Microsoft Canada Co.

Microsoft Canada Co.

October 28, 2005 09:00 ET

Microsoft Canada Co.: Survey Finds 91 Per Cent of Small Business Owners Oppose Software Piracy

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 28, 2005) -

Royal LePage Performance franchise takes control of software compliance issues with new software asset management system and saves $75,000 by standardizing on Microsoft-based technology

Microsoft Canada Co. captured small business views on software piracy in a new national survey conducted by Ipsos Reid(1). The survey found that 91 per cent of small businesses agree using pirated software is unethical and they need to be vigilant about making sure their software is genuine.

Running an ethical business was cited as the number one reason for small business owners to invest in genuine software (39 per cent) and only 11 per cent were concerned with the risks that counterfeit software could pose to their business. Although a majority of small business owners oppose software piracy, only 54 per cent regularly check the type of software they use to make sure it is genuine. Meanwhile, 40 per cent have software management policies in place to help protect their business from unlicensed software.

Microsoft Canada understands that small businesses often juggle different priorities, and staying on top of software assets can be an ongoing challenge. Currently Microsoft allows end-users to check if their software is genuine through the Windows® Genuine Advantage Program (www.microsoft.com/genuine). The company also provides software asset management tools such as the Microsoft® Software Inventory Analyzer, which can generate an inventory of core Microsoft software installed on a local computer, or throughout a network.

Microsoft Canada is also working with technology partners like Workshift.com, a Microsoft Certified Partner, to help businesses of all sizes take control of their software assets and make sure they aren't putting their IT systems at risk or opening their business to copyright infringement issues.

"In a growing small business, we often find employees will run out and acquire new software as they need it, or bring it to their business from home. With no single person managing software assets, small businesses often end up paying more for their software, as well as exposing their business to unnecessary risks," said Chris Ellsay, president, Workshift.com. "By working with a technology partner, small businesses can develop a software asset management process that will grow with their business."

Pierre de Varennes recently made the move from being a real estate broker to a small business owner when he purchased the Royal LePage Performance Realty Ottawa franchise. Although he bought into a well known franchise, the IT system was a mix of platforms on a disconnected network of 70 PCs across six locations. The company had no way to track whether software was compliant. As software rights were excluded from the purchase agreement, Pierre de Varennes knew he needed to standardize on one IT platform and develop the right system to make sure the software that was running in his business was genuine.

Royal LePage Performance Realty worked with Workshift.com to deploy a fully licensed connected office solution that included Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 operating system, Microsoft Windows® CE operating system and Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003. By taking control of its software assets up front, Royal LePage Performance Realty now has peace of mind knowing that its business software is genuine. License compliance means the company has access to the full benefits of the software as well as the necessary backup CDs and access to technical support. In addition, the company has saved $75,000 in maintenance fees by standardizing on Microsoft-based technology.

"The real estate business is based on the integrity of the people who run it. We bought into the best franchise in Canada, and it was important to us from the beginning that the computer systems we work with match our own business integrity," said Pierre de Varennes, broker owner, Royal LePage Performance Realty. "By starting out fresh with the proper software, we know we are playing by the rules."

"Although it is promising to see that Canadian small businesses see the value of using genuine software, the lack of concern around the risks that counterfeit software can pose to their businesses is an issue," said Susan Harper, license compliance manager, Microsoft Canada. "By taking control of their software assets, small businesses can help protect themselves from unnecessary risks."

Microsoft is committed to working with technology partners, and providing software asset management tools and programs such as the Windows Genuine Advantage, to help small businesses build their IT systems on a compliant foundation. For more information about software piracy and how to manage your software assets please visit:

http://www.microsoft.com/canada/piracy/default.mspx

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sam/tools.mspx

(1)The online poll of 855 small business owners (small business was defined as 20 or fewer employees) across Canada was conducted in September 2005 by Ipsos Reid.

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca

(C)2005 Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

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