In a stock purchase valued at $1.1bn (£747.1m), each share of NASDAQ-listed Great Plains common stock will be exchanged for 1.1 shares of Microsoft common stock.
Up until recently, Microsoft’s plan for the business market focused on providing a platform and letting companies choose ‘best of breed’ solutions from among the many different applications available. But yesterday’s move will help Microsoft create and market its own suite of applications to help companies run their businesses, which it hopes will match the success of its end-user MS Office software.
From a strategic point of view, Microsoft also hopes to integrate Great Plains into its much-hyped .NET platform, which will provide a new generation of business applications across the internet. .NET solutions will be delivered to PCs, terminals, handheld and wireless devices and deployed either as web-based services or as on-premise, locally managed solutions, according to business needs.
.NET was recently identified by Microsoft president and CEO Steve Ballmer as one of the company’s seven business priorities following a lowering of its revenue forecast for the current quarter.
Following the yesterday’s purchase, Ballmer paid tribute to Great Plains: ‘In 19 years of operations Great Plains has proved to be one of Microsoft’s most innovative partners. Microsoft and Great Plains see the future of business applications for small and medium sized companies in the same way.’
Once the acquisition is complete, Great Plains will become the Great Plains Division and will continue to develop, market and support its business management solutions.
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