Microsoft moves into business applications

Microsoft hopes to partner with small UK accounting firms to exploit their distribution channels, in a move that could drastically shake up the software market.

The scheme is expected to kick in when the software giant launches its bCentral online accounting and finance application service for small businesses.

The service is thought likely to be introduced this summer, after its US roll out two years ago. It will probably mirror the US model, which saw Microsoft creating partnerships with firms in relevant markets.

Microsoft would only say that it was “working on a number of online offerings” and had “no specific dates” for a launch, however.

The development comes as the vendor awaits approval for its proposed acquisition of Great Plains Software, which sells financial applications to the middle market.

The move marks Microsoft’s first foray into the business application space.

First published on Accountancy Age

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