Mr Rob Morley who works on the Empower programme at Microsoft has a rather informative blog over at http://blogs.technet.com/empower/.

So what is the Empower programme and why do you care?  Well in Rob's own words:

"The Microsoft Empower Programme is a 12 month initiative (with the option to renew for a second year) designed to help Independent Software Vendors develop & release commercial software based on Microsoft technologies onto the market and ultimately to become Microsoft Certified Partners with the ISV competency - checkout the Empower website for more details."

We're already starting to see some very innovative stuff from our ISV partner community thanks to the Empower programme, so if you're in the business of software development and want some support from Microsoft, be sure to get involved.