Microsoft Begins Rollout of the Microsoft Small Business Center Web Site

REDMOND, Wash., March 23, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. announced it has begun the global rollout of the new Microsoft®
Small Business Center, a Web site that will focus on serving the needs of small-business customers as part of its mission to deliver unparalleled support to this segment. The Microsoft Small Business Center reflects a unified, global strategy to help small-business customers easily access the resources and support they need to improve their business operations and enhance communication with their partners and suppliers. The global rollout began earlier this month with Australia, Japan, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom and will be extended to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States. Each country will make its own launch announcement in the second half of 2004.

The Microsoft Small Business Center will provide a single site online, based on the customer’s location, where customers can get tailored business information and advice on how to run their business more effectively, receive information on customer support options, and learn about the right Microsoft products and solutions for their needs.

“We’re extremely pleased to provide this unique destination for our small-business customers. We heard their requests that they want to be able to get their products and services from a single, unified location. In response, we have designed the new Small Business Center,” said Steven Guggenheimer, vice president of small business for the Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partner Group at Microsoft. “Given the recent launches of Microsoft Windows®
Small Business Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Small Business Edition, this new portal further signals Microsoft’s commitment to deliver the right products, solutions and services to small-business communities worldwide.”

As part of its strategy to provide the resources and information that small businesses need to help them succeed, Microsoft will migrate the content from its successful Microsoft bCentral (TM) small-business resources portals, available in seven countries, to the Small Business Center. This content includes specialized information on small-business management, sales and marketing tools, and, in the United States, subscription Web services designed to help small-business customers better manage their businesses online. The new site will feature additional innovative small-business content and software products. Microsoft will continue to build on its Small Business Center offerings to include new tools and resources aimed at helping small businesses improve their operations. Further, the site will provide a way for customers to easily connect with Microsoft partners that can recommend optimal solutions based on their unique needs.

Microsoft Small Business Center to Offer Variety of Resources for Small Businesses

Customers can take advantage of the following resources on Small Business Center:

  • Content, tools and services, including advice-oriented articles, information and subscription Web services (available in the United States only) that help small businesses improve sales and marketing effectiveness and extend their businesses on the Internet

  • Newsletters containing solutions and information tailored to the needs of small-business owners and managers

Customized content that provides resources for small businesses worldwide, based on their geographic location, to address key issues

  • Advice on the Microsoft solutions most relevant to each customer’s unique business needs, including products such as Office Small Business Edition and Windows Small Business Server, and tips on how to connect with the right Microsoft partners

“Small businesses are looking for opportunities to have a place to go where they can get support, access information on how they can use technology to help run their business, and have a community in which they can collaborate with partners,” said Mika Krammer, vice president at Gartner Inc.

“Microsoft understands the fact that small businesses are faced with getting more done in less time,” Guggenheimer said. “With that in mind, we are offering the Microsoft Small Business Center, which will provide these critical pieces of information that will help a small business run more efficiently.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows and bCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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