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starting my own ISV--go with Empower?

Hi Joel--

Okay, so we've all heard this ten thousand times.. I'm a recent CS grad and am having trouble finding work as a developer.  So, the long and the short of it is that since companies are not willing to hire me due to lack of experience, I'll make my own damn work.  The company I work for now has an internally developed database app that they think they can sell on the open market (it's a niche application in the aircraft maintenace industry--basically what we'd be selling is 30+ years of experience and buisness logic in a pretty wrapper).

So, should I go for the Empower ISV program?  The app I have in mind may actually sell well, or it could tank: no one has any idea, since we're an aviation company, not a software devloper.  The desicion is mine, really--the owner of my company is game, but I wanted some advice before leading a charge into a business model that I don't have experience with.

BTW, I'm consulting a lot of different sources on this.  It's just I respect your opinion and all.

John Haren
Thursday, March 18, 2004

It sounds like you're asking me a small question (how should I pay Microsoft for development tools) when you are really still asking yourself the big questions (will this business work? should I start it?)

As for whether or not to join Empower -- that's just a cheap way to get development tools. If you already have the development tools you need and can scrape by with the free online version of MSDN, don't bother. If you were thinking of shelling out for even one copy of MSDN Universal, Empower is cheaper.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Friday, March 19, 2004

The Empower program seems to only last for 12 months, with no renewal. After that, do you need to find another way to get licenses for all the software you have been using?

Friday, March 19, 2004

As far as I understand it you could either become a proper Microsoft partner, and get deep discounts that way, or just pay retail for MSDN Universal (or the pieces you need).

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Friday, March 19, 2004

Also, even though the Empower enrollment itself expires after 12 months and some of the os stuff and office programs expire, and you no longer get new msdn universal shipments, you can still use the msdn universal shipments that you did get for development and testing purposes far as I can tell.

Aaron F Stanton
Friday, March 19, 2004

You may not need the entire MSDN, and may come a lot cheaper by buying just a few tools from MS.

I buy all my tools from Borland and just the OS from MS.


Monday, March 22, 2004

Yes, MSDN licenses are perpetual. You can continue to use the software that you get with an MSDN subscription (including Empower) as long as you want, even if you don't renew or sign up for a new subscription.

Michael Geary
Sunday, April 25, 2004

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