What brought the database to the small business? I believe it was Microsoft Access and its $119 price tag, which at the time undercut the competition by orders of magnitude. Running on the relatively recent technology of Windows 3.x, it provided a very powerful tool for businesses that had previously only wished for such technology. Many businesses today are shelling out a lot of money for software for their employees. If you have 200 employees all of whom need an operating system and office suite, it can run to more than $1,000 per employee in licensed software. That’s $200,000 to outfit a business with new or upgraded software. Businesses pay it because it is a necessary cost of doing business in today’s economy, and that is just ...

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