Microsoft Announces Series of Technology Resources to Help Hispanic Business Owners Effectively Compete

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Sept. 20, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today introduced a series of resources for U.S. Hispanic small-business owners at the annual United States Hispanic Chambers of Commerce conference taking place in Puerto Rico. At the conference’s international business breakfast held this morning, José Piñero, director of multicultural marketing for Microsoft, addressed the attendees to highlight the enhanced tool set Microsoft offers to Hispanic small-business owners. The tool set consists of the Microsoft® Office Spanish Language Pack, available in the United States for the first time, Office Accounting, Office Live and the Small Business Center and will include the MSN® Latino Business Guide when it is launched in October.

These resources will help bridge the gap in technology utilization for Hispanic-owned small businesses and demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to supporting this growing business community. Small businesses will have the opportunity to start, grow and thrive by using Microsoft technology in areas such as financials, online presence, productivity, sales and marketing.

“Microsoft believes in empowering small-business owners by providing the resources and technology solutions that will make them succeed every day,” Piñero said. “Hispanic small businesses need specific tools to help them succeed. They now have a golden opportunity to look to technology to help them focus their time to drive business forward in an environment that is security-enhanced, familiar and easy to use.”

Small businesses are typically concerned with growing and serving their customer base, increasing employee productivity, maintaining a professional image and being competitive in a global economy while achieving profitability. Based on feedback from small businesses about these core challenges, Microsoft offers small-business software and services to address these critical areas.

  • Microsoft Office Spanish Language Pack is now available for the first time for U.S. retailers nationwide, allowing customers to work within the same program and document, in Spanish and English, without having to install or change applications. The products aim to streamline business and address the needs of multilingual professionals.

  • Microsoft Office Accounting 2007 helps customers integrate their business’ online services in one application, which includes eBay, PayPal, Equifax, credit-card processing; ADP Payroll Solutions to process payroll, direct-deposit of employees’ salaries; online tax payment; Microsoft Office Live; and online banking.*

  • Microsoft Office Live, specifically created for small-business owners, is a free service that offers, among other features, the ability to create a Web presence, including a personalized domain name, Web site and company-branded e-mail; assistance in managing and organizing customer information online; calendar, document and data sharing capability for on-site or off-site use; and search engine advertising to drive targeted traffic to their Web site. IDC research** found that out of the 6.8 million businesses in the United States with fewer than 10 employees in 2006, only 3.3 million have a Web site.

  • MSN Latino in October will launch a Spanish-language business guide, a resource to help Hispanics in the process of building and managing a small business in the United States. This new section of MSN Latino will feature articles, quizzes, personal stories, columns from experts offering general advice and answering questions submitted by users, message boards to share experiences and get in contact with the community, and more.

  • The Microsoft Small Business Center is a premier online resource where small businesses can learn how to get more out of their technology, quickly get answers to their questions and better understand the solutions that can help them grow their business. The Microsoft Small Business Center is a key component in how Microsoft interacts with small businesses in a meaningful way.

“Our commitment to offering resources specifically for small-business owners is steadfast,” Piñero said. “We’re continuously working to provide technology that’s easy to use and tools to help them get the most out of their software and drive their business forward, especially if that means having the option to use it in their preferred language.”

Demos and tutorials of Small Business Center, Office Live, Office Accounting and MSN Latino will be offered throughout the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Conference as one example of Microsoft’s commitment to bringing to the community relevant products and services that help Hispanic small-business owners become the drivers of their own success.

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

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