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January 5, 2010
2 Min Read
Small and mid-sized businesses can upgrade to Microsoft's most current OS and productivity suite for up to half off for the first year under a promotional subscription program the software maker is operating through June 30.
The "Up-To-Date" offer applies to SMBs who are members of Microsoft's Open Value subscription licensing program.
"Here is the big announcement to kick off the New Year," wrote Eric Ligman, of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, in a Jan 1 blog post.
Under the program, SMBs with OEM, retail, or volume licenses for the Professional versions of Office 2007, Office 2003, or Office XP can move to Office 2010 prior to launch and save 50% of their first year's license fee. Office XP isn't covered by the program after Office 2010 formally launches later this year.
On the Windows side, SMBs with subscription licenses can upgrade from Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional for half-off the first year.
"Here's to a great 2010 with the first big announcement of the year!" wrote Ligman.
Microsoft is counting on the offer to convince smaller companies to upgrade to its latest software. In general, businesses showed little appetite for Windows Vista and sales of Office have declined in recent quarters, as well.
But Microsoft faces stiff competition in the SMB space, one of IT's hottest markets. Google is targeting the sector with its Google Apps offering, a low-cost, cloud-based suite that comprises word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications.
IBM also is chasing SMBs with its OpenOffice.org-based Lotus Symphony package.
Microsoft shares were off .19%, to %30.89, in mid-day trading Tuesday.
InformationWeek and Dr. Dobb's have published an in-depth report on how Web application development is moving to online platforms. Download the report here (registration required).
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