RealTime IT News

Microsoft Plans Major E-Commerce Push

Microsoft Corp. "plans to quintuple" its electronic commerce unit by hiring 400 more employees, stepping up its efforts to sign additional small- and medium-sized businesses around the world, according to a published report.

Half of the new employees will be based overseas, Microsoft spokesman Dan Leach told the Associated Press. The e-commerce unit, which currently has about 100 employees, is part of Microsoft's newly reorganized consumer and commerce division.

Microsoft is focusing its e-commerce efforts on four areas: providing access to the Internet; hosting Web sites for small businesses; gaining distribution for its Microsoft Network Web sites; and selling Windows and other software as a platform for e-commerce offerings, Leach said.