Microsoft Offers Free Support for Accouting App

by Dan Muse

Microsoft today announced that it will offer one year of free, unlimited support for its small business accounting customers, claims most of its users are coming from QuickBooks.

In the realm of small business accounting, for years it's been Quickbooks and everyone else. While it's too soon to say whether or not Microsoft Small Business Accounting can knock off the reigning champ, the tide may be turning.

At least, according to Microsoft, it's making waves. Announced last November, Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 been attracting QuickBooks users at a pace faster than the company expected, according to Guy Gilbert, group product manager for Office at Microsoft. He said 55 percent of customers were previously using QuickBooks. A third were using Excel, he added.

As part of its effort to attract more businesses as well as ones using other products, Microsoft today announced it will offer one year of free, unlimited support. "This is unprecedented, Gilbert said. "With accounting software, this is a big deal."

Most accounting software is sold between January and April, according to Gilbert. So it's not surprising that Microsoft is gearing up its sales effort for Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006. "The beginning of the New Year is a perfect time for customers to move to a better way of bookkeeping," Gilbert said.

The support begins the day of product registration, according to Microsoft, and includes assistance with installation, product features, technical questions and migration tools. Gilbert added that accounting professional will receive priority access to support reps. Microsoft is also offering a Small Business Accounting Starter Kit.

Also customers can receive up to $100 of instant savings off the retail price if they Best Buy, Dell, CompUSA, Office Depot, Staples, OfficeMax and Amazon.com, Gilbert said. Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 retails for $179.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel and EarthWeb's Networking & Communications Channel.

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This article was originally published on Wednesday Jan 18th 2006
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