By Bob Walsh
By now, most micro-ISV’s know about Microsoft’s Empower Program is a great deal if you’re developing a Microsoft-centric product: for $375 USD you get in effect a MSDN Universal license to just about everything Microsoft makes – OS’s, servers, development tools, Office. $375 beats ~ $2,700 every time. The catch was you could do this for a year, and maybe extend for a second year, but that was it.
That’s it no more: Microsoft today extended Empower to a third year.
What’s very interesting is what the extension email had to say:

We are in the process of developing a new Microsoft Partner Program subscription option to provide development resources and tools in a sustainable and consistent manner for our ISV partners. While we are working on this new offer, we understand your business needs immediate access to these resources. To ensure you have access to the tools you need, Microsoft is pleased to offer a special extension of your Empower membership for 1 additional year.

Bottom Line: it looks like Michael Lehman’s and others efforts to raise the visibility of micro-ISVs within Microsoft is working.
One last thing to mention: besides about 50 DVD’s, Empower includes 10 hours of high level support time/yr. from Microsoft including configuration support, top level tech support, best practices and code reviews. This is way above the usual tech support incident stuff. Having used this part of Empower twice, I can tell you you’ll get access to really knowledgeable people and they will work your problem hard and fast. Highly recommended.


  1. Owen Sigurdson Reply

    According to the empower program coordinator, no such extension exists. An excerpt from the e-mail:

    Thank you for your email regarding enrolling in the Empower for ISV
    Program for a third year.
    Thank you for your inquiry. The Empower for ISV Program is a one year
    program that has the option of re-enrolling for a second year. Currently
    there is no option for a third year enrollment. We apologize for any
    miscommunication that you may have heard.”

  2. bobw Reply

    They may say that, but they signed me up for a third year, charged my credit card and are sending me a new set of disks.

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