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Microsoft unveils small-business incentives

Microsoft unveils small-business incentives

Microsoft is offering subsidies for small businesses that purchase software through its Open Value program.

Microsoft has unveiled a subsidy for small-business customers to purchase consulting services when they buy Microsoft software, according to the company.

The Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 IT Service Promotion allows customers that purchase qualifying software licenses through Microsoft's Open Value program to receive subsidies to use for purchasing consultancy services from Microsoft partners, according to the company.

Qualifying licenses include Office Professional Edition 2003 and Office Small Business Edition 2003 when purchased through the Small Business Platform SKU, according to Microsoft.

Services that could be purchased with the subsidy dollars included training, installation, deployment or risk-assessment, Microsoft said in a statement.

Companies that purchased a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 license or at least five qualifying Microsoft Office 2003 licenses through Open Value might be eligible to receive a $US100 subsidy per license, the company said.

Businesses that purchase both a minimum of five qualifying Microsoft Office 2003 licenses and one Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 license through Open Value can receive up to a $US125 subsidy per license.

To get the subsidies, customers must purchase the software between October 17 and March 31, 2006, and redeem the subsidy dollars by May 31, 2006, according to Microsoft. More information about the promotion can be found at https://www.microsoftincentives.com/Offers.aspx

Microsoft has been making a concerted effort of late to simplify product licensing and acquisition for small businesses. In July the company simplified its licensing program for small and medium-sized businesses, called the Open Value program, and created the Small Business Platform SKU as a simplified way for small-businesses to purchase core IT infrastructure from Microsoft.

The Small Business Platform SKU provides a license for every PC in a company for Microsoft Office 2003 Small Business Edition, a Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 Client Access License and Microsoft Windows XP Professional Upgrade, all with up to three years of Software Assurance benefits, for about $US922 per PC.


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