Reuters: Microsoft to Spend $10 Bln on Small Firms

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) – Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT – news) is to invest $10 billion over the next five years to develop its software offerings for small and medium-sized businesses, according to Germany’s Euro am Sonntag Sunday newspaper.
SMB sales strategy chief Orlando Ayala told the paper in an interview Microsoft was taking a long-term view of the sector, which consists of some 40 million companies around the world, and expected its investments to turn profitable in 2005. (full story)

My spin: There’s few if any other company that can spend this much on one (huge) market segment. The SMB space is ripe with plenty of opportunities for those companies willing to invest the time, money, and tenacity to do so. It’s easier for Microsoft than others to reap rewards from SMB sales as Microsoft has the brand dominance, and their operating system is on most every PC an SMB owner would buy.