Microsoft smothers Sage and Intuit challenger
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. ®
What Small Businesses Need...
Is NOT a high profile and (in their eyes at least) 'trusted' software supplier like Microsoft killing what could quite likely be their (i.e. the SMB's) current Line-of-Business software with a few weeks notice - Microsoft deserve a bloody good kicking for this! Will HMRC accept any excuses?
There's currently a gaping hole in the small business market (esp. for the 'micro' businesses) for an accounting package that is both usable & accessible by small business owners and also sufficiently structured & controlled to be acceptable to their 'accountants' - and I'm sorry but neither Sage nor Intuit can cut it for anyone who's not been at least AAT trained :-)
Pity - not that the .net structure was very friendly, but...
MS Money is vile-ly pbsessed with online banking and doesn't do double-entry properly, ditto QuickBooks. Sage has all the flexibility and utility of a 25 year old monopoly product designed for firms with several in-house accountants who qualified in the 80s. None of them handles multiple currencies in a plausibly useful manner.
I'd quite like a piece of software that would give me the no-nonsense functionality - and manageable reporting - that Intuit put into the English version of Quicken before they murdered it to force people on to its increasingly cumbersome and always much less flexible successor.
I had cherished hopes MSOA would turn into something really useful (or force the others to do so) in a couple of years. Back to square one.
I have used the professional version for about 3 years, its light years ahead of the rest. Tried the Mamut software! How on earth did Microsoft get to use this outfit? Its bloated and probably designed for 500,000 plus manufacturing conglomerated and not for MSOA customers, and the payroll is a nightmare. Back to the drawing board and off to the cloud.