REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 6, 2008 — Every small business needs a way to share and track its customers and prospects, but finding the right software tools can be confounding. Therefore, in response to popular demand, Microsoft Corp. is now offering Microsoft Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager, a contact management application that extends the features of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, as a stand-alone product. The stand-alone version offers customers an easy-to-use and affordable solution and can be purchased in retail outlets or at http://office.microsoft.com.
“Small-business owners need effective solutions for managing their customer base,” said Takeshi Numoto, general manager of Microsoft Office 2007 at Microsoft. “Currently, many small and home-based businesses keep their contacts in several different places — some in Rolodexes, some in spreadsheets. We understand the importance of good customer management and are providing simple and affordable solutions to help small businesses centralize their customer information so that keeping track of customers is more effective and less time-consuming.”
Microsoft Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager provides all the functionality of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, making it easy for small businesses to track sales and marketing activities in one place, including organizing contact, prospect and customer information; managing sales leads and business opportunities throughout the sales cycle; creating, personalizing and tracking direct marketing campaigns in-house; and centralizing project information and task management.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager has gained substantial momentum since its release, with nearly 2 million registered users in just 12 months since the introduction of the 2007 version, and is now offered in 28 languages. In response to customer feedback, the product will be offered as a stand-alone product at $149.95 estimated retail price (ERP)* at retail and online. The product is also offered in Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 for $449.95 ERP, Microsoft Office Professional 2007 for $499 ERP and Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 for $679.95 ERP.
Also, when used with Microsoft Office Accounting 2008, Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager offers small businesses additional benefits, such as the ability to view customer financial history and to bill for time and create invoices directly from Outlook. Outlook with Business Contact Manager and Office Accounting share the same customer database, so any changes to customer information in one application are automatically reflected in the other, eliminating the need for complex synchronization or updating customer data in two applications.
Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2008 has also been released in retail for $199.95 ERP (U.S). In addition to the Office Accounting Professional product, the expanded Office Accounting lineup now includes the following:
Office Accounting Standard edition is targeted to smaller businesses that need more functionality than the free Express edition but less than the Professional version and are looking for an entry-level accounting package for an affordable price. Standard includes all the features of Express, plus budgeting tools and 10 additional reports. Users of the Standard version also have the option of upgrading to Office Accounting Professional for $99.95 ERP.
Microsoft Office Accounting Professional Plus makes it easier for users to take advantage of popular add-on services that Office Accounting offers, such as payroll and eBay integration. It will appeal in particular to businesses with employees and businesses that currently sell or want to sell online.
Microsoft also offers the free Microsoft Office Accounting Express for startups and home-based businesses in English (http://www.ideawins.com) and Spanish (http://www.ideawins.com/espanol) in the U.S. In addition, the U.K. version is available for download from http://www.msofficeaccounting.co.uk.
“Office Accounting combined with Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager gives us full functionality,” said Eric Kasper, president of Mister Watch Online. “By using Office Accounting with Office 2007 with Business Contact Manager, we’re eliminating seven of the 12 hours we spend each week doing administrative tasks, allowing employees to redirect that time to selling. I use the two to store customer orders and financial histories in a single database and save all e-mail messages, phone logs and reminders in one place.”
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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* Estimated retail price. Reseller prices may vary.