Six months ago, Microsoft announced the availability of a new global program for Startups called Microsoft BizSpark.

Today, as we celebrate the program’s 6-months, we are pleased to announce that more than 12,000 Startups have already joined BizSpark.

BizSpark is available in 82 countries around the world, and, interestingly enough, we’ve seen significant uptake in countries like Brazil, Russia, China and India (4 out of the top 6 countries in terms of enrollment). BizSpark is fulfilling unmet demand for tools and technologies and we are seeing an increasing number of startups in these markets with high potential software industries.

The majority of these startups have joined the program through one of over 1300 Network Partners around the world. Network Partners are investors, incubators, user groups, advisors and organizations who provide programs and mentoring and uniquely know the Startup Community. Some of the active network partners are Seedcamp, Thefunded.com, 47hats, TiE, SoftLine, Senac Sao Paulo, Mashable, Startups.ro, China Business Angel Network, etc. We are very proud to partner with such high profile organizations.

BizSpark hosting partners like RackSpace, Peer1, GoGrid or Navisite, are also significantly driving enrollments and helping startups to get hosting service with a significant discount. The List of BizSpark hosting partners keep growing and we recently announced that GoDaddy just joined the program.

BizSpark is designed to help accelerate the success of early stage software startups by providing entrepreneurs fast and easy access to software, support and visibility.

BizSpark includes current, full-featured Microsoft development tools and platforms to build apps (like Visual Studio and Expressions) and production licenses of server products to host them (like Windows Server and SQL Server), with no upfront costs and minimal requirements. BizSpark does not require exclusivity and many Open Source ISVs are leveraging BizSpark to test the interoperability of their applications.

Last week, we added Microsoft Robotics Studio and the CRR/DDS toolkit to the list of available products, and since the 30th of April, BizSpark startups can now download Win7 to ensure application compatibility. Recently, we also added, for early adopters, unlimited email support, online trainings and invitations to local technical events to help entrepreneurs building rock-solid software innovations.

The 12,000 participating companies span a variety of industries including Social networks, SaaS, healthcare, education, mobility, entertainment, finance and more. These startups are successfully building and innovating on the Windows Platform, and include some well know names: ZocDoc, Tweba, SquareClock, Eduify, StackOverflow, Sobees, MixedinKey, Develomatic, Curse.

In addition, over 1700 Startups have profiled themselves on the BizSparkDB, the online startup directory on Microsoft Startup Zone, where we promote the Startup of the Day and try to connect startups and potential clients and investors.

Here’s what we’re hearing about BizSpark:

1. “Just enabled my MSDN BizSpark subscription. The list of available software is incredible; I'm like a kid in Willy Wonka's software Factory.” @jdrumgoole on Twitter

  • · “BizSpark is the right program, at the right time for software entrepreneurs like us.” Vincent Picou, CEO, SquareClock

  • · “We were chosen by Microsoft as their Startup of the Day. We were also sponsored into their BizSpark program which is resulting in huge cost savings and networking opportunities for us.” Jason Milgram, CEO/CTO Founder, Linxter

For more information about BizSpark, or if you want to join, visit www.microsoftstartupzone.com/bizspark or email us at bizspark@microsoft.com. You can also follow BizSpark on twitter.