Microsoft Great Plains Introduces Small Business Manager

REDMOND, Wash., July 26, 2001 — Today at the Financial Analyst Meeting, Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions announced a new financial management solution for small businesses. The Microsoft® Great Plains® Small Business Manager, code-named
“Project Blue,” will address the accounting and payroll needs of small businesses, which are defined as those with fewer than 25 employees and less than $5 million (U.S.) in revenue. The Small Business Manager will be interconnected with Microsoft bCentral™
services, allowing customers to manage their accounting needs through an on-premise solution as well as utilize services that help them market their businesses on the Web, enable e-business and manage customer relationships.

The announcement of Small Business Manager is the first proof point since Microsoft’s acquisition of Great Plains earlier this year that delivers on the companies’ shared vision of providing interconnected solutions that combine on-premise applications and hosted services to small and midmarket businesses, enhancing how these companies work with their employees, customers, suppliers and business partners.

“With the integration of bCentral Web services and the new Small Business Manager, Microsoft Great Plains is the first to recognize and offer the hybrid approach of on-premise deployment tied to Web services,”
said Robert Anderson, research director for Gartner Inc.’s Small Medium Business Practice Area.
“The Small Business Manager should prove to be an excellent offering for small but growing businesses, as their growth path to other Microsoft Great Plains products such as Dynamics, Solomon and eEnterprise is virtually assured.”

The Small Business Manager is an affordable, interconnected solution containing accounting and business management tasks that allow customers to effectively and efficiently input, organize and access the information needed to drive their businesses. The Small Business Manager includes easy-to-use and integrated financial, banking, payroll, sales and purchasing tasks. These tasks, coupled with quick reporting and online views of key business information, make it possible for users to make smart business decisions faster. The Small Business Manager will allow customers to take advantage of the latest features in Office XP such as those enabling collaboration with other employees, the sharing of key business information with their organization and the completion of analysis tasks.

“The Small Business Manager delivers on our strategy to offer our strong, proven business applications to a broader set of customers,”
said Jeff Young, executive vice president of U.S. operations for Microsoft Great Plains.
“The resulting efficiencies that the Small Business Manager provides, combined with the affordable solution pricing, allow small businesses to quickly realize a return on their investment and move their businesses forward.”

With its growth strategy, Microsoft Great Plains plans to accelerate the growth of its customer base and offer greater business opportunities to resellers. Microsoft Great Plains will also broaden its distribution channel resources to include more CPAs and consultants to effectively sell and support this solution.

Pricing and Availability

The Small Business Manager will be available in North America in the fourth calendar quarter of 2001 from authorized Microsoft Great Plains resellers. Pricing begins at $1,500 (U.S.). More information about Small Business Manager can be found at .

About Microsoft Great Plains

Microsoft Great Plains provides business applications that help small and midmarket companies become more agile in today’s interconnected economy by extending specific information and procedures to employees, customers, vendors and partners. The business applications automate end-to-end business processes across financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business analytics, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about the solutions offered by Microsoft Great Plains can be found at or at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and bCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Great Plains is a registered trademark of Great Plains Software Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Great Plains Software Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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