Start-ups get freebies and cheapies from Sun and Microsoft

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Start-ups get freebies and cheapies from Sun and Microsoft

First it was students – now hardware and software vendors want to hook start-ups on their gear with Microsoft and now Sun Microsystems offering them free or subsidised software and hardware.

Earlier this month, Microsoft Australia brought its Bizspark program to Australia. It is available to privately-held start-ups with less than a million US dollars in revenue and no more than three years young.

Eligible start-ups get a three-year Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Professional subscription and professional services. They also get early access to new products like Azure.

Those creating hosted software get a bunch more production licenses for application hosting and management servers including Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server, BizTalk Server and Systems Center.

“Through our work with thousands of startups over the years, we understand that making strategic technology decisions early on is a key challenge — one that sets up entrepreneurs and startups for future growth and the ability to meet market demands,” said David Sajfar, industry development manager, Microsoft Australia.

“BizSpark simplifies this choice by giving startups an industry-leading platform with no immediate cost and the support needed to achieve business success.”

In what appears a case of me-tooism, Sun Microsystems has now said it will bring its startup essentials program to Australia and New Zealand.

The program claims to offer ‘free and heavily discounted Sun products and services to newly established businesses’. Server prices apparently start under $1,000, the firm has said in a statement.

Other things from systems and storage to MySQL are also up for grabs.

Sun will work with its partners MCR and WebCentral to bring the program to market.

Sun is a bit more lenient on its definition of start-ups than Microsoft. They can’t have been in business for more than six years or have more than 150 employees.

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