The New York Times alerted me to the latest version of Microsoft’s Office Live Small Business. This is a (more or less) free service and one stop shop aimed at the millions of small busineses not yet on line.
It offers, free web desgin tools, web hosting, domain and email management, plus an online store linked to PayPal and email marketing support. All integrated and with reporting tools built in. A unique offering in one place, and very simple tools. You can even use it with a Mac as long as you don’t try and get in with Safari. Only Explorer and Firefox are supported.
So: fast, innovative and fleet of foot. Not terms you usually associate with Microsoft but this genuinely looks useful and will certainly make my life easier when giving options to small and microbusinesses that want to do more on line but are bamboozled by the choice and the number of different suppliers and apps they have to juggle with.
This is genuinely straightforward. One silly catch: if you want to put an ad on a search engine, the software will help you do that as long as the search engine does not begin with a Y or a G! Ask! and Microsoft’s own search – Live.Com are available but this gets you less than 10% of potential eyeballs. But at least it is a start!