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Microsoft promotes latest business tools on Technology Bus

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

It’s often the “dread factor” that keeps small-business owners handcuffed to antiquated computer programs.

They dread changing their current system and confronting the problems that come with that, said Cheryle Schaum, chief financial officer of JFG Systems Inc. of Carson City.

“But in order to keep your business alive, you have to make those changes, keep moving forward constantly,” she said while standing outside the Microsoft Across America Technology Bus in the Carson Mall parking lot Monday morning. “We help people do that.”

After stepping out of the crowded trailer, many business owners were determined to change their errant ways, even if it costs them thousands of dollars.

“As a small-business person, I work out of a home office,” said Susan McCarthy of Carson City. “I have a laptop and I’m looking to have a more sophisticated system in place for my business that would include a small-business server and remote Web access.”

This will give McCarthy access to her files away from the home and the security she needs for her professional organizer business. The change should cost her about $4,000.

More than 60 business professionals viewed the latest Microsoft technology aboard the bus, which was brought to Carson City by a partnership of the Northern Nevada Development Authority and JFG Systems.

The dimly lit trailer was equipped with programs and equipment just for the business owner, which was a disappointment to Pat Hunter. The computer screens set up inside the trailer displayed accounting programs.

Hunter, of Carson City, has worked in the computer programming field for 35 years and is interested in new computer gadgets. She was looking at the MSNTV2, which is an RCA keyboard, remote and console that gives Internet access through a television. The blue screen was turned on, but it was not receiving a signal.

“I suspect this is out of my price range anyway,” Hunter said.

Microsoft Across America features a fleet of seven state-of-the-art RVs that make their way across the country visiting 250 cities to give attendees a one-stop destination to see the latest products and services.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

If you go

WHAT: Microsoft Across America bus

WHERE: Western Nevada Community College

WHEN: Noon-4 p.m.today and Wednesday

The bus has technology focused on the small-business, such as:

• Server products

• Office application products

• Mobile technology

• SharePoint, a new feature document