Microsoft is courting the small and medium sized business (SMB) market with a 50% discount off first-year payments of its Office 2007 productivity suite through an Open Value Subscription license. 

Customers with previous licensed versions of Office (as far back as Office 2000) qualify for the discount, which runs until 31 December 2007.
Two of Microsoft’s biggest distributors in the South African market, Workgroup and Comztek, say the offer is enjoying a steady uptake from companies looking to upgrade their desktop productivity software to take advantage of new features and technology.
Workgroup MD Doug Woolley says his company anticipates added demand for Office 2007 through the offer as SMEs take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade their desktop productivity suites to the latest technology.
Comztek's MD, Paul Conradie, says the channel has already seen increased interest as a result of the offer.
Mark Reynolds, SMB group manager at Microsoft SA, says companies using the new generation of desktop software are pleasantly surprised at the extent to which Office 2007 allows you to get better results, faster. The easier user interface and new features really allow users to quickly create professional looking documents.
“You not only spend less time deploying, managing and securing desktops, but Office 2007 simplifies how people work together. They can effectively handle and act on ever-increasing volumes of information through time-saving features that help them to work faster, and it is easier than ever to protect and manage both content and users,” says Reynolds.
He adds that sales of Windows Vista are also picking up steadily as users start to realize the features and benefits of the package. Particularly popular among SME customers is the way Windows Vista raises security to new levels while giving users the best user experience through greater control.