Microsoft Office Live Small Business Entices SMBs with Freebies

Office Live Small Business now has almost 600,000 customers worldwide. It's available in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.

Microsoft wants to drag online every mom and pop shop it can, and if it has to give away Web hosting, Web site building tools, custom domain names and business-branded e-mail accounts to get them there, that's exactly what it's planning to do.

The company will announce on Feb. 11 that it's collapsing what was once a three-tier product in Microsoft Office Live Small Business -- its suite of Web-based software and services, rolled out 18 months ago and designed to get small businesses up and running online - into one product, with more products and services now offered for free.

That means that those small businesses who sign up for Office Live Small Business will get a free Web site, free e-mail, 5 gigabytes of storage, direct connection and syncing with Outlook, and the ability to use a free intranet for sharing company documents or the use of a password-protected extranet for sharing documents with clients.

Read the full story on eWEEK's Midmarket site.