Feeds

Microsoft stuffs Sage with free accounts software

Trying to get into SMBs' good books

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft today blew a raspberry in the face of rival Sage with the launch of its own UK accounting software punted at SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses).

Redmond has also adopted a biz model not typically associated with the software King Kong, with a basic version of its Office Accounting 2008 product being made available for free download from today.

Of course, it's not just Microsoft helping the little guy get his books in order. It's also a clever marketing ploy to entice new start-ups to grow their accounting needs with Microsoft and lure them away from the likes of rival Sage.

Another surprise is that the Express edition can be installed independently of Office.

Any business wanting to use the full range of features on the new software would need to upgrade from the Express edition or buy the Professional version, which comes with a £149.95 price tag.

As part of the firm's aggressive marketing campaign, a free two-month trial of the enhanced version is also currently on offer.

Speaking at the software's launch event in London this morning, Microsoft SMB apps and services general manager Rajat Taneja said the firm was tapping into a lucrative, growing market.

He reckoned many SMBs typically plump for Excel or a pen and paper to do their accounts, neither of which was adequate for the modern business world where everyone wants to chatter on social [cough] networking sites.

The logic, he argued, was to lump everything together, build an accounts system that works with Office apps, alongside a Web 2.0-shaped community network, and hey presto: Microsoft has a whole new market to exploit explore.

According to Taneja the software has already been going down a storm Stateside, where two million downloads of the Express version have been notched up since its launch in October 2006. He said the software giant had helped "double the market in the US."

Microsoft said that a retail version of Office Accounting 2008 will be available early next year. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.