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Microsoft released the results of its 2010 SMB/Partner Insight Report, which focuses on small to medium-size businesses and their IT spending plans for the year.

In the study, based on a survey of Microsoft Small Business Specialist partners, 63 percent of respondents predicted their SMB customers will spend more on IT in 2010, up from just 25 percent in 2009, with overall SMB IT spending anticipated to rise by an average of 16 percent over 2009 levels. Results from more than 500 partners in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Brazil and India indicated SMBs view virtualization, IT consolidation, software as a service, customer relationship management (CRM) and support of remote workers as their most important technology investments.