Most of the business links between aviation and Microsoft Corp. have involved the software giant's "Flight Simulator" program, which used to allow would-be pilots to fly their PC into Chicago's Sears Tower. Now, with the recently launched small-business product Microsoft Office Live, the publisher is offering 10 hours of private jet travel on a Citation V Ultra operated by Marquis Jet -- NetJets' flight card operation -- as the grand prize in a sweepstakes promotion targeting small business owners and entrepreneurs as potential users of its new software. The sweepstakes, called "I'm Going Places," targets expansion-minded small-business owners looking for ways to create, maintain and promote their company's Web sites as well as managing their businesses online.
Michael Schultz, U.S. business and marketing lead for Office Live at Microsoft, said, "We can add wings to any business by helping even the smallest one establish a professional Web presence in just minutes. It's just like private jet travel with the Marquis Jet Card program: a better way for small-business owners to promote and manage their business -- wherever their business takes them." Marquis Jet is an acknowledged leader in private jet cards, offering a compromise between fractional ownership and retail charter 25 hours at a time. The Marquis Jet Card program is operated by NetJets Aviation Inc. or NetJets International Inc. under their respective Part 135 certificates.