Microsoft Lures in Web Designers with Free Expression Design Tools

Ryan Whitwam

If you happen to be a web designer, Microsoft would like to have a quick word with you. Just don’t drop any more money on Adobe products until you’ve heard them out. Microsoft’s Expression design tools haven’t enjoyed wide scale adoption in the face of Adobe, but they’re out to change that. As part of Microsoft’s “Spark” program, they will be giving away several thousand dollars worth of software to any small design firms interested.

Web design shops with up to 10 employees are eligible, and all they have to do is pay a $100 administrative fee. The so-called “WebSpark” giveaway includes multiple licenses of Expression, Visual Studio 2008, Web Server 2008 and SQL Server. The software licenses are good for three years and include full support. Not bad for $100.

Microsoft expects 15,000 to 20,000 companies to get in on the deal. Clearly, this program is meant to get small firms into the Microsoft ecosystem early. While their intentions may not be entirely pure, it’s hard to refuse the offer of free software.

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