Software giant, Microsoft and its partners are set to incentivise Singapore SMEs to upgrade their IT infrastructure before the imminent end of support for Windows XP and Office 2003.
The series of initiatives include a webcast with Intel and Forrester, a 15 percent discount on Windows 8 and Office 2013, Windows 8 Pro notebooks and tablet hardware upgrade and a SME IT Makeover contest in Singapore.
Vincent Wong, director of small medium business and partner group at Microsoft Singapore, said that although SMEs form the backbone of Singapore's economy, - comprising over 99 percent of businesses and employing seven out of 10 workers - many are not keeping up with the IT needs of a modern workforce.
"Our goal through this multi-pronged effort, is to make it more compelling for SMEs to modernise by moving away from old technologies like Windows XP or Office 2003 so they can truly realise new levels of productivity, be more secure and take advantage of cloud services cost effectively," he said.
Mobile workers: The future
The new Office and Windows have been designed to support the growth of mobile workers from 601.7 million in 2010 to 838.7 million in 2015, according to IDC research.
A latest study by IDC has also found that three quarters of Asia Pacific businesses have adopted or are planning to adopt enterprise social tools to achieve higher productivity and cost effectiveness in the next 18 months.
Microsoft has revealed in its recent Security Intelligence Report that PCs running Windows XP are about 14 times more vulnerable than Windows 8 and 2.5 times more vulnerable than Windows 7.
This means the end of support from Microsoft by 8 April 2014 will subsequently expose existing Windows XP and Office 2003 to security and privacy risks.
The new versions of Windows will feature enhanced security improvements to defend PCs against vulnerabilities with potential to cripple businesses.
Joy Quek, Windows business group lead of Microsoft Singapore, said the seamless migration of Windows XP to Windows 8 on Intel devices will enhance security and performance.
"Intel architecture provides seamless integration and complete compatibility - companies can enjoy compatible applications, peripherals and drivers, ensuring a smooth Windows 8 Enterprise integration while protecting their infrastructure investments," she said.
Get2Modern SME IT Makeover Contest
Microsoft will be launching a Get2Modern SME IT Makeover Contest where SMEs could stand to win complimentary migration services from an authourised Microsoft partner worth US$6,000 (S$7,537), one-year Office 365 Small Business Premium subscription (for up to 20 users) and Windows 8 Pro notebooks and tablets.
An online form is available for interested participants to submit an image or video of their current workspace to give a reason why an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 would benefit their company.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.