Microsoft and Best Buy Help Make Web Presence Simple and Affordable for Small Businesses
Partnership will provide easy and affordable Web solutions and expert consulting services to help small businesses extend their reach online.
REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 21, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. and Best Buy Co. Inc. today announced a partnership to meet the needs of small-business customers who would like to establish a Web presence but are reluctant to create a site on their own. Best Buy for Business will enable small businesses to purchase subscriptions cards for Microsoft® Office Live services — designed to help businesses get online easily and affordably — at select Best Buy locations, online at http://www.bbfb.com and over the phone. Customers can receive a discount on the Microsoft Office Live monthly subscription fee, getting three months for the price of one.
Best Buy For Business technology professionals, who are Microsoft-certified, will also work closely with small-business customers to determine which of the collaboration tools and solutions best fit their business. The Geek Squad 24-Hour Computer Support Task Force® is available for business-grade technology support and can help Microsoft Office Live customers hit the ground running.
“Establishing and marketing your business online is no longer considered a luxury — it’s a must as consumers increasingly turn to the Web to research products and services,” said Brett McCommons, district business sales manager for Best Buy For Business. “Most consumers spend nearly 14 hours a week online — the same amount of time they spend watching TV. By combining the simplicity and reliability of Microsoft Office Live with the expertise available through Best Buy For Business, we’ve made it easy for small-business owners to create, maintain and market their Web sites.”
IDC research found that by the end of 2006, of the 6.8 million businesses in the United States with fewer than 10 employees, only 4.2 million had a Web site.* Microsoft and Best Buy For Business created a partnership to help this technologically underserved portion of the small-business segment take advantage of the sales and marketing opportunities the Web provides. Microsoft Office Live has already helped more than 250,000 small businesses establish an Internet presence with easy and affordable tools.
Microsoft Office Live, available in three editions, is a comprehensive and affordable set of easy-to-use, Internet-based software and services. The product emerged from its beta-testing phase in November 2006 with new features to help small businesses with their sales and marketing needs, including Microsoft Office Live adManager beta; integration with Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007 and Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007; enhanced Web design tools and templates; more storage space; additional company-branded e-mail accounts and calendars; and the ability for customers and colleagues to use their own company domain name with Windows Live™ Messenger. Microsoft Office Live Business Contact Manager, a tool to help small companies manage business relationships in an organized and effective way, is available now in subscription-based Microsoft Office Live offerings.
About Best Buy For Business
Best Buy For Business is designed to meet the technology needs of small businesses, offering business-class technology products and technology solutions consultations to help small business owners design, implement and maintain their technology infrastructure. Customers can engage Best Buy For Business through locations within nearly 300 Best Buy stores around the country, via the web at http://www.bbfb.com, and over the phone.
About Microsoft Office Live
Microsoft Office Live offerings range from free domain name, Web site and company e-mail accounts that are advertising-supported to more comprehensive services available on a subscription-fee basis. The offerings can be especially attractive to companies with 10 or fewer employees, which typically lack in-house technical resources or the budget to keep an IT person on staff. Microsoft Office Live Basics, Microsoft Office Live Essentials and Microsoft Office Live Collaboration are being offered free of charge to customers during the beta program. Customers interested in participating in the beta program are invited to register online at http://www.officelive.com. Microsoft expects to release final public versions of all three Microsoft Office Live services in late 2006. The beta program is currently only available to U.S. businesses.
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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