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Microsoft's Office Accounting software, used to challenge Sage and Intuit, has become the latest victim of corporate cuts.

The package will no longer be distributed after November 16, Microsoft said Friday. Versions of the product affected are the Express, Standard, Professional, Professional Plus, three-user and Small Business Accounting in North America and the UK.

The company said it had determined that the existing, free templates in Office and Excel would suit small businesses, and that its Dynamics ERP suite would be adequate for mid-sized organizations.

The decision to chop Office Accounting and have people use existing features in Office and Dynamics is likely part of Microsoft's attempts to cut its costs in product development, marketing and sales in areas where there are overlap.

Other Microsoft products, services and divisions cut recently include MSN Direct, MSN Encarta, Soapbox, Windows Live OneCare, Razorfish, Aces Studio, and its Software Licensing and Protection (SLP) Services unit.

Microsoft said customers who bought Office Accounting before the November-16 cut off can continue to use the software but that online sales from eBay and credit profiles from Equifax won't be available after December 15, 2009.

Customers will still be able to pay emailed invoices directly through PayPal while credit card processing services will still be available along with the ability to order compatible checks and forms after November 16. ®

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