Softchoice Sees Big Opportunity in Microsoft Online Services

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TORONTO, March 5 /-/ - This week Microsoft Corp. announced the expansion of its Online Services program, a set of subscription-based services that enable businesses to access e-mail, calendaring, shared workspaces, webconferencing and videoconferencing over the Web. The announcement represents an important step in Microsoft's 'software plus services' strategy and a significant growth opportunity for Microsoft Large Account Resellers (LAR) like Softchoice.

    "Our software plus services strategy is about offering greater choice and flexibility in how Microsoft technology is accessed - and that's creating new opportunities for customers and our partners," said Lynne Frankel, General Manager of U.S. Reseller Sales. "We are pleased to announce that existing customers with Software Assurance on their Microsoft Client Access Licenses will be able to purchase user subscriptions at a discount from their dedicated LAR. These customers will also have rights to blend both Microsoft Online Services with access to on-premises server software."

    Microsoft Online Services include a subscription-based model for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Access to these programs is managed through a single high-security Web interface, allowing IT professionals to monitor performance, add and configure users, and manage users and licenses. These services entered a limited beta trial this week for business of all sizes and will be generally available through the LAR channel in the second half of this year.

    "By complementing on-premises Microsoft implementations with online services, Microsoft is offering customers the best of both worlds," said David MacDonald, President and CEO of Softchoice. "The incentives they have put in place for Software Assurance subscribers are compelling. We are looking forward to helping our customers take advantage of this opportunity and to creating integrated software solutions that address their unique requirements."

    About Softchoice

    As one of North America's leading providers of technology solutions and services, Softchoice helps businesses and organizations of all sizes to select, acquire and manage their software and hardware technology resources. Softchoice offers a full range of capabilities, including face-to-face consultations and IT asset management services designed to help customers save time, money and risk in IT procurement. In 2006, Softchoice was named Software Value Added Reseller (VAR) of the Year by VAR Business magazine. Softchoice currently has more than 950 employees operating from more than 40 branch offices located in major cities across the U.S. and Canada.

    Softchoice stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the trading symbol "SO." The Common Shares of Softchoice are not registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and are not publicly traded in the United States.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, plans and timing for the introduction and enhancement of our services, and other expectations, intentions and plans contained in this press release that are not historical fact. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "expect" and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, our ability to integrate the business of Software Plus with our own, including the ability to maintain its customers, the ability to eliminate costs, and changes in technology and general market conditions, many of which are set out or incorporated by reference in the Company's latest Annual Information Form. Due to the many risks and uncertainties, Softchoice cannot assure that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will be realized.
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