Microsoft’s BizSpark Plus, a program designed to accelerate the success of technology startups, expanded its range of startup services by announcing $60,000 in free Windows Azure compute and storage over a period of 24 months for select startup accelerators. Specifically, the BizSpark Plus startup accelerator TechStars will allow TechStars accelerators in Boulder, Boston, New York, Seattle and Texas to provide the designated $60,000 in free Windows Azure services to each of their respective startups. In addition to TechStars, Microsoft is extending the offer of free Windows Azure services to startup founders that belong to a technology accelerator within the Global Accelerator Network, a network of roughly 40 startup accelerators that are similar to TechStars. The expanded relationship between Microsoft Corporation and the startup accelerator community represents an astute strategic move on the part of Microsoft insofar as it constitutes a golden sales and marketing opportunity to seed its Windows Azure platform in the IT infrastructure of up and coming technology startups all over the world.
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