How Open Source Fits into Microsoft's BizSpark

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Microsoft's BizSpark program is designed to help startups get on their feet -- and familiar with Microsoft technology and software. BizSpark is open to privately-funded ventures that have been in business less than three years and have less than $1 million in revenue. Microsoft's Port 25 explains:

It also provides startups with software, support and visibility early in their life cycle when those resources are most needed and least affordable. ... Under the program, startups will receive speedy, easy access to Microsoft's current full-featured development tools, platform technologies and production licenses of server products.

OStatic writer Sam Dean says the program is a "direct shot" against open source. After all, if startups have such easy access to Microsoft tech, they won't have much need at all for open source, right? InfoWorld blogger Savio Rodrigues has a different idea, and I tend to agree with him.


Rodrigues points out that Microsoft is aware that some startups will want to mix open source with the Microsoft technology that they get as a result of the BizSpark program. And not only does Microsoft not care, Microsoft appears to be looking at that as an opportunity. He says:

The BizSpark program understands and accepts that some startups will mix Microsoft and open source technologies. That's a smart move. Also, since Azure is expected to treat (some?) open source as a first-class citizen, Microsoft could address the open source usage needs of startups, without having to pass that revenue opportunity to someone else. Another smart move.

I will be interested to see how it unfolds.