Small business owners will be able to pick up a box of Vista Business and Office Small Business 2007 at certain CompuUSA stores beginning on November 30. The offer requires that SMBs acquire five or more licenses for the operating system and/or the office productivity suite. Microsoft said that it extends to the program to additional retailers throughout 2007.
"We know that more than 50 percent of small businesses shop for software at retail stores. (...) These offerings also enable small businesses to purchase Windows Vista Business and Office Small Business 2007 on November 30, ahead of the general availability in late January," said Cindy Bates, general manager of the U.S. Small Business Group at Microsoft in a prepared statement.
Besides the fact that SMBs will have to buy at least five licenses of Vista/Office, the purchase will also be part of Microsoft's Open Value or Microsoft Open Business licensing program, which means that buyers will be locked into either a 2-year (business option) or 3-year (value option) contract with software company. In the case of the Microsoft Open Business option, the customer has to pay the full amount of the software and contract at the time of purchase, while the "Value" option allows SMBs to pay for the software in annual installments and automatically participates in Microsoft's "software assurance" program (which is optional for the "business" model).
Details of the volume pricing offer have not been announced.