Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bellefield Now a Member of Microsoft BizSpark

We are happy to announce that Bellefield is now a member of the Microsoft BizSpark program for startup companies. The goal of this Microsoft program is to support early stage companies by providing them with free software licenses, technical support, education, and access to their network of partners.

In practical terms, this means that every staff member at Bellefield (up to 25) has now access to a fully licensed copy of the software and tools we will be using to develop our next-generation SaaS collaboration platform for the legal market. Here are the tools we are planning to use: 
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Expression Blend
  • Microsoft Expression Web
  • Microsoft Expression Design

The BizSpark licenses are good for 3 years and after that we will need to pay Microsoft a symbolic $100. That’s it. Sounds like a deal? Your company may be able to apply as well, read more about BizSpark here.

Obviously Microsoft does not do this out of the kindness of their heart: their goal is to eliminate any pricing objections that startup companies may have to building their solutions on the Microsoft platform. And with all those free open source alternatives for building SaaS applications, why would you want licensing costs to be the deciding factor?

We think this is a very smart move by Microsoft. It is likely that those successful startup companies will continue to use Microsoft’s technology well beyond their startup phase. And that means real revenue for Microsoft. And for those startups that fail, well, at least you have a team of people that have learned and are familiar with a number of Microsoft’s technologies and not some competing alternative. It is a win-win for Microsoft no matter how you slice it.

In Bellefield’s case, we will work hard and do our best to make sure we are one of those successful startups Microsoft is looking to foster. Big thanks to Microsoft!

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