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Bought Empower ISV, now what's the *total* cost!?

Whoops. Stupid me.

Today I rushed to buy the Empower ISV package online for $375+tax, etc. in order to have the business expense deduction against my taxes for this year. Great deal thought I - I only have to knock out one simple packaged application in this year. And I finally had the incentive to do so.

BUT. After reading the several threads on Joel about Empower ISV, it would appear that I'm now committed to the entire certification label process, including test fees and Verisign key purchase. Another $1K or so it seems.

What I had planned on developing to satisfy the Empower program was a unique but crappy little "nagware" office utility that I would probably peg at the $20ish level. I would gladly spend the time to develop the app, but I sure wouldn't feel that this type of application justifies a total cash investment of $1200 or so.

So, questions: should I "beg" MS to cancel this order? Or is it necessary to spend the money to appear to satisfy the entire process? It does look like the order is actually an "application" and is subject to review.


Stupid old me
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I was under the impression that you only needed to logo test your app if you wanted to move onto the next phase. If you're happy using the software for a year and throw it away afterwards, then your $375 is all you have to spend. At least, that's how I read the web page.

Is there some clause in the contract you signed that stipulates that you must have your app logo tested?

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Just revise your release date a few years like MS does.  What's the problem?

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Reading through the requirments it just says that you have to release an app targeting one of the listed platforms in the next year. The only other rquirements are that you maintain your website and that you announce the product within six months (though this one is waived if you sign up in 2003).

No mention of further certification requirements are made there or in the FAQ.


Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I strongly suspect Empower is part of the MS strategy against Linux. Saying that, even I signed in for the Empower. Many things are not very clear. In this part of the world (UAE) its 420$. Probably after a year  they might offer stuff at similar prices - having a subscription model kinda thing..

Thursday, January 1, 2004

We just signed up as well, and when I spoke to the MS rep, she made it pretty clear the idea was to get ISVs into the full partnership program - this is just a program to get smaller ISVs on the path.

Once you've gotten a product certified, you're qualified as a partner (just as though you had two MCPs on staff), and can pay the $1500/yr or so to maintain it.

We're going the web services certification route, since we were planning on developing a web services middleware product anyway, so it makes sense for us.

One thing to note is that the software licenses expire at the end of the year, unlike, say, the the true MSDN subscriptions. 

Thursday, January 1, 2004

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