Microsoft is providing free licenses for software purchased by Gulf Coast small businesses recovering from Hurricane Katrina, the company announced this week.

The offer is available to all businesses that have applied for financial assistance through the Louisiana Small Business Development Center. To be eligible, the businesses must purchase a three-year license and submit an invoice from the software reseller to their local small business development center.

"Steps like these are more than just good corporate commitment to their communities, they are good business," Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), said in a statement. "Microsoft has recognized that the businesses that survive disaster today are the successful customers of tomorrow."

The Open Value program is scheduled to launch in September. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com/licensing/programs/open/openvalue.mspx

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