(The Hosting News) – HOUSTON â€“ The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting, today announced its membership in the Microsoft WebsiteSpark program. Through this partnership, The Planet provides small Web development and design firms with free Microsoft licenses for the latest versions of Windows Server and SQL Server, key tools for building and designing rich Web sites. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, The Planet offers the program to qualified companies through its status as an official Network Partner and Hosting Provider.
To participate in the program, companies must be privately held professional service firms with no more than 10 employees, whose primary business is providing Web development and design services.
â€œWith more than 20,000 customers, Web designers and developers comprise a key customer segment for The Planet,â€ said Todd Mitchell, general manager for Dedicated Hosting and Global Services. â€œHowever, for small firms, the capital expense of running a business can often be insurmountable, especially in todayâ€™s economy. Weâ€™re leveraging our partnership with Microsoft to provide these firms with valuable software and solutions at a low cost. Together with The Planetâ€™s world-class network, data centers and customer support, the program provides tremendous value for cost-sensitive businesses.â€
WebsiteSpark provides professional Web development and design companies with access to vast resources that would otherwise be unavailable to small firms:
Software: Companies gain access to full-featured development tools at no upfront cost, including Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008. Firms pay only a $100 fee to Microsoft, due upon program completion.
Support: WebsiteSpark provides professional technical support from Microsoft, connecting participants to a global community of Hosting Partners and Web designers and developers, who can offer a wide range of technical and business resources to growing firms.
Visibility: Companies gain global visibility to audiences of potential investors, clients and partners via the WebsiteSpark Marketplace.
To learn more about WebsiteSpark, visit http://www.theplanet.com/WebsiteSpark/.
About The Planet
The Planet is the leading provider of On Demand IT Infrastructure solutions, hosting more than 20,000 small- and medium-size businesses and 18.5 million Web sites worldwide. Customers have the power to choose from the broadest range of hosting solutions in the industry, from dedicated servers, Managed Dedicated Servers, Northstar Managed Hostingâ„¢ and data center colocation, all backed by 24x7x365 support. With the best choice of servers, software tools and world-class service, backed by state-of-the-art data centers and an enterprise-class network, The Planet turns IT into a powerful competitive advantage that enables customers to grow their businesses. For additional information, visit http://www.theplanet.com.