Free Windows Server 2012 licences with WebsiteSpark

WebsiteSpark is a program by Microsoft designed to help jumpstart website development for small web development / design companies and Individuals.

To be eligible for WebsiteSpark, you must either be:

  1. An individual that does not own a company and does not work for a web design company.
  2. An employee for a privately held company whose primary business is providing web development / design services for its clients, and has no more than 10 employees.

Surprisingly as an individual I was able to enrol in the WebsiteSpark program.

Why would I want to enrol with WebsiteSpark?

What intrested me about WebsiteSpark is that i could get a licence for Windows Server 2012, something which would cost £100’s if i wished to purchase it. When enrolled you will be able to obtain several licences for a couple of Microsoft Products, including:

 Windows Server 2012 Standard (5x keys)
• SQL Server 2012 Web Edition (Static activation key)
• Visual Studio Professional 2012 (Static activation key)
• Expression Studio 4 Premium (1x Key)
• Expression Studio 4 Web Professional (1x Key)

All the downloads are provided through MSDN. From reading the WebsiteSpark website i gather you will be enrolled in WebsiteSpark for three years, however you must re confirm your membership at the end of each year, and have a live website at the end of the first year. Not a lot to ask considering what you get in return from WebsiteSpark.

Anyway after reading up on it i went through the process of signing up, which was simple enough. After i had signed up i was instantly allowed access to the downloads i mentioned above.

Screenshot: Windows Server 2012 downloads on MSDN, provided by WebsiteSpark:

WebsiteSpark MSDN Downloads

Downloads on WebsiteSpark provided by MSDN

I think this is great for people who can not get access to DreamSpark and do not have a Technet / MSDN subscription. WebsiteSpark is a great opportunity to test drive Windows Server 2012, and get some nice Microsoft Software for free in the process. You can also get up to $1400 in Windows Azure resources to design, develop & deploy your sites in the Cloud. I run my own website i setup with a friend, so this will be something i would like to have a go with and see how it compares to the setup we use at the moment.

I think thats about it for this blog, you can signup for WebsiteSpark over at: http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/webpro/

Update: 12/03/13

Microsoft has discontinued WebsiteSpark stating:

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.

To learn more about the many resources available to you, please visit www.microsoft.com/web.