A new version of its Office program for small businesses that
handles accounting and customer management tasks, the world's largest
software maker said on Friday.
SEATTLE: Microsoft Corp. is planning to release a new
version of its Office program for small businesses that handles
accounting and customer management tasks, the world's largest software
maker said on Friday.
The new program, due out in a year and code-named Magellan, takes
direct aim at Intuit Corp.'s Quickbooks and other financial and
accounting software for small businesses.
For the last three years, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has been
building a new division that it hopes will fuel $10 billion in growth
by the end of the decade with software designed and developed for small
Magellan is expected to include familiar Office programs such as Word,
Excel and Powerpoint, but its Outlook e-mail and scheduling program
will also feature an enhanced contacts manager for tracking customer
In addition, Microsoft said Magellan will include Office Small Business
Accounting, new accounting software for managing payrolls, accounts and
"This is a new category that doesn't exist in the market," said Orlando
Ayala, who is in charge of Microsoft's sales strategy for small and
medium-sized business software.
Microsoft did not disclose pricing for Magellan.
Ayala said Magellan, which is scheduled to launch in late 2005, will be
marketed as a stepping stone for businesses that may want to upgrade to
Microsoft's full-featured business management software .
Microsoft spent more $2.5 billion to buy Great Plains Software, a
small-business software maker in Fargo, North Dakota, and Navision, a
Dutch software company, to build its software business for small- and
Magellan is mainly aimed at small business owners who are typically
responsible for making all of the financial decisions in a small
For example, customer invoices can be generated from within a contact
listing and reflected immediately in an accounts receivable ledger.
While programs like Magellan and Quickbooks are designed to be
installed and used mainly on a single or just a few personal computers,
Salesforce.com Inc. and NetSuite Inc. offer customer relationship
management, sales and accounting over the Web through regular
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