Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) has been around for nearly an year. All along, the company has maintained that it has no plans of extending the free antivirus software to small businesses, as it is solely intended for consumers and home-based businesses.
However, the company is no longer averse to offering MSE to small businesses, even at the expense of its enterprise security solutions. In an abrupt policy change, MS has announced that it will begin offering “its Microsoft Security Essentials available to small businesses on up to 10 PCs for FREE, beginning in early October!”
“By providing Microsoft Security Essentials to small businesses free of charge, Microsoft extends its commitment to help these companies save money and grow their business by offering no-cost protection from viruses, spyware and other malicious threats,” the company said in a blog post.
The global recession might be taking a bigger toll on small businesses than initially thought, suggests a new report by research firm IDC.
According to IDC's data, worldwide SMB spending on information technology will only go up by a lethargic 5.5 percent from now until 2014, far lower than what was previously forecast.
"The downturn had a devastating impact on SMBs worldwide," said Ray Boggs, vice president of small and medium business and home office research at IDC. "Moving forward, small businesses will not follow the past pattern and return to prerecession's spending levels more quickly than midsize firms. Instead, SMBs of all sizes will remain cautious with their IT spending over the next several years."
IDC says spending declines weren't focused on one particularly category, but affected various segments of hardware, software, and services. Going forward, IDC expects SMB spending on PCs and peripherals to grow the most, while systems and storage will see the least amount of growth.
At nearly 10 percent, the unemployment rate is the highest it's been in 26 years, or a little over a quarter of a century. Nevertheless, SMBs are looking to the coming year with optimism and planning to hire rather than lay off more workers, suggests a new study.
Intuit Payroll pinged over 1,000 SMB owners and found that 44 percent have plans to hire in the next year, and 60 percent are expecting their businesses to grow. But there's also a bit of a quandary SMBs find themselves in.
Nearly 90 percent of the survey participants indicated health insurance benefits as key to attracting and retaining good employees, but 58 percent don't offer healthcare benefits, with nearly half saying they simply can't afford it.
"There's a wideing gap of expectations," said Nora Denzel, senior vice president of Intuit's Employee Management Solutions Division. "On one hand, we as a society assume that health and retirement benefits are part of every employee's compensation package. And yet even as these small businesses gear up to hire, according to our results, small businesses are leery about what those benefits will cost."
Intuit also found that only 1 percent of respondents reported receiving federal stimulus money, even though 74 percent admit that they are probably not taking advantage of all the benefits made available to them under the federal economic stimulus plan.
Yes, you heard right! Microsoft is giving away free, hosted domains. This means you can finally set up a website for your special hobby or anything else that you wish. There is a catch though. Unfortunately, it is only free for the first year and then $15 per year after. This is still a good deal though. So why would you want such a thing? Because it’s your website and you can do whatever you wish to it. Other free services, such as Tripod, give you free website hosting, but you do not get your own domain name. Hit the jump for more details.