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Microsoft offers Free Sotware

Alex Christie

6 November 2008

Ms
A couple of weeks ago Aaron, our Head of Technology, wrote a post about saving costs by using Open Source and mentioned that software could be as much as a third of the price of new PC’s and laptops.

Considering all of this, one can quickly understand the large amount of money spent on software and that it could be a difficult situation for small startup companies. Do they go the open source route or do they spend a large amount of their budget on software alone.

Problem solved or at least for small Web start ups. Microsoft announced yesterday that they will start helping small start ups to get off the ground by offering them free licensing as part of a worldwide program called BizSpark.

The program aims to help get small Web start up’s off the ground by offering them free licensing and support for several Microsoft products. The offer to the company will be available for free for three years after which the company then has to start paying for it. Software on offer range from Microsoft Office through to more advanced applications like Visual Studio and SQL Server.

Though this might seem like an amasing gesture by Microsoft, industry watcher says it’s a bold move to help curb the growing number of Open Source users worldwide. Microsoft’s thinking is that any company that has been using Microsoft applications for three years will find it difficult to move to Open Source placing them first in line when the company needs to buy or upgrade their software.

From the outside, this is actually I pretty clever move by Microsoft. It can be seen as short term investments that will pay dividend after three years and at the same time help Microsoft to grow/sustain the user’s worldwide.

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