Microsoft this week began aggressively courting the developers who currently target Apple’s iPhone and iPad, offering them Windows 8 Pro and a Mac-based virtualization solutions for next to nothing. The offer is called Windows QuickStart Kit and is aimed at pulling developers out of their current comfort zone. And it was so popular it sold out in just hours.
“We’ll ship you a copy of Windows 8 and Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac virtualization on a USB stick for a $25 donation to your favorite charity, courtesy of our friends at Swish,” Microsoft Group Program Manager Sandeep Singhal wrote in a post to the firm’s IEBlog before the sellout. “We heard that the most common way you test across browsers is through virtualization of browser and operating system combinations using your favorite virtualization platform, such as Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox, or Parallels. However, costs to purchase software and licensing can be difficult if you’re that startup looking for your first big breakthrough.”
The QuickStart included a copy of Windows 8 Pro—a $200 value—and Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac, which retails for $80 and allows Mac users to run Windows on their computers. (Developers who target iOS systems like iPhone and iPad must use a Mac, as Apple’s developer tools only run on that platform.)
Microsoft says that the QuickStart offer “sold out quickly.” But due to the popularity of the offer, it will “look into making other offers available in the near future.”
Additionally, Microsoft announced other tools at easing the developer transition to Windows 8. It is offering new virtual machines (VMs), with Internet Explorer (IE) 10 on Windows 7 and IE 8 on Windows XP, for free. And it is enhancing the Modern.IE website, which provides online web developer tools, to include additional languages and improved tools.