Microsoft is bidding adieu to its bCentral site of small business services and resurrecting it as the Microsoft Small Business Center Website. A transition is underway now, leading up to official closure of bCentral in early summer and complete migration of services and content over to the Small Business Center.
The move is an ambitious undertaking and part of Microsoft’s ambitious $2 billion investment in the small- and medium-business market. My report, “Investing $2 Billion on 45 Million: Microsoft Sales Assault Targets SMBs,” explores where the broader investment makes sense or comes up short.
Sometimes, subtle changes are significant. The new small-biz Web property will be hosted on a microsoft.com domain; right now services come from bcentral.com. Jupiter Research surveys show that SMBs increasingly want to buy technology direct from the vendor rather than go through resellers or other third parties. The trend is more pronounced among the smallest SMBs. An operation coming off microsoft.com takes advantage of Microsoft’s brand equity and offers a more direct-like relationship. [Microsoft Monitor: Bye Bye bCentral, Hello SBC]