Feeds

Microsoft stuffs Sage with free accounts software

Trying to get into SMBs' good books

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

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. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.