A question I ask Microsoft people frequently is: what are you doing to promote your tools in the Web 2.0 world / to help SaaS startups use your technologies?
I saw two posts today that, while not answering this question, seem to me like progress:
ASP.NET 2.0 Training Center
Microsoft (and CMP and O’Reilly and Dr. Dobb’s) have rolled out the ASP.NET 2.0 Training Center. This is to help PHP / JSP / ColdFusion developers learn about .NET. This looks like a great resource for developers to learn about the capabilities of .NET. If you are a developer using one of these other technologies, check it out. There is a free copy of Visual Studio 2005 Standard in it for you if you view 3 webinars.
Obviously, this is a great tactic to get non-.NET users to see what ASP.NET has to offer — I’m sure they’ll get plenty of free-riders too 😉
I found out about this from an O’Reilly post (see ASP.Net on a Roll). According to them, ASP.NET 2.0 is gaining leverage (as measured by book sales). Good news for Microsoft and for developers. ASP.NET is really a great way to build Web sites and services. I personally much prefer this to PHP, for example. Scripting languages are fine, but I’m in the strong-typing camp. And now since ASP.NET 2.0 can recompile your code on the server, it takes away a major scripting advantage.
In Microsoft Startup Zone Launches, Don Dodge announces the new Microsoft Startup Zone, sort of a portal into Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team. This site is full of resources for startup companies. While I still would like to see a partner program for SaaS startups, this site is worth a visit if you want to see what Microsoft has to offer emerging companies.