I signed up for the Empower program offered by Microsoft a couple weeks ago. Empower is a one-year program (renewable for a second year) meant to help small ISVs get ramped up on developing applications that use Microsoft technologies. For $375, an ISV gets 5 internal licenses for Windows and Office XP, Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, MSDN Universal, Visual Stuido.NET 2003, etc. It’s a great deal and seems like a good, inexpensive way for an ISV to get started as a Microsoft partner.
So now I’m committed! The big rule of the Empower program is that you must a) announce and b) actually release a new packaged software application within 24 months. I am whittling down my last two product concepts and will decide which one to develop soon. I might even blog the development process, we’ll see.
For the record, I am excited. Wish me luck!