Why do Startups Hate on Microsoft?

Why do Startups Hate on Microsoft?

Why do Startups Hate on Microsoft?

I am not going to persuade you to use Microsoft, if what you are already using works for you.  However, I always find it weird when startups hate on Microsoft products when enterprise products are what they do best. Moreover, they actually give their stuff away for free if you have a young or fledgling business.  I’ll try to shed some light on some of the misconceptions of Microsoft products, and tell you what has worked for my company, Vinylmint.

In 2011, Vinylmint was organizing the development team and needed some software solutions for project management, cloud services and support, and database administration.  We looked at a lot of solutions like, Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and even some local companies like InMotion Hosting.  They are all comparable solutions and will all get the job done.

But, then I heard about the BizSpark program.  Microsoft created Bizspark to support young companies and to provide them with their enterprise software resources for free with the hopes of winning them as long-term customers later.   Windows Azure, the comparable solution to the cloud services above was as equally elastic when considering scalability, secure, well-documented, well-supported, and more importantly free for one year with a $60,000 credit in year two.

Free is always good.  So, Immediately I was intrigued.  Like most Founders I was still a bit skeptical about additional solutions outside of their Microsoft Office Suite, which was still buggy with the release of Windows Vista a year earlier.  So, I began researching their project management tool, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS), their database architecture systems in SQL Server, and web layer solutions in Microsoft Web API.  Again, each of these were comparable to solutions like MongoDB and RavenDB, but were better document, easier to deploy rapidly, and could scale quickly with dramatic increases in traffic.  Some developers would argue that SQL Server is an antiquated solution for a select use case, but I have found that technical support and documentation are keys to saving your development team time, and saving the CEO money on consulting fees if you can’t do it internally.  Furthermore, Microsoft Web API is akin to HTML5, and Pivotal Tracker, Asana, and Basecamp are watered-down versions of Team Foundation Solutions.

The best part, besides saving money that is, was that all of Microsoft’s solutions fully integrate into one another, allowing you to track, trouble tickets the moment they occur in your stack, manage task and communicate from a central location, and communicate with experienced technical support teams to quickly resolve issues.   Plus, Microsoft BizSpark gives startups access to world-class mentors, potential investors, clients, advisors, partners and valuable offers to help run their business. Startups also get access to technical, product and business training & support.

I could go on an on about how Microsoft’s solutions stack up to the popular tools used by the emo-entrepreneur universe of Microsoft haters. Fundamentally, it all comes down to what your team is comfortable with using and what works for your budget.  I just think, it’s a no brainer for a startup to take advantage of great tools backed by one of the most successful companies of all time who chooses to conveniently give their services away for free.  I mean, isn’t that why we use Google?

Byron Morgan

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