Microsoft and WebFusion offer Tech students free web hosting

Science, technology, engineering mathematics and design (STEM-D) students are being offered free web hosting services.

The new offer, launched through a partnership between Microsoft and web hosting specialist WebFusion yesterday, is aimed at encouraging the take-up of university courses in these subjects and fill the skills gap identified by the government and trade bodies, like e-Skills UK.

"Initiatives like these are great for encouraging future generations to get the most out of web hosting to support knowledge growth in engineering, IT and design," said Thomas Vollrath, WebFusion's managing director. "STEM-D is the perfect place to start and engage with the early adopters and developers of technology."

STEM-D university students will have free access to web hosting to aid their studies, helping them to create online applications and websites, as well as ensuring they are not reliant on their university's local area network (LAN) resources.

WebFusion said its academic hosting package is designed to offer students the ability to build flexible, high performance, data-driven web applications with the minimum of coding and runs on Windows Server 2008 beta with 500MB of online space and 2GB of bandwidth per month.

The hosting provider is also offering access to one SQL 2005 database. In addition it is providing support and application development platforms including file transfer protocol (FTP) access, Microsoft's ASPclassic and ASP.Net 3.5 and hypertext preprocessor (PHP) under FastCGI, the open extension to the common gateway interface (CGI) that provides high performance for internet applications without the limitations of existing web server application programming interfaces (APIs).

"Our aim is to have at least 10,000 students using the free hosting in 2008 and, with the support of WebFusion, we can grow this number year on year," said William Coleman, Microsoft web platform architect evangelist.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.