TechLudd Relaunch/Microsoft WebsiteSpark progamme launch. Organised by Anton Mannering (TechLudd). WebsiteSpark (part of the Bizspark programme). WebsiteSpark is for small companies developing web apps at the coalface in ASP and, surprisingly also PHP. It's great that Microsoft recognises and embrace developers who develop on PHP too - and are offering support to them to help building web applications and systems on the stronger and richer enterprise environment offered by Visual Studio Professional editions.
Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to small Irish IT companies. The costs of enterprise development software and web server applications can very high. The new WebSiteSpark programme offers support as well as 3 years free licences of Visual Studio Professional Expression 3.0, and Microsoft Web Server 2008 as well as the stunningly powerful SQL server 2008 Web Edition. These licenses can be very expensive on their own. Their is a US$100 fee when the company exits the programme (optionally or after 3 years) - which frankly really is peanuts for the 3 years development usage afforded under the programme. But you can read more about it yourself.
The launch was a brilliant event and I got to meet some great people from Microsoft, as well as the iia and Anton himself. Plenty of Guinness (it was held at the Guinness Storehouse) and lovely finger food abound.
I also got to meet Ruairi Browne, of Galway website development company, Kro IT, who also provide custom software. Ruairi has signed up to the programme and I look forward to meeting him Galway soon.
I stayed at the Jurys Inn, which was very handy being in town but quite dear for parking and breakfast and booked it via Dublin Hotels.