Microsoft takes on Intuit once more in accounting

While Microsoft dominates the enterprise, it's still struggling to gain a foothold among small businesses. But will it be able to steal market share from Intuit with Office Accounting 2008?

The new release is a minor update to the Office Accounting 2007 that adds features and the Spanish language. The previous version was downloaded almost 2 million times, according to Microsoft's tally, and it says the feedback has dictated what's new in 2008.

A Resource Center groups together articles on business-related topics, and the creation of businesses has been simplified with customizable business templates. In addition, Microsoft has added a budgeting feature and importing of transactions from almost any other accounting package.

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Office Accounting can now convert sales orders to purchase orders in one step, as well as send bulk invoices in PDF or Word formats. Online banking capabilities have also been bulked up with support for more institutions.

In order to attract more users, Microsoft is releasing versions of Office Accounting 2008 for the UK and Spanish speakers in the United States. According to the company, there are nearly 2 million Hispanic small businesses in the country.

Office Account 2008 Professional is available for $199.95 USD, which will pit the software against Intuit's ubiquitous QuickBooks, but an Express edition is being offered free of charge. Office Accounting Express is suitable for home-based businesses and starts, Microsoft says. The UK version of Professional is priced at 149.95 GBP.

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