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Microsoft Signs Education Alliance Pact with HEC

To achieve these objectives in Pakistan, Microsoft Pakistan has entered into an Education Alliance Agreement with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan to.

In essence, the Education Alliance Agreement between Microsoft and HEC will provide centralized IT services to HEC-approved universities across Pakistan while maintaining the highest standards in the use of Information Technology within the ambit of education in Pakistan.

Commenting on this major development in the country’s higher education sector, Kamal Ahmed, Country Manager, Microsoft Pakistan, said,

“This Education Alliance Agreement provides the framework for a comprehensive joint public/private implementation plan that supports Pakistan’s objective of achieving education excellence. It is aligned to the key strategic aims of Transforming Education, Fostering Local Innovation and Enabling Jobs and Opportunities, and contains a selection of mutually agreed programs and solutions that offer the tools and support to achieve the country’s overall vision pertaining to education.”

A key objective of the Agreement is to establish the basis of a long term, on-going partnership that will also allow for regular review and measurement to ensure that all  undertakings of Microsoft within the educational programs remain aligned to the long term.

Since it is always fruitful for the state sector and private enterprise to work together to combine expertise, knowledge, experience and resources to ensure successful and sustainable education transformation, Microsoft will help the HEC to attain its goals by transforming education, fostering local innovation and creating jobs and opportunities through this alliance.

This blends perfectly with the HEC’s stated objective of equipping university students and faculty with the latest technological access across Pakistan. The HEC is also committed to bridging the digital divide by bringing Pakistan at par with the developed nations of the world where technology enablement for the students is concerned.

Giving his views on the Agreement, Professor Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, said

“The Commission has entered into this joint partnership with Microsoft to promote the use of Information Technology in Pakistan’s higher education sector through powerful software tools and to improve the efficiency of the education system by attaining the best accepted standards at all higher education institutions in the country.”

Since a strong technology infrastructure serves to make communities more appealing to local, regional and global businesses and investors, deployment of technology access under the education alliance will help bolster Pakistan’s economic growth and global.

Discussing the merits of the agreement, Anwar Amjad, HEC’s Director IT, said,

“This is a great opportunity for institutions of higher learning in Pakistan to gain access to a broad spectrum of technology and enable the country to move towards a knowledge-based economy.”

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Microsoft Launch Website Spark Free Software For Web Developers

Microsoft has launched WebsiteSpark , a new program to provide free copies of Microsoft development tools, applications and server licenses to web developers and designers for a period of three years.

The program is the third and latest launch as part of the ’spark’ series to engage communities with new Microsoft products. The initial programs to launch were BizSpark , for startups, and DreamSpark, for students.

What does the program provide?

WebSiteSpark provides software licenses that you can use for three years at no cost. Once enrolled, you can download and immediately use the following software from Microsoft:

3 licenses of Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
1 license of Expression Studio 3 (which includes Expression Blend, Sketchflow, and Web)
2 licenses of Expression Web 3
4 processor licenses of Windows Web Server 2008 R2
4 processor licenses of SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
DotNetPanel control panel (enabling easy remote/hosted management of your servers)
The Windows Server and SQL Server licenses can be used for both development and production deployment. You can either self-host the servers on your own, or use the licenses with a hoster. WebsiteSpark makes it easy to find hosters who are also enrolled in the program, and who can use your licenses to provide you with either dedicated or virtual dedicated servers to host your sites on.

In addition to software, WebsiteSpark provides partner opportunities to grow and build your business (including customer referrals through our partner programs). It also includes product support (including 2 professional support incidents) and free online training for the products.

Who can join the program?

WebSiteSpark is available to independent web developers and small web development companies. The only two requirements to join the program are:

Your company builds web sites and web application on behalf of others.
Your company currently has less than 10 employees.
If you meet these requirements you can visit the WebsiteSpark website and sign-up.

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