WebsiteSparkOn Thursday, September 24th Microsoft launched the WebsiteSpark Program. WebsiteSpark provides Web developers and designers with Microsoft software and solutions, as well as the training, support and market exposure they need to jump-start their web development and help their businesses succeed. The WebsiteSpark Program also helps drive new business opportunities by connecting Web professionals and hosters with an ecosystem of customers, partners and other professionals with complementary technologies.

Web development and design companies with up to 10 employees and owners can participate in the WebsiteSpark Program for three years with no up-front cost. There is only a $100 program offering fee, payable at exit, with no other costs or obligations. For complete details of the program visit the WebsiteSpark website.

Coupled with the WebsiteSpark announcement, we also announced the next release of the Web Platform Installer and Windows Web Application Gallery (2.0 RTM). If you haven't tried the Web Platform Installer, take it for a test drive yourself. Especially on a clean installation, see how easy it is to install and configure the Microsoft Web Platform from scratch. Also be sure to install some or all of the IIS Extensions including the IIS SEO Toolkit to see the full functionality of the platform. Install one or more of the applications from the Windows Web Application Gallery to get a feel for the experience and how it automatically pulls in the platform dependencies for the applications your choose.