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.

Forefront Installation on Windows Home Server

So what is Forefront? basically think of it as free antivirus for Windows Server, like Microsoft Security Essentials is for client versions of Windows. As you might know Security Essentials refuses to install on Windows Server, however this will install perfectly on Windows Server with no problems. Once installed you will receive virus definition updates through Windows Update, just as Security Essentials does.

So you have me interested, how do i go about installing?

First you will need to open your en_forefront_client_security_x86_x64_cd_x13-62435.iso which can be downloaded from Technet or MSDN, go in to the /CLIENT/X64/ folder and extract MP_AMBITS.MSI.

A good application that will extract content from ISO’s is WinRAR:

Forefront Security on Windows Server Extract

Next click on MP_AMBITS.MSI and it will automatically install:

Forefront Security on Windows Server Install After Forefront has installed on Windows Server you will be notified no new definitions or updates are available, don’t worry that is normal:

Forefront Security on Windows Server Installed

Now load Windows Update from the start menu and click on “Findout more” where it says “get updates for other Microsoft Products”:

Forefront Security on Windows Server Windows Update

A webpage will load up you will need to agree to the terms for Microsoft Update, then click the install button:

Forefront Security on Windows Server Enable Updates

All been well you should get a message saying Microsoft Update was successfully installed:

Forefront Security on Windows Server Updates Enabled

Now load Windows Update again and you will see Windows Update now checks for Windows Updates along with updates for other Microsoft Products:

Forefront Security on Windows Server Checking for Updates

When Windows Server has finished checking for updates you should now see an update for the Forefront Client Security application, and the latest definitions available to download:

Forefront Security on Windows Server getting Windows Updates

Future updates will just install automatically with Windows Update from now on:

Forefront Security on Windows Server updating via Windows Update

The end result is Forefront Client Security running on Windows Home Server 2011 (or the Windows Server variant of your choice), it will work exactly the same for other Windows Server variants too. I have personally tested Forefront on Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard and it worked perfectly fine.

Forefront Security on Windows Home Server 2011