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Fog Creek and Empower ISV

Last October, you wrote a piece about joining Microsoft's Empower ISV program:

One of the published requirements for the Empower program is to announce, within six months, a commercial software product.

It's been about five months since that article, so I was wondering if there's some exciting new product in the works, or if that requirement was satisfied by the latest version of CityDesk or FogBugz.  I realize that saying too much may go against the mouth wide shut rule, but I was hoping you might be able to let us know if some exciting new product is on its way, even if we don't get to know what it is.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

We ported FogBUGZ to Windows Server 2003. Which we actually had to do; some changes in the threading model between IIS 5.0 and 6.0 broke one of our vendor's controls. Grr, third party controls ALWAYS screw us.

The whole reason I heard about Empower in the first place is that the Microsoft fire-and-motion guy in charge of keeping Fog Creek busy called us up to pester us because there was a knowledge base article on our website warning that FogBUGZ didn't work with Windows Server 2003 yet. Not that we wouldn't have fixed it anyway.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Friday, March 5, 2004

If I'm not mistaken, isn't another requirement that after a year you have to apply to be a Microsoft Partner? Wouldn't that cost thousands?

Paul Stovell
Saturday, March 6, 2004

This is what I was thinking:

"Upon expiration of your membership, make a reasonable commercial effort to join the Microsoft Certified Partner Program based on successfully passing one of the software tests authorized by Microsoft and listed in the table below**"

Since the arrangement ends after 12 months, I assume thats what they mean by expiration of membership.

Paul Stovell
Saturday, March 6, 2004

Sorry about all the posts, just checked, it costs US$1460 to join as a Certified/Gold Partner. Not a lot, but still its not something they like to point out on their information pages.

Paul Stovell
Saturday, March 6, 2004

I called them, and they said you needed to make a "reasonable effort". However, they also said that "I can't afford it" is a reasonable excuse.

So, at the end of the day, the reality of it is that you get the software for a year for a steal, and don't HAVE to do anything, really.

Tim Sullivan
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

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