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Microsoft today officially launches the Microsoft Small Business Centre, the latest version of its online small business support service.

It is waving goodbye to bCentral, its current online service for small businesses. Presumably this is on the grounds that bCentral has been a branding failure, as Microsoft is migrate all its content to Small Business Centre. It says the move will be "seamless".

Both sites provide small businesses with advice on how to extend their businesses online, with articles, advice on small-business management and sales and marketing tools and, of course, Microsoft product information. In the US, the service will also feature subscription Web services designed to help small-business customers better manage their businesses online.

The global rollout has started with Australia, Japan, Canada, Spain and the UK, and will extend to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States. Each country will make its own launch announcement in the second half of 2004. ®

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