Announcing WebSiteSpark in Australia

I am VERY excited to announce the launch of a new *SPARK program at Microsoft for Australia; WebSiteSpark you’ll see that the gu has already post about this.


WebSiteSpark is aimed specifically at those who are developing in the web platform and we’re giving them a jumpstart to get started on the Microsoft Platform.

The Australian launch of WebSiteSpark will be on the 8th of October at Web Directions South – Hope to see you there!

So very simply, here are the Gets and Gives:

What to we give you?

Software licenses that you can use for three years AT NO COST.  Once enrolled, you can download and immediately use the following software from Microsoft:

•3 licenses of Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
•1 license of Expression Studio 3 (which includes Expression Blend, Sketchflow, and Web)
•2 licenses of Expression Web 3
•4 processor licenses of Windows Web Server 2008 R2
•4 processor licenses of SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
•DotNetPanel control panel (enabling easy remote/hosted management of your servers)

The Windows Server and SQL Server licenses can be used for both development and production deployment.  You can either self-host the servers on your own, or use the licenses with a hoster.  WebsiteSpark makes it easy to find hosters who are also enrolled in the program, and who can use your licenses to provide you with either dedicated or virtual dedicated servers to host your sites on.

In addition to software, WebsiteSpark provides partner opportunities to grow and build your business  through referrals and product support training.

Who can get WebSiteSpark?

This is really simple:

1.Your company builds web sites and web application on behalf of others.
2.Your company currently has less than 10 employees.

If you meet these requirements you can sign up today. As part of the enrollment process you can pick a network referral partner such as a hoster or enter a code that you have received at an event or from a Microsoftie. Once you have that code you can enrol and start downloading the software – If you’re in Australia you can send an email to me: and i’ll hook you up – otherwise .

After 3 years?

You have no obligation to continue using the software just a $100 fee for the use of the program. By this time we hope you would have made a decision on whether you’re happy to continue to work with Microsoft and be part of the Microsoft Partner Network.

What’s happening in Australia?

The official launch of WebSiteSpark in Australia will be at Web Directions South on the 8th of October and from the start we’ve partnered with two of Australia’s best hosting companies to provide the network services, Melbourne IT (under WebCentral) and Westnet – you’ll see more information around these guys as they give WebSiteSpark participants special offers.


So as you can see this is an AWESOME initiative – and I’m very excited to be a part of this. If you have any questions / comments – please email me: – follow me on twitter: @jorke and follow the @websitespark twitter account.

you’ll see some press releases going out today all about this ๐Ÿ™‚

- jorke

Comments (9)

  1. here’s a chance for you to try it out – I used to work on Linux all the time – but now the world has changed.

  2. Not sure on the startup figures, but having to part with heaps of money when you’re getting started is a definate issue we’re trying to address – strangely enough when you sum up the hosting costs between windows and linux – they come out about the same, so we’re working with hosters to get you guys a better deal.

    can’t wait to see the first open source app developed from australia in the new windows web application gallery ๐Ÿ™‚

    looking forward to your enrollment!

    – jorke

  3. Jack Ukleja says:

    Smart move by MS.

    Not to take the spin out of anyone’s sales but I don’t see how MS had any choice BUT to do something like this. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Their hand has been pretty much forced by the success/prevalence of open source in start-ups – where a major factor in that decision being the zero cost/effort to start building stuff using open source solutions.

    Yes MS technology potentially has a productivity advantage, but who wants to front up $1000s just to test the waters with an idea that may or may not be the next big thing? Nobody. I suspect the numbers would have been pretty frightening – my guess is 90%+ of start-ups would have been shunning MS.

    Anyway I look forward to taking advantage of this offer myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. John OBrien says:

    Great move by Microsoft and it really compliments the DreamSpark program with students graduating wanting to be the next generation of innovative web apps.

    It will be awesome to see what the web talent in Australia can do with these tools and most importantly, production licenses.

    Key features for me will be the Smooth Streaming features in Server 2008 and the Spatial data types in SQL 2008.

  5. martina says:

    It’s such a pitty Windows is such an annoying beast to work on, as compared to Linux. It really does take the pleasure out of using these tools

  6. martina says:

    I work on Windows every day, I’ve been a Windows programmer for 15 years. That’s how I know what an annoying beats it is, and why it takes the pleasure out of using those tools.

    Now if windows had the functionality of Linux, which I also program on, and the security, and the stability, or better still those tools could be run on Linux. My life would be complete.

  7. martina says:

    I used to work on Windows all the time. Now I work on Linux some of the time, and it’s more pleasurable to do so. Yes the world has indeed changed, for me, for the better.

  8. Agreed, the only reason i ended up getting into .net was because of Dreamspark, this is a great idea.

  9. schlub says:

    @Martina – your spelling is a pity. You must be joking about Windows being a beast to work on. I have been using Linux since 1996 and I still consider it to be the red headed step child! Windows has it’s quirks and annoyances but so does every OS. I find Linux to be the more irritating and requires the most amount of geek voodoo to get things working.

    If we’re talking about the MS tools then Linux has NO comparisons. MySQL is but a pale version of MS SQL, and the tools to manage MySQL are pathetic by comparison. Visual Studio? You can’t beat it. Some people claim Eclipse is close, but it’s really average at best.

    But hey, let’s not start a Windows vs Linux war ๐Ÿ˜‰

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