Tech giants Google and Microsoft have offered new incentives to start-ups and small businesses in an attempt to increase the user numbers for their respective technologies.
Last year, Google teamed up with software specialists MYOB to launch Getting Aussie Business Online, which promises to help small businesses set up a company website in 15 minutes.
The program ensures businesses are well represented in searches such as Google Maps and Google Search.
In its latest attempt to promote its own technology, Google has launched a site designed to help small businesses learn how to use internet technologies in order to operate more efficiently.
“Today we’re launching another set of resources – at www.whatareyouworkingfor.com,” Google Enterprise marketing manager Jeremy Wood wrote in a company blog.
“Business owners and managers can learn from their counterparts around Australia who have already taken the leap to Google Apps.”
“Like George Perry at Choice, a leading consumer advocacy group, who turned on Gmail and Google Calendar for the whole company… overnight.”
“Or John O’Neil, owner and builder at O’Neil Construction, who said Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs have helped him exceed his clients’ expectations.”
According to Wood, the site contains a repository of relevant content from Google and from around the web on topics that address “real questions about how small businesses work”.
“At any time, business managers can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Google Apps to experience the benefits of these tools in their own business environments,” Wood said.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is now offering start-ups in its new BizSpark Plus Program $60,000 worth of costs for using its Azure cloud computing technology.
Microsoft BizSpark is a global program designed to help accelerate the success of early stage start-ups.
BizSpark Plus is an extension of BizSpark, providing start-ups with additional offers, products and services from Microsoft, available through select incubators and accelerators.
“Microsoft wants to help start-ups grow their businesses. We know that every dollar saved through our offers can be spent in other areas of the business,” Microsoft says on its website.
“The first offer, Windows Azure for BizSpark Plus, helps cover a start-up’s cloud computing costs… Through this offer, start-ups will get up to $60,000 of value over two years.”
Azure works with major development languages including node.js, java, php and Microsoft’s own .net.
This suggests Microsoft’s objective is to get in with the next batch of companies before they get hooked on offerings from rivals such as Amazon.
There’s another selling point. It’s understood Microsoft will work to connect BizSpark Plus start-ups with its many enterprise and mid-market customers.