Microsoft Entices SMBs with Freebies

By Lisa Vaas  |  Print this article Print

Microsoft is giving away tools to woo small businesses to its Office Live Small Business suite.

Microsoft is giving away tools to entice SMBs to adopt its Office Live Small Business suite of Web-based software and services. However, the move could see the software giant provide tools and services for free that its VARs have previously charged for.

Microsoft announced that it has combined its previous three-tier OLSB suite into one product and is offering Web hosting, Web site building tools, custom domain names and business-branded e-mail accounts for free.

Baris Cetinok, director of Product Management and Marketing for Microsoft, said that the target audience is comprised of those businesses that lack IT staff, a dedicated IT budget or a contractor who’s overseeing the business’ computing, as well as those businesses stuck in repurposing consumer technologies or that are trying to work with minimal IT staff to manage software and devices.

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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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