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Microsoft offers free kit to developers

Microsoft offers free kit to developers

Microsoft is attempting to woo Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to build or migrate software applications to its new server platform by offering subsidised and/or free development packages to developers.

The software vendor has announced it will offer ISV partners its MSDN Universal pack, featuring a slew of development and testing applications for the Microsoft platform, along with free licenses for running any Microsoft product within their own business, for a heavily subsidised price of $AU1500 (including GST).

As an incentive to get ISV developers on board for the Windows Server 2003 release in late April, Microsoft is subsidising the bundle even further for the first three months of the offer, cutting the price to $AU1000. If any developer or ISV can show Microsoft that they are developing their new application or modifying an existing application specifically for the Windows Server 2003 platform, the bundle will be offered free via a rebate system.

Microsoft Australia channels manager, Kerstin Baxter, said the package would normally cost more than $AU10,000 for a five-user license.

“We are aiming to reduce the cost of developing applications on our platform,” she said. “There are plenty of ISV’s out there in Australia that employ less than ten technical staff – paying thousands of dollars for tools is a big investment for them.”

The development tools and complimentary software licenses for internal use are for both Microsoft’s core technology and the software produced by its Business Solutionsdivision (the division formed by the acquisition of Navision and Great Plains).

The launch of the Windows Server 2003 product has Microsoft’s channel marketing team working overtime – with additional incentives being introduced for resellers educating themselves on the new technology.

Any ISV that attends Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 Migration work-shops will be offered a free “testing voucher” to have their application tested on the Microsoft platform. If the testing is successful, the ISV will qualify for Microsoft’s Certified Partner Program.

The product certification process would normally cost a company about $US1100, Baxter said.

Similar workshops and incentive schemes are planned for the launch of Microsoft Office 2003 and the vendor’s first foray into Customer Relationship Management software, both slated for a local release in the second calendar half of 2003.


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