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Microsoft Shuts Down Its WebsiteSpark Program, Hello WebMatrix 2

Its curtains down for Microsoft’s WebsiteSpark program for web developers on March 2014. Instead of the tools it previously offered for free under the program, the company now wants developers to use the WebMatrix 2 development platform.

The WebsiteSpark program was launched in India 3 years ago in order to help small web development companies with design, development, testing and demonstration of new websites.Microsoft WebsiteSparkAs a part of the program the participating companies got access to

  • Visual Studio Professional
  • Expression Studio 2 or 3 (1 user) and Expression Web 2 or 3 (up to 2 users)
  • Windows Web Server 2008 or R2
  • SQL Server 2008 Web Edition

The notice on the Microsoft website reads

“Thank you for your interest in the WebsiteSpark program. 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.”

If you are already a member of the WebsiteSpark program, you get to retain access to benefits until March 2014.

Microsoft now wants developers to begin using its WebMatrix 2 platform now. This platform consists of  various tools that will help developers publish open-source applications optimized for cloud and manage their websites. The platform is aimed at developers designing websites using  ASP.Net, PHP, Node.js, HTML5 using the latest web standards.

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