Hong Kong software developer Digital Empires has launched the DIY e-commerce package built on Windows XP and aimed at small businesses wanting to set up shop online. Director of sales and marketing David Chung yesterday said the company had a goal of selling 3,000 copies of DIY in Hong Kong and eventually introducing the package to other markets including Taiwan and China. Distribution through software resellers and as part of hardware and software bundles were planned, though Mr Chung declined to name hardware partners. The package, retailing for HK$388, requires companies to use the professional edition of Windows XP, the latest computer operating system from Microsoft. Mr Chung said Digital Empires, which has 20 developers in Hong Kong, chose the XP platform for its support of data stored in Chinese characters and because many of the target small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) already used Windows. The software allows companies to publish catalogues of goods they have for sale in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, and to collect information from customers who go to their Web sites. The target market includes SMEs that have Web sites hosted and managed by Internet service providers or Web hosting companies. 'Because a lot of Web hosting companies are unstable or going bankrupt, a lot of SMEs are looking to bring their sites in-house,' Mr Chung said. Digital Empires invested more than 10 months and HK$1 million in building and testing the program, Mr Chung said, and other software aimed at SMEs was being developed. The company also is involved in technology consultancy and software distribution. High talent costs and software piracy were stumbling blocks for other companies hoping to develop packaged software for the Hong Kong retail market, but Mr Chung said conditions were improving. 'That's why we picked this time to launch,' he said. DIY's anti-piracy measures include Internet activation.