Microsoft Business Solutions Enhances Financial Management Solution For Small Businesses

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 5, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of Microsoft
Business Solutions Small Business Financials North America Edition, a rebranded and enhanced version of Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager. Microsoft Small Business Financials is an affordable, flexible accounting and business management solution that enables growing small businesses to connect people, information and processes to manage their business more effectively. The product has been updated to provide a wide range of sophisticated accounting and financial management functionality for small businesses in the United States and Canada with 10 to 49 employees.

With Microsoft Small Business Financials, users will have greater ability to customize reports, streamline order processing and inventory management, and automate scheduled data backups. Users can also import data from other applications such as QuickBooks and Peachtree, and they will have a seamless upgrade path from Microsoft Office for Small Business Management edition when that solution becomes available later this year.

In addition, the enhanced compatibility between Microsoft Small Business Financials and Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 will provide businesses with a server solution that allows for more efficient communication and collaboration, and easy access to data from many locations, to get up and running quickly.

Microsoft Small Business Financials is part of an existing group of Microsoft products designed to meet the needs of small businesses. Along with the recently announced Microsoft Office for Small Business Management edition, scheduled for availability in fall 2005, Microsoft Small Business Financials offers small-business customers an opportunity to manage their business operations through a comprehensive accounting solution.

“Microsoft Small Business Financials complements the upcoming Microsoft Office for Small Business Management edition by providing a logical growth option for those businesses that require the additional functionality of an entry-level system or a move to a server-based infrastructure,” said Jeff Young, general manager of Microsoft Business Solutions. “In addition, users of Microsoft Small Business Financials can continue to scale with Microsoft Business Solutions as their business requires through the seamless upgrade from Microsoft Small Business Financials to Microsoft Business Solutions–Great Plains®

Richard Lederer, partner and director of accounting software solutions with PDG Consultants Inc., specialists in customizing Microsoft Business Solutions systems, said that developing products in accordance with the customers’ business life cycle is beneficial to both customers and partners.

“The Microsoft Business Solutions family of products allows our customers to start out and grow into the solution that best suits them at the appropriate time and a competitive price point,” Lederer said. “For all our customers, the decision to purchase a Microsoft Business Solution was easy because of their familiarity and use of other Microsoft products in their businesses. Also, it is reassuring to our customers that as their business grows, they can easily migrate up to the next Microsoft accounting software solution. Microsoft Business Solutions keeps their growth and evolution top-of-mind when developing products.”

Distribution and Availability

Microsoft Small Business Financials is scheduled for U.S. and Canadian availability Jan. 5, 2005. The product will be available through the Microsoft Business Solutions partner channel, and in the United States it will also be available through CDW Corp., a leading provider of technology products and services for business, government and education, which will sell Microsoft Small Business Financials online and through its catalog. Working closely with Microsoft Business Solutions, CDW will also assist certified partners in their efforts to market and sell Microsoft Small Business Financials.

About Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft Business Solutions offers integrated business applications and services that allow small and midsize organizations and divisions of large enterprises to connect employees, customers and suppliers for improved efficiency. The financial management, customer relationship management, supply chain management and analytics applications work with Microsoft products such as Office and Windows®
to streamline processes across an entire organization, giving businesses insight to respond rapidly, plan strategically and execute quickly. Microsoft Business Solutions applications are delivered through a worldwide network of channel partners that provide specialized services and local support tailored to a company’s needs.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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