Wave goodbye to Microsoft’s foray into small business accounting software. Today they pulled the plug on their Office Accounting family:
Starting November 16, Microsoft is ending distribution and sales of its Microsoft Office Accounting product. Company officials began notifying customers of the decision on October 30.
All Microsoft Office Accounting products in the UK and North America are affected by the decision, including Office Accounting Express, Office Accounting Standard, Office Accounting Professional, Office Accounting Professional Plus, Office Accounting 3-user and Small Business Accounting.
Microsoft officials said that existing Office Accounting customers will get five years of mainstream, free support and five years of extended, paid support. Those who recently bought the product can return it for a refund within 30 days of purchase.
There are more details in the Office Accounting Discontinuation FAQs including a bit of gallows humor:
… we have determined that existing free templates within Office used with Excel was a better option for small businesses, and the Microsoft Dynamics ERP products were appropriate for mid-range organizations.
When free templates for Office and Excel spreadsheets are better than your small business accounting product, it really is time to close up shop. A more pertinent rationale is that Microsoft was never able to get traction in a market with strong existing players, notably Intuit’s QuickBooks.