Microsoft Spearheads European Fund Finding


At a time when funding the growth of small and medium businesses is a challenge, Microsoft , Intel and HP formed a consortium to help European SMBs locate money from the European Union.


The group will use Microsoft’s European Union Grants Advisor (EUGA)
initiative, which helps small and midsize businesses obtain grants from the
EU, as the basis to stimulate SMB growth in the 25 countries of the EU.

EUGA will help SMBs with the application process should they
wish to apply for grants. Originally tested in Spain, the initiative was
extended to Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and France earlier this year.


“The majority of businesses in Europe are small and medium-sized enterprises
and, with a contribution of 57 percent to the GDP, they are a key driving
force behind the creation of new and better jobs, as well as stimulating
competitiveness and innovation,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, CEO of
Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).


The companies expect the investment will help the 20 million SMBs in Europe,
including 140 million workers. SMB business is also strong in the U.S., with several high-tech giants targeting
smaller companies for new revenue sources after tapping out large
enterprises.


While Microsoft has catered to SMBs in the United States for years, it has
operated in EMEA since 1982, employing more than 12,000 people in more than 55
subsidiaries.


The EUGA initiative comes at a time when Microsoft is at odds with the EU, which is still weighing the kinds of sanctions it will place on the
company for antitrust issues.


The commission fined
Microsoft $613 million for abusing its monopoly position, and it ordered the
company to unbundled its Windows Media Player software from Windows in
European markets.


Earlier this week, Microsoft officials said they have fulfilled a number of changes requested by the commission relating to the design and description of its version of Windows without Media Player.


According to an earlier internetnews.com report, this includes changes to “registry settings” and the removal of references that tell users certain products do not work without Media Player. The Redmond, Wash, software giant also agreed to call Windows versions sold in the EU Windows XP Home Edition N or Windows XP Professional Edition N.

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