (lower amounts for some other countries - for example it's just USD$250k for Egypt) free access to MSDN subscriptions. Nice. You get Visual Studio, Expression, VSTS, SQL Server, BizTalk Server, SharePoint Server, Windows Server - all you need to build a software app on the Microsoft application platform. 

There are some requirements:  you have to be a software startup, privately held, and there's the revenue limit.  If you don't qualify for that deal, there are others that may work for you. Here's a summary :

  • BizSpark - Free development software for ISVs.
  • Empower for ISVs - Accelerates ISVs development on the Microsoft platform with software, support, and other resources.
  • DreamSpark -  like BizSpark, but for Students. Download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge.
  • Free software - Free software and trial software.
Check it out...