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Discount Office, XP Bundle Created for Small Businesses

Microsoft on Monday unveiled two new financial incentives designed to get U.S. small businesses more deeply invested in Microsoft infrastructure and onto the latest versions of Windows and Office.

Microsoft has created a Small Business SKU within the Open Value licensing program. The SKU combines a Windows XP upgrade, Office 2003 Small Business Edition and a Client Access License (CAL) for Windows Small Business Server 2003 for $922. The price discounts current pricing in the Open Value licensing program by 28 percent.

Three years of Software Assurance benefits are included, which will cover upgrades to Windows Vista and Microsoft Office "12" when those products ship. Vista and Office 12 are scheduled for availability in late 2006.

A separate partner service program is called the Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 IT Services Promotion. Under the promotion, Microsoft will send customers who buy certain small business products a check, made out to a Microsoft partner, for services. Covered services include installation, deployment, risk and security assessments, and end-user training.

Eligible products include five or more qualifying Microsoft Office 2003 licenses or one Windows Small Business Server 2003 license or both products together. The service subsidies for purchases through the Open Value program include $100 per license for buying SBS 2003, $100 per license for purchasing at least five Office 2003 licenses, or $125 per license for businesses that buy at least five Office 2003 licenses and one SBS 2003 license.

The maximum value of the subsidy is reportedly $10,000, an amount that would cover 80 licenses at the $125 rate. SBS 2003 supports up to 75 users.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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