Today Microsoft announced the SaaS On Ramp program; this program provides discounted software for "evaluating" SaaS. Participants to this program can get Windows Sever (up to 8 CPUs) and SQL Server (up to 2 CPU) under SPLA at a heavy discount. Full press release below. More info about it here: http://www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/programs/saasonramp.mspx

 

Microsoft Creates New Opportunities for ISVs Evaluating Software as a Service

Microsoft SaaS On-Ramp Program provides discounted server and database software to help spur innovation in the software as a service market.

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 7, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the Microsoft® SaaS On-Ramp Program, which provides independent software vendors (ISVs) with discounted software infrastructure and technical resources to help develop and deploy software as a service (SaaS) applications.

“The current software development landscape presents a tremendous opportunity for vendors to expand their business with SaaS,” said John Zanni, director of Worldwide Hosting at Microsoft. “Microsoft recognizes that many smaller ISVs and startups lack the essential tools and resources necessary to adopt the SaaS business model. With the SaaS On-Ramp Program, Microsoft can help ISVs enter this industry by reducing the cost of technology needed to support hosted software offerings and improving access to other resources.”

The Microsoft SaaS On-Ramp Program provides ISVs with the Windows Server® license for up to eight central processing units (CPUs) and Microsoft SQL Server™ license for up to two CPUs. In addition, participating vendors will receive the benefits of the Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement, a licensing program that enables ISVs to license Microsoft products on a monthly basis to offer services and hosted applications to their end customers. The many benefits include access to the latest versions of Microsoft software, the ability to grant customer demos for 60 days, and 20 licenses for datacenter administrators at no cost.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

#########

Microsoft and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

United States: Heather Schwenk, Weber Shandwick, +1 (425) 452-5472, hopthof@webershandwick.com

EMEA: Sanjani Shah, Weber Shandwick, +44 (207) 067-0534, sshah@webershandwick.com

APAC: Marie Loh, Weber Shandwick, +65 6825 8026, mloh@webershandwick.com