The Microsoft BizSpark initiative was launched to foster web startups that use cloud resources to deploy their services. The service initially provided startups with very limited access to Microsoft’s cloud products and especially Windows Azure, which allows startups to build and deploy web apps over the cloud. However, in a recent announcement, Microsoft have said they would be significantly increasing access to Windows Azure by providing startups with up to $60,000 worth of resources on their cloud platform per year.
The new service tagged “BizSpark Plus” is accessible to startups in the US that satisfy a certain set of criteria including being referred by angel investors or venture funds that have a verifiable reputation in the country, have been part of a startup incubator such as 500 Startups, Y Combinator or TechStars and be less than three years old with an annual revenue of less than a million dollars. Microsoft have been supportive of the tech startup scene after years of being accused of stifling innovation by trying to take up new technologies and run with them.
This new product and the Startup BizSpark series has shown that Microsoft have come of age and are ready to support the startup community. In an interview, Dan Lewin who is one of Microsoft’s top representatives to Silicone Valley said it was the best way to reach the developer community.
With quite a number of startups in the area; almost 50,000, Microsoft were not willing to reveal how much the initiative would end up costing them considering there are bound to be a fairly large number of interested and eligible startups lining up for the freebies.