Microsoft Launches bCentral Business Web Services
bCentral Helps Small Businesses Easily Establish an Online Presence With Integrated Suite of Services for Site Creation and Hosting, Web Communications, and Online Marketing
REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 21, 2000 — Demonstrating its commitment to helping make everyday business processes easy for small business, Microsoft Corp. today announced Business Web Services, the first of several integrated services that will be available this year on the Microsoft® bCentral™
small-business service ( http://www.bcentral.com/ ). Business Web Services takes the work out of creating a complete business Web presence – including providing domain registration, business e-mail, site creation and hosting, e-commerce, and Web-based marketing services – through a simple, integrated sign-up process and a low fee of $24.95 per month.
In just a few minutes, a nontechnical business owner can use Business Web Services to register his or her business name; build a customizable, commerce-enabled Web site; have powerful business e-mail based on hosted Microsoft Exchange Server 2000; and access a wealth of services to help with promoting the business. Key features of bCentral Business Web Services include the following:
“www.mybusiness.com” Web and e-mail address. Small businesses can easily register their domain name on the Web and use this name for both company e-mail and their Web site.
Business-class e-mail and communications. Built on Microsoft Exchange 2000 Outlook® Web Access, Business Web Services provides business-class e-mail, calendaring, contacts and document storage to businesses with an easy-to-use, online service that is accessible from the office or on the road. The interface delivers a Microsoft Outlook-like experience via a Web browser without requiring installation of additional software and provides a single location with secure access for important e-mail correspondence and communications.
Business Web site. With an updated version of bCentral Site Manager, which hosts thousands of Business Web sites, users have access to easy-to-use tools for building and hosting a professional-looking, e-commerce-ready Web site. Support is built in for online orders and real-time payment processing.
Online marketing tools. Users can effectively promote their business Web site with industry-leading tools for online advertising, search engine submission and customer e-mail list management.
Launched September 1999, bCentral is the leading service for small businesses on the Web, with over 1 million registered users. Built on the Microsoft .NET Platform, bCentral will expand the more traditional portal approach to deliver several new services this year that will make core business processes easy for small companies. At Forum 2000 in June, Microsoft demonstrated some of the vision of bCentral that will be realized later this year by encompassing critical small-business services such as customer management and expanded e-commerce services.
“Business Web Services is the first of many offerings that demonstrate the importance of integration in Web-based services,” said Satya Nadella, vice president of Microsoft bCentral. “Our customers have told us that many of their business processes overlap – for example, marketing their business and finding customer leads to needing solutions that unify customer communications, Web presence and online marketing. bCentral will build on the .NET Platform to bring all of these services together to make these processes easier.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software –
any time, any place and on any device.
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