IBM\u2019s latest round of software aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs) includes a bundle of hardware, software and services designed to encourage users to adopt grid computing.Released Tuesday, Grid and Grow Express is based on IBM\u2019s eServer BladeCenter blade server, according to Judy Smolski, vice president of SMB marketing for IBM Americas. The offering comes with seven blades, and users can choose which processor, operating system and scheduler are in the bundle.IBM estimates that SMB business accounts for about 20 percent of its revenue. The vendor typically defines SMBs as companies with between 100 and 1,000 workers.Tuesday\u2019s news is the latest in a steady stream of announcements from the company designed to make it more attractive for SMBs to do business with IBM, Smolski said. She pointed to the company\u2019s Express Advantage initiative, unveiled at IBM\u2019s PartnerWorld conference in March, which brings together IBM\u2019s SMB Express offerings with resources including financing options from IBM Global Services. SMBs looking to try out grid computing can have IBM finance that, she added.Grid and Grow Express costs from US$1,369 per month for a 36-month term. It\u2019s available Tuesday in the United States\u00a0and Canada and 12 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including France, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom.Sanjeev Aggarwal, senior analyst for Yankee Group\u2019s SMB strategies decision service, described the pricing as "very aggressive" and likely to appeal to SMBs weighing the cost of buying additional PCs versus moving to share high-performance computing resources via grid technology. "There\u2019s definitely an interest [in grid] among midmarket verticals including education and pharmaceuticals," he said.IBM first introduced the Grid and Grow bundle in a version providing midsize and large companies with a grid technology starter pack at the LinuxWorld show in San Francisco in August. That bundle had a starting price of $49,000.Coming soon is IBM\u2019s Express Desktop Management Services, a Web-based suite of desktop and laptop asset management services. The suite costs from $5 per seat per month, with a minimum of 20 seats. It will be available in the United States\u00a0and Canada in May, then in the Netherlands and Germany in June, Smolski said.Shipping in June, Tivoli Directory Integrator Express helps users securely share identity data from trusted sources across their applications. The software costs from $16 per user identity and will be available worldwide except for Japan.The company\u2019s next round of Express announcements should come in the third or fourth quarter, according to Smolski, and will likely include some product updates given that IBM began introducing its SMB software three years ago.-China Martens, IDG News ServiceFor related news coverage, read IBM Boosts Dividend 50% to Bump Up Stock.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.