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Microsoft Touts Office Live As Partner Platform

Microsoft on Thursday will pitch its Office Live software services as a platform for SMB application development and deployment.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company plans to unveil an initiative to help small VARs, ISVs and integrators put applications and services atop its SharePoint-based foundation-in-the-cloud.

Microsoft first previewed the Office Live and consumer-focused Windows Live game plan in February, though news of the strategy emerged in October.

The software giant now is working with a handful of partners to test the Office Live infrastructure to ensure its suitability for deploying applications and services for very small businesses, or those companies with up to 10 employees.

"We need to make it easy for developers to access small-business customers. Partners would love to get access to that target audience, but it is very fragmented and hard to reach. These customers are not interested in on-premise servers," said Marja Koopman, director of partner strategy and execution for Office Live at Microsoft.

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