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Last post Author Topic: Free Software from Microsoft.  (Read 11248 times)

hollowlife1987

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Free Software from Microsoft.
« on: February 24, 2013, 05:52:01 PM »
When talking to Krish and Stephen on IRC I informed them of a program Microsoft offers called WebsiteSpark

Quote
WebsiteSpark gives small Web development and design companies a jumpstart by providing free tools, technologies and resources to build great websites.

It includes software such as Windows Server 2012 Standard (5 keys none the less) and Visual studio 2012 Professional and other development software.
So if your an independent developer with a tight wallet or a small startup company on a budget this is perfect for you.

http://www.microsoft...om/web/websitespark/

I am not an employee of Microsoft or any subsidiary

Stephen66515

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 05:53:16 PM »
Signed up, registered, claimed my keys, and loving hollow for the link!

Stephen66515

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2013, 05:53:51 PM »
Oh, you also get $1400 in Windows Azure credits :)

pip2kk

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2013, 07:15:04 PM »
Free and Microsoft in the same sentence... I'm all over this.  Thank you hollow buddy :D

40hz

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2013, 07:39:28 PM »
It's a good deal if you do professional web development and you're interested in using Microsoft's technology to do it.

Just be sure to read the WebsiteSpark and WebsiteSpark Web Pro agreements carefully. There's about 23 pages of license material to wade through. There are some restrictions on who qualifies for this program along with some reasonable but interesting restrictions on what you're allowed to do with the software provided under this program.

Please note that Microsoft takes these agreements very seriously (you'll be joining the their partner network at the "community" membership level as part of the agreement) so be sure you understand exactly what you're getting into. This isn't a simple "come one come all" free software giveaway. It's a business proposition and promotion.

 8)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 03:49:18 AM »
Just to clarify you get 1 license each for:

Quote
Expression Web 3
Retail

Expression Studio 4 Web Professional (WebsiteSpark)
Retail

Expression Studio 4 Premium (WebsiteSpark)
Retail

Visual Studio 2010 Professional
Static Activation Key
 
Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere 2010
Static Activation Key

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop
Static Activation Key
 
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
Static Activation Key
 
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8
Static Activation Key
 
Visual Studio Professional 2012
Static Activation Key
 
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012
Static Activation Key
 
Visual Studio 2010 Professional
Static Activation Key
 
Windows HPC Server 2008 and Windows Web Server 2008
Multiple Activation
 
Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and Windows Web Server 2008 R2
Multiple Activation

and 5 keys for
 
Quote
Windows Server 2012 Standard
Retail

I find all this slightly bizzare - are they winding up the partner program? If not what is the incentive for designers to sign up for the partner program when they are giving this lot away for free?

40hz

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 07:30:03 AM »
I find all this slightly bizzare - are they winding up the partner program? If not what is the incentive for designers to sign up for the partner program when they are giving this lot away for free?

To date, Microsoft hasn't been able to crack the Adobe CS and F/OSS dominance of web development. So I think they're repeating a strategy similar to what they employed to burn Novell when they introduced NT in the server market - i.e. basically give their software away in order to establish a beachhead -  then lower the boom on pricing once the competition has been eliminated.

I think what they may also be doing is expanding the partner program to make it all encompassing.

Microsoft is moving away from standalone software and physical media for most of it's users, preferring them to migrate to its cloud-hosted product offerings. Most of their major corporate customers are already under license subscription/maintenance contracts. And the serious Windows devs are already in MSDN.

So what I think we're we're seeing here is an attempt to corral the hitherto elusive herd of web developers.

From some of what I'm sensing (from this and other things) I get the feeling that the time is coming where the only way to get your hands on non-cloud Microsoft software will be if you are under some sort of partnership agreement with them.

rrh2.jpgFree Software from Microsoft.

Oh well!...Time will tell. :-\
 8)


app103

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 09:34:02 AM »
To date, Microsoft hasn't been able to crack the Adobe CS and F/OSS dominance of web development. So I think they're repeating a strategy similar to what they employed to burn Novell when they introduced NT in the server market - i.e. basically give their software away in order to establish a beachhead -  then lower the boom on pricing once the competition has been eliminated.

I think what they may also be doing is expanding the partner program to make it all encompassing.

Microsoft is moving away from standalone software and physical media for most of it's users, preferring them to migrate to its cloud-hosted product offerings. Most of their major corporate customers are already under license subscription/maintenance contracts. And the serious Windows devs are already in MSDN.

So what I think we're we're seeing here is an attempt to corral the hitherto elusive herd of web developers.

They have been trying to do that for some time, with other giveaways of Visual Studio in the past. So far it hasn't been very successful. Part of the problem may be that those that respond to these offers are not really web developers or have no intentions of using the copy of VS that they receive for web development (sticking with LAMP), and only want it for developing desktop software. For an indy developer or hobbyist, taking advantage of these offers is much cheaper than buying or upgrading, and less restrictive than the free Express versions.

f0dder

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 09:54:40 AM »
For an indy developer or hobbyist, taking advantage of these offers is much cheaper than buying or upgrading, and less restrictive than the free Express versions.
Which restrictions are you thinking of? AFAIK there's no restrictions on commercial use of the stuff you build with the express editions, and (at least for the 2012 versions) the stuff that's removed compared to the nonfree editions isn't too bad - you still get a very feature-rich IDE.
- carpe noctem

hollowlife1987

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 10:21:53 AM »
As far as I know, only catch is your bound to the license for life, and you have to promote the program among your network of friends / web programmers / designers.

EDIT: I'm sure there are other catches I've forgotten about I'll have to re-read the agreement again to check as I've signed up a couple months ago.

app103

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 10:33:21 AM »
For an indy developer or hobbyist, taking advantage of these offers is much cheaper than buying or upgrading, and less restrictive than the free Express versions.
Which restrictions are you thinking of? AFAIK there's no restrictions on commercial use of the stuff you build with the express editions, and (at least for the 2012 versions) the stuff that's removed compared to the nonfree editions isn't too bad - you still get a very feature-rich IDE.

In the past there has always been something in their Express versions that has lead to many developers that use it to consider something about it to be somewhat of a pain, thereby encouraging them to buy either standard or pro.

http://en.wikipedia....isual_Studio_Express

It may depend on what language you are using, but the Express versions may subject you to one or more of the following (this isn't an all inclusive list):

  • No IDE support for databases other than SQL Server Express and Microsoft Access
  • Limited options for debugging and breakpoints
  • No support for creating Windows Services
  • Limited deployment options for finished programs
  • No resource editor.
  • No built-in MFC support.
  • No built-in x64 compiler
  • No support for add-ins or IDE macros.
  • No option for crash dump generation
  • Reduced refactoring capabilities.


CWuestefeld

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2013, 11:28:09 AM »
The agreement refers to the person getting the license as the Web Pro. There are a bunch of requirements, notably the last one:

Quote
Web Pro must submit a complete and accurate quarterly WebsiteSpark License use report within 15 days after the last day of each calendar quarter that overlaps with the Term.
...
 Web Pro will keep accurate and adequate books and records relating to its (a) eligibility for the Program and (b) use of Program Benefits, including but not limited to its use of Program Software and the Software Services) provided by Web Pro to Web Pro Clients until two years after this Agreement expires or terminates.
...
 The Web Pro must be either a professional service firm or an individual person whose primary business is providing Web development and design services, and in some cases hosting services, for its clients.
...
Web Pro must provide accurate and correct information about itself in the Program registration process and ensure that during the Term, information about Web Pro remains accurate and is kept an up-to-date, including Web Pro’s profile on the Program Website.
a.   Web Pro will provide complete, accurate and correct information about itself in the Program registration and/or renewal processes, and will ensure that such information is updated if it changes during the Term;
b.  On the first and second anniversary of Web Pro’s enrollment in the Program, Web Pro will reaffirm its eligibility for the Program and renew its enrollment, accept the MPN Community Agreement, and confirm that all Web Pro account and profile information is still complete, accurate and correct;
c.  Web Pro will maintain compliance at all times with the terms and conditions of the Program Agreements;
d.  Web Pro will deploy a Web Pro Website on Windows Azure or Windows Server (on a Hosting Server or with a Hosting Partner) by the first anniversary of Web Pro’s enrollment in the Program.
(emphasis mine)

40hz

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2013, 01:43:03 PM »
IMO the restrictions most necessary to be aware of are the following highlighted items.

Quote
“Hosting Servers” means the Microsoft server software that Web Pro may use in the Program to provide Software Services. The list of Hosting Servers is on the Program Website, as updated from time to time.

Quote
Hosting Servers use rights. Web Pro must sign the SPLA to use the Hosting Servers. Subsequently, Web Pro may use Hosting Servers to host Web Pro Websites as part of its provision of Software Services to Web Pro Clients, in accordance with the SPLA. Notwithstanding the SPLA:

i. Web Editions: Web Pro may use up to four processors, running a total of no more than four (physical or virtual) instances each of the Windows Web Server Edition and SQL Server Web Edition versions identified on the Program Website (collectively the “WebsiteSpark Licenses”). Web Pro may only create instances of the Hosting Servers as necessary for Production Use.

Quote
Restrictions: Web Pro may not:

o distribute, transfer or otherwise make available Hosting Servers or any other Program Software to Web Pro Clients, Web Pro Clients’ customers, Hosting Partners, or anyone else;

o use Hosting Servers for Web Pro’s internal business operations, other than as Development Software to design, develop, test and demonstrate Web Pro Websites per the Program License Terms;

o use Hosting Servers to host websites for Web Pro Clients’ internal business operations;

o use Hosting Servers to host any software other than Web Pro Websites; or

o use Hosting Servers for any commercial or production use, other than Production Use in accordance with, and as expressly authorized by, this Section and the SPLA.


Nothing unreasonable here. But you are being put on notice that the software is for web development use only. And only using Microsoft's products. No internal non-dev use or setting up related goodie-goodies.

There's also a recordkeeping and audit clause you need to be aware of:

Quote
Verifying compliance. Web Pro will keep accurate and adequate books and records relating to its (a) eligibility for the Program and (b) use of Program Benefits, including but not limited to its use of Program Software and the Software Services) provided by Web Pro to Web Pro Clients until two years after this Agreement expires or terminates. During this same period, an independent third party designated by Microsoft (“reviewer”) may review Web Pro’s records and facilities (including Web Pro’s data centers), at Microsoft’s expense, to verify Web Pro’s compliance with this Agreement and the Program. The review will be subject to a confidentiality obligation. Verification will take place upon not less than 30 calendar days’ notice, during normal business hours and in a manner that does not interfere unreasonably with Web Pro’s operations. Web Pro must immediately correct any errors and omissions found during a review.

Again, nothing unreasonable considering it's in exchange for no-charge access to some very expensive dev software. If you're a genuine web developer, it's not a bad deal if you're interested in exploring Microsoft's approach to web design and development.

But again - know what you are getting into. This is not a program you'll want to get involved with if you're just curious and are out kicking tires.
 8)

f0dder

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2013, 06:39:34 PM »
http://en.wikipedia....isual_Studio_Express

It may depend on what language you are using, but the Express versions may subject you to one or more of the following (this isn't an all inclusive list):
I looked at the Wiki page, and IMHO your summary list makes it sound worse than it really is :) (2010 could do x64 without much hassle, 2012 has it built-in - at least according to the wiki).

For the 2012 C#/C++ editions, I'd say that no essential features are cut, and you still get an IDE that's quit a good bit beyond other offerings. Worst part might be not getting add-ons, but you do get static code analysis which rocks (it's not at the level of PVS-Studio, but neither is the pricetag ;)).

Sure, there's some pro features removed, but if there's any free IDEs that pack more punch than the VS Express editions, I'd love to know.
- carpe noctem

4wd

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2013, 06:11:16 PM »
It seems that Microsoft Expression Web 4 is free - is this different from the MEW3 you get under the WebsiteSpark?

2013-02-27 11_11_38-Search results - Microsoft Download Center - Pale Moon.png

No MS support seems to be about it for limitations.

Quote
Overview

Expression Web 4 gives you the tools you need to produce high-quality, standards-based Web sites: built-in support for today’s Web standards, sophisticated CSS design capabilities, and visual diagnostic tools. Whether you work with PHP, HTML/XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, ASP.NET or ASP.NET AJAX, Expression Web makes it faster and easier to create and maintain exceptional web sites.

Please note: This free version of Expression Web is not eligible for Microsoft technical support and is community support. For more information, visit the Expression Community site.

40hz

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 09:22:39 PM »
[/url])[/i]
No MS support seems to be about it for limitations.


That's about it. 8)

--------------------------------------

Note: WebsiteSpark also gives you access to much more software.


4wd

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 10:06:16 PM »
No MS support seems to be about it for limitations.

That's about it. 8)

--------------------------------------

Note: WebsiteSpark also gives you access to much more software.



It's always nice to have more free Microsoft applications - why limit your choice  ;D

Just seemed strange that in the WebsiteSpark program you got an older version of MEW, albeit with support presumably.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2013, 02:54:02 AM »
I don't see why you guys are still saying there are no limitations, that this is free. As I posted above, you're promising that you'll deploy an MS-powered website (onto one of their approved hosts or servers, i.e., not el cheapo hosting) within the next year. It may be that they can't enforce it -- other than to terminate your license rights -- but you'd still be acting in bad faith to make the agreement without the intent to follow through on this promise.

d.  Web Pro will deploy a Web Pro Website on Windows Azure or Windows Server (on a Hosting Server or with a Hosting Partner) by the first anniversary of Web Pro’s enrollment in the Program.

tomos

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2013, 03:14:59 AM »
It seems that Microsoft Expression Web 4 is free - is this different from the MEW3 you get under the WebsiteSpark?
...
No MS support seems to be about it for limitations.

well, no further development either -
dc thread: Microsoft Expression Design and Expression Web available for free
Tom

rgdot

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2013, 03:16:28 AM »
I don't see why you guys are still saying there are no limitations, that this is free. As I posted above, you're promising that you'll deploy an MS-powered website (onto one of their approved hosts or servers, i.e., not el cheapo hosting) within the next year. It may be that they can't enforce it -- other than to terminate your license rights -- but you'd still be acting in bad faith to make the agreement without the intent to follow through on this promise.

d.  Web Pro will deploy a Web Pro Website on Windows Azure or Windows Server (on a Hosting Server or with a Hosting Partner) by the first anniversary of Web Pro’s enrollment in the Program.

How do you deduce approved when it says Windows Server (on a Hosting Server or with a Hosting Partner) ?

mahesh2k

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2013, 05:31:52 AM »
They did tried to attract PHP developers with their support to WordPress and with Webmatrix program. I think they want web development business back but it seems not many new business are interested in azure and ASP.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2013, 05:44:22 AM »
I don't see why you guys are still saying there are no limitations, that this is free. As I posted above, you're promising that you'll deploy an MS-powered website (onto one of their approved hosts or servers, i.e., not el cheapo hosting) within the next year. It may be that they can't enforce it -- other than to terminate your license rights -- but you'd still be acting in bad faith to make the agreement without the intent to follow through on this promise.

d.  Web Pro will deploy a Web Pro Website on Windows Azure or Windows Server (on a Hosting Server or with a Hosting Partner) by the first anniversary of Web Pro’s enrollment in the Program.

They don't say what the website has to be like - you can put up a single page on windows server running on a local VM saying WebsiteSpark sucks and fulfil the obligation. They are providing the server software as part of the package so apart from a bit of disk space it isn't going to cost much.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2013, 03:18:42 PM »
They don't say what the website has to be like - you can put up a single page on windows server running on a local VM

That's not correct, they do say what the web site has to be like:

Quote
“Web Pro Websites(s)” means new public and Internet-accessible websites(s):
  • developed by Web Pro on behalf of its Web Pro Clients using Program Software;
  • that contain significant and primary functionality or content beyond the functionality of Hosting Servers; and
  • whose primary purpose is for the Web Pro Client to provide information and/or services to Web Pro Client’s
    customers.

...

2.  Examples of Eligible Web Pro Products or Services.
2.1.  Eligible:   
a.  A new public and Internet-accessible website that Web Pro is engaged by a Web Pro Client to develop and/or maintain using Program Software. For example, website for a small business.
b.  A hosting relationship in which Web Pro hosts a Web Pro Website on behalf of a Web Pro Client, using the Hosting Servers provided through the Program and in accordance with the Agreement and the SPLA.   
c.  A combination of a) and b) above, where a small business website developed and hosted by Web Pro using Hosting Servers and Program Software.   
2.2.  Not Eligible:   
a.  Web Pro provides Hosting Servers or any other Program Software to Web Pro Clients, Web Pro Clients’ customers, Hosting Partners, or anyone else.
2.3.  For clarity, Microsoft retains full discretion to assess whether a given application created by a Web Pro satisfies this Agreement and/or the Program requirements. The list above is provided purely for purposes of explanation, is not exhaustive, and will not be considered binding or otherwise interpreted to limit Microsoft’s rights to determine the eligibility of a given application.


How do you deduce approved when it says Windows Server (on a Hosting Server or with a Hosting Partner) ?

It's in the agreement:

Quote
“Hosting Partner” means companies identified as such and featured on the Program Website, who can provide hosting services for Web Pro Websites and with whom Web Pro has contracted to outsource the hosting of Web Pro Websites for Web Pro’s provision of Software Services to Web Pro Clients.  The use of Hosting Servers by Hosting Partners to provide those hosting services for Web Pros is governed by separate agreement between the Hosting Partner and Microsoft, and Hosting Partners will obtain directly from Microsoft the Hosting Servers used by them to provide such hosting services to Web Pro.

“Hosting Servers” means the Microsoft server software that Web Pro may use in the Program to provide Software Services.  The list of Hosting Servers is on the Program Website, as updated from time to time.

Seriously, people: if you want to get several thousand dollars of software for free, the least you can do is read the agreement, and then be sure that you are prepared to abide by its terms.

rgdot

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2013, 03:28:17 PM »
Well that's easy then, even if they pay to use their software I won't with those conditions. Simple :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Free Software from Microsoft.
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2013, 08:33:36 PM »
Well that didn't last long - just got the following email from Microsoft:

Quote
Thank you for participating in the WebsiteSpark program!  Based on the changing needs of web developers, Microsoft has created new offers at no cost to help Web Pros like you continue to create rich interactive web applications.  These resources are designed to help you design, develop, publish, and deploy world class websites.
 
Since Microsoft is making these powerful new resources available to you without cost, the WebsiteSpark program will no longer be accepting new membership applications. Web Pros enrolled in the WebsiteSpark program as of March 11, 2013 may continue to use their WebsiteSpark benefits under the Microsoft WebsiteSpark Software License Terms and the terms identified by Microsoft as surviving terms in the Microsoft WebsiteSpark Web Pro Agreement, for twelve (12) months, until March 31, 2014.
 
For your convenience, we’ve provided links to some great resources below, available to you anytime at no cost.
 
Design, Develop, Publish & Deploy
http://www.microsoft.com/web/ is your main landing page to get access to the free tools.

·         Visual Studio Express 2012

·         Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012

·         SQL Server Express

·         WebMatrix 2

 
Learn and Explore
·         Web Developer and Windows Azure Developer Camps are free, fun, no-fluff events for developers, by developers. You learn from experts in a low-key, interactive way and then get hands-on time to apply what you’ve learned. http://www.devcamps.ms

·         Windows Azure Web Sites http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/windowsazure/Learn-2012TechEd-EU/WebSites

·         ASP.net for web developers http://www.asp.net/

 
Windows Azure
·         Host 10 ASP.NET web sites for free with Windows Azure http://www.windowsaz.../?WT.mc_id=A5A71FF5F

·         WSS member Windows Azure Offer http://www.windowsaz...bsitespark-benefits/

·         WebMatrix 2 and Windows Azure http://www.windowsaz.../webmatrix-overview/

Doesn't really make much difference to me as I had already decided to withdraw from the scheme - but there doesn't seem much incentive for anyone to stay when the software and benefits are effectively a 12 month trial with onerous demands to fulfil.