Microsoft's Dan'l Lewin talks BizSpark at LeWeb

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Anything Microsoft does is looked at through a prism cut from the glass of the company that Gates built. The days of the anti-trust trial, Hailstorm, and the browser wars may seem far away, but not for the Netscapes and Novells who foundered in the face of the Windows and Office steamroller. Yet refugees of those wars have reinvented themselves in the new world of the social network, most poignantly represented by Eric Schmidt and his third-times-the-charm Google.

In the context of Google, a reinvigorated Apple, and the rise of cloud computing, Microsoft has figured out they have just as much of right to be reborn. Ray Ozzie’s tenure at the company has been a kind of stealth startup transformation applied to the entrenched duchies of the old company, and it’s bearing fruit in new language not often heard from Redmond: open, cross-platform, Mesh, Silverlight, Azure.

Opening the LeWeb 08 conference in Paris, Dan’l Lewin, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Strategic and Emerging Business Development presented this new face in a conversation with me embedded below. I’ll admit I like Dan’l and the new Microsoft, especially when viewed in the context of a troubled world economy and its effect on the shortened runways of the Silicon Valley startup community. There’s a sense that even with its plentiful assets, Microsoft and Lewin understand they have to come more than half way to gain a necessary trust.

Lewin heads the BizSpark initiative, designed to give startups a jumpstart with access to Microsoft servers, tools, and services for three years with the caveat that, wait for it, they are making less than $1 million in revenue per year and are willing to cut Microsoft a check for $100 at the end of the term. I’ll let Lewin explain the rest as he did on the stage yesterday, but stay tuned for the message behind the pitch – that Microsoft is ready to compete not just with itself but others for the hearts and minds of the Net crowd. Only when you compare carefully the various value propositions do you begin to see how far Microsoft has come – and how far they will have to continue to go.

http://www.ustream.tv/flash/video/930292

  • http://funnyflux.com Annet

    tnx for info
    *
    Stereogrammes, Cross Eye 3D, Illusions, 3D Illusions, Optical Illusions, Magic Eye
    http://stereogrammes.org/

  • http://funnyflux.com Annet

    tnx for info
    *
    Stereogrammes, Cross Eye 3D, Illusions, 3D Illusions, Optical Illusions, Magic Eye
    http://stereogrammes.org/

  • http://www.john-nousis.com John Nousis

    Our Athens startup weekend project (http://www.mobcommerce.com) joined the Bizspark program just abotu 5 days ago and so far our experience is very good. You get many resources and full MSDN subscriptions.

  • http://www.john-nousis.com John Nousis

    Our Athens startup weekend project (http://www.mobcommerce.com) joined the Bizspark program just abotu 5 days ago and so far our experience is very good. You get many resources and full MSDN subscriptions.

  • apos'e

    Dan’l?
    Really? Where are the rest of the letters in his first name?

  • apos'e

    Dan’l?
    Really? Where are the rest of the letters in his first name?

  • http://zd6.org/?p=11 Digital News » Blog Archive » Microsoft’s talks BizSpark at LeWeb
  • http://zd6.org/?p=11 Digital News » Blog Archive » Microsoft’s talks BizSpark at LeWeb
  • Ian Betteridge

    Dan’l still looks insanely young, but has been around forever – he was one of the Apple employees who left with Steve Jobs to found NeXT, as I remember.

  • Ian Betteridge

    Dan’l still looks insanely young, but has been around forever – he was one of the Apple employees who left with Steve Jobs to found NeXT, as I remember.

  • http://youtechno.info Mike

    I personally think Microsoft is learning the lesson the hard way, these other companies have successfully reinvented themselves in this era of social networking because the they are willing to share, every body benefits but during Microsoft’s days they were the sole beneficiaries & till recently. Google has given them a good call with the online advertising and the last nail in the coffin will Open Source especially OSs couple with a good interface.

    Recently Microsoft admitted having lost a whole generation of programmers to Open Source and Apple, to that case they are now giving away some of their development suites free to students and institutions. They better share more or they will live in history.

    http://www.youtechno.info

  • http://youtechno.info Mike

    I personally think Microsoft is learning the lesson the hard way, these other companies have successfully reinvented themselves in this era of social networking because the they are willing to share, every body benefits but during Microsoft’s days they were the sole beneficiaries & till recently. Google has given them a good call with the online advertising and the last nail in the coffin will Open Source especially OSs couple with a good interface.

    Recently Microsoft admitted having lost a whole generation of programmers to Open Source and Apple, to that case they are now giving away some of their development suites free to students and institutions. They better share more or they will live in history.

    http://www.youtechno.info

  • http://www.phlook.com/ weekiat

    BizSpark was launched in Singapore a few weeks back. We (http://www.phlook.com/) managed to be one of the first few startups to make it into the program. Yes, the experience has been good so far. The free access to MS’s full suite of software and tools is good cost savings indeed.

  • http://www.phlook.com/ weekiat

    BizSpark was launched in Singapore a few weeks back. We (http://www.phlook.com/) managed to be one of the first few startups to make it into the program. Yes, the experience has been good so far. The free access to MS’s full suite of software and tools is good cost savings indeed.

  • paperclipbob

    who in their right mind would do such a thing? I have had 3 companies tender offers with one purchased by msft. Yet my 5 startup uses:

    * haddoop
    *eclipse
    *hudson
    *ganglia
    *java

    lets see…… free no strings great tools

  • paperclipbob

    who in their right mind would do such a thing? I have had 3 companies tender offers with one purchased by msft. Yet my 5 startup uses:

    * haddoop
    *eclipse
    *hudson
    *ganglia
    *java

    lets see…… free no strings great tools

  • http://www.stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    What’s really amazing about BizSpark, and we are a BizSpark Partner, which means we bring startups to BizSpark, is how little red tape is involved in signing up It is really a way to get the Microsoft developer tools into the hands of the developers.

    From our perspective, we are going to offer business mentoring, too, so that these developers actually learn whether they have a business. I don’t think MSFT cares about that very much, but the developers might.

    I really like this program:-)

  • http://www.stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    What’s really amazing about BizSpark, and we are a BizSpark Partner, which means we bring startups to BizSpark, is how little red tape is involved in signing up It is really a way to get the Microsoft developer tools into the hands of the developers.

    From our perspective, we are going to offer business mentoring, too, so that these developers actually learn whether they have a business. I don’t think MSFT cares about that very much, but the developers might.

    I really like this program:-)

  • Prada

    Bizspark is the best thing that happened to software entrepreneurs in these difficult times.

    This should be part of the gates foundation.

  • Prada

    Bizspark is the best thing that happened to software entrepreneurs in these difficult times.

    This should be part of the gates foundation.

  • http://www.developerfusion.com/ James from developerFusion

    I think it’s a great move by Microsoft. As a start-up, the fact open source appeals is a no brainer – but this gives you greater freedom to pick the best tools for the job (MS or not), without worrying about the upfront startup cost when every penny counts. More choice means everyone wins.

    (disclosure: we’re a Bizspark network partner)

  • http://www.developerfusion.com/ James from developerFusion

    I think it’s a great move by Microsoft. As a start-up, the fact open source appeals is a no brainer – but this gives you greater freedom to pick the best tools for the job (MS or not), without worrying about the upfront startup cost when every penny counts. More choice means everyone wins.

    (disclosure: we’re a Bizspark network partner)

  • http://independentsoftwaresolutions.com Phil Leggetter

    The BizSpark program is great. I’ve been developing using Microsoft technologies for a variety of companies since 2001 and this initiative is the first time that it’s been possible for me to consider using them for my own business purposes. Luckily I’ve just started a company with an aim to provide a few SAAS offerings so I, sorry we :-), qualified for the initiative. I was up and running with Visual Studio, MS Office, SQL Server within 24 hours of sign-up. For me the access to VS2008 alone is worth it.

    I was also hoping that joining BizSpark might get me fast-tracked into receiving a Windows Azure (hosting) token but at the moment I’m stuck with access to just the CTP of .NET Services and SDS.

    The idea of a network partner is also a good one but I’m still trying to work out how best to use this opportunity.

  • http://independentsoftwaresolutions.com Phil Leggetter

    The BizSpark program is great. I’ve been developing using Microsoft technologies for a variety of companies since 2001 and this initiative is the first time that it’s been possible for me to consider using them for my own business purposes. Luckily I’ve just started a company with an aim to provide a few SAAS offerings so I, sorry we :-), qualified for the initiative. I was up and running with Visual Studio, MS Office, SQL Server within 24 hours of sign-up. For me the access to VS2008 alone is worth it.

    I was also hoping that joining BizSpark might get me fast-tracked into receiving a Windows Azure (hosting) token but at the moment I’m stuck with access to just the CTP of .NET Services and SDS.

    The idea of a network partner is also a good one but I’m still trying to work out how best to use this opportunity.

  • http://matchmatix.com MatchMatix

    We’ve signed up for BizSpark, and it’s been great. There are just so many different products to download and use. Brilliant!

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