<b>Technology News:</b> Microsoft seeks input on UK edition of Small Business Accounting </b>

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US software giant Microsoft has begun the process of localising its Small Business Accounting (SBA) package for the UK market and is looking to British practitioners to help define the product spec and marketing strategy.

Launched last year in the US, SBA caters for companies with up to 49 employees. The program is based on Microsoft's SQL Server database engine and has an Outlook-like interface displaying a selection of reminders, reports and a set of task buttons that lead the user into different accounts modules.

While the core functions and interface are set, SBA needs to be localised to cope with things like sales tax (VAT) and accounting cultures in different territories. For the UK, Microsoft is working with tax and practice software house Digita - one of its long-term partners in thi...

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By Anonymous
31st Mar 2006 13:56

What about MS core disciplines .....
A few questions before we all get carried away with extolling the virtues of an unproven product:

1. Bearing in mind Microsoft's current issues with the EU

European regulators are warning Microsoft to remove several features from the upcoming Windows Vista operating system or face being barred from the European market.

The latest threats come a day before EU regulators meet to decide whether Microsoft is complying with a 2004 antitrust ruling

Will the simplicity of moving data between Digita and SBA be available in the public domain for other developers to use or is it proprietary in the same way as undocumented calls to other Microsoft areas?

2. Is the timed rollout of SBA in line with the missed Office deadline?

Amid the bombshell news from earlier this week that Windows Vista would be delayed, Microsoft has pushed back its Office 2007 release.

Microsoft said Office 2007 would be delayed until next year, a move that will coincide with the delay of the highly-anticipated Windows Vista operating system

3. Presumably this all accords with the missed Vista deadline

Microsoft said today that consumer versions of its next-generation version of Windows would not hit the market until January 2007, dashing plans that it would be on PCs for sale during the 2006 end-of-year holiday season

4. What is the position with Internet Explorer (IE)?

Microsoft is responding to what one security firm terms a "highly critical" flaw in Internet Explorer. Attackers could exploit a flaw in the "createTextRange()" method used by IE to control radio buttons


The upshot of all this is why are Microsoft so intent in 'spoiling' everyone else’s markets (i.e. Sage, Quickbooks etc) while woefully failing to deliver their core discipline?

Finally, would all this type of 'free' publicity be given to other smaller market players whose products are as good (if not better)?

When was the last time this web site ran an article on one of the smaller suppliers advocating the excellence of one of their products before it was even available?

Thanks (0)
31st Mar 2006 18:20

There's plenty of info about this
JC - Microsoft is on a $500 million charm offensive. The products are actually looking pretty good in a number of areas. IE7 is a dog at themoment but Excel 2007 is looking very good. the new onlline Office stuff is very me too and expensive in comparision with other things you could do.

The issue people should be concentrating upon (IMO) is the extent ot which they will need to reinvest in time and effort to understand how the new technologies will impact their business.

As to other products - I won't speculate on that though I'm pretty sure I know the answer. Let's put it this way. I talk about any number of innovations by vendors I'm pretty sure most readers will barely know but which are delivering HUGE value. Only today, 3 more companies popped up on my radar.

Yhe world is changing - its centre of gravity is shifting. Microsoft is doing everything it can to stop it but the wave's already rolling in.

As to Digita - forget it. They have no more idea than anyone else when SBA ships. Or IE7 or Vista. That's because MSFT itself is not sure.

Thanks (0)
06th Apr 2006 12:54

Well, I'm excited about this even if no-one else is
OK, maybe 'excited' is exaggerating, but the preview of SBA at last week's Digita conference was pretty impressive. They do seem to have taken a blank sheet and come up with some new ideas, and of course it's all based on 100% new MS technology, no legacy stuff.

Make or break will be the pricing - MS could completely lose the game by pricing SBA above the main competitors. Time will tell if Sage, MYOB and QuickBooks may decide to stake their claim to their market share and spoil SBA's launch by cutting their prices in advance!

Thanks (0)