Often when I talk to developers the examples I provide them or the walkthroughs I give them don’t match their version of Visual Studio. And why? Because they are using Express. Expression is the free version of Visual Studio and for what it is, it’s awesome. But VS Ultimate is the freakin’ bomb!
Here the deal: if you are a developer there is absolutely no reason reason you aren’t using Visual Studio Ultimate to build your Windows 8 app!
Are you a legitimate startup?
Who cares? BizSpark cares. BizSpark is Microsoft’s program to help startups get the software, support, and services they need to be successful. But what is a startup? Almost every developer I meet, that’s who. There’s a new culture in our developer ecosystem – a culture of entrepreneurship where we foster creativity and the drive to create an app that has monetization capability. In other words, startups.
I am certainly not an attorney, but I’ve heard there are some pretty great tax implications of handling things as a corp instead of an individual. If you are considering an app on Windows 8 – and who would not considering the tremendous opportunity – and if you think there is the slimmest chance of it succeeding, why not start a company? More specifically, why not start a startup?
Why all this business about startups? It’s because BizSpark is for startups, not individuals. And why BizSpark? Because BizSpark gives startups the software, support, and services they need to be successful. What software? MSDN Ultimate (which includes Visual Studio Ultimate), that’s what. Not to mention Windows 8 licenses, Windows Store accounts, Windows Phone Store accounts, Azure credits, and all of our server products.
BizSpark helps startups by supporting the network of organizations - startup incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies - that are equally involved and invested in software-fueled innovation and entrepreneurship.
You get so much more! (here)
Here are the official requirements:
- Actively engaged in development of a software-based product or online service that will form a core piece of its current or intended business,
- Privately held,
- In business for less than 5 years, and
- Less than US $1 million in annual revenue
Yep, it’s that easy and there are no (I mean zero) strings attached. For three years BizSpark will give you the software you need to be awesome. There is no fee. There are no strings. And at the end of your three years, you have a perpetual license to your MSDN software and are offered an incredible discount to purchase your production software outright, maintaining your licenses and subscriptions.
- Connect with startups, investors, mentors, and partners in your area.
- Get & Learn Microsoft software through a no-charge MSDN subscription.
- Participate with your peers online and in person.
How do I get started?
Now you are talking. There is no reason you should hesitate. If you want to build a Windows 8 app, you need to take our offers seriously. The Windows Store will be amazing. Your opportunity for monetization will be amazing. The development ecosystem will be amazing. And, you are a startup in almost every other way. Do yourself a favor, and get your company into the BizSpark program.
- The BizSpark FAQ: http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/faqs.aspx
- The BizSpark signup: https://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/SignUp/default.aspx