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Microsoft's industry partners are building an array of applications for small and midsize businesses on the Windows Vista™ operating system and 2007 Microsoft® Office system. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the failure rate of small businesses tops 50 percent in the business’s first year.* These applications are intended to extend Microsoft’s small-business solutions to further help entrepreneurs overcome key challenges and ensure their long-term success well beyond this first critical year.
“The odds are stacked against small businesses keeping their doors open during the first year of business, let alone the first five,” said Dave Wascha, director of the Windows Client business group at Microsoft. “Our industry partners have built applications on Windows Vista and Microsoft Office that will give small-business owners the tools they need to buck that trend.”
Built by independent software makers to take advantage of features in both Windows Vista and the Microsoft Office release, these applications are designed to help small-business owners more easily manage cash flow, stay productive on the road, track customer orders and sales leads, and ensure the protection and privacy of business information. When combined with the features and capabilities of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, these applications enable small businesses to dedicate an even greater percentage of their time and energy to generating revenue.
Expertise for Entrepreneurs’ Needs
Industry partners have worked with Microsoft to develop applications and solutions to meet the following business needs:
- Financial management. Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007 and Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007 provide tools to create and track customer quotes and invoices, accept payments and returns, customize accounting forms and manage inventory. The products include integrated online services such as PayPal®, eBay and ADP PayrollSM as well as Microsoft Office Live to help small-business owners manage everyday financial tasks and enable capabilities such as credit card processing and online banking.
Industry partners are also designing applications for Windows Vista that help small business with financial management tasks. The Payments As a Secure Service (PASS) Consortium’s Commerce Center allows small businesses to manage their finances with real-time messaging about payables and receivables, credit card processing and electronic check deposits directly from the desktop. Likewise, industry partner Intuit’s QuickBooks time-tracking gadget for the Windows® Sidebar helps small businesses track the time spent on a project directly from the Windows Vista desktop and sends the time record to QuickBooks 2007, from which managers can create invoices to send to their customers.
- Sales and marketing. FrontRange Solutions’ GoldMine suite extends the functionality of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 to help businesses reduce costs, drive revenue and improve customer interactions. Together, GoldMine, Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 improve customer relationship focus through easy-to-use interaction management capabilities, including e-mail and calendaring functionality as well as real-time business analysis and flexible deployment options.
In addition, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager provides a complete customer information management solution for small-business customers. Now industry partners can further tailor the product to create custom sales and marketing solutions for small businesses.
- Data security and backup. Alongside the enhanced security features in Windows Vista, CA’s Anti-Virus 2007 helps small businesses protect their computers against viruses, worms and Trojan horse programs that can infect a system through e-mail attachments, downloads, instant messages, and the Internet. In addition, F-Secure Anti-Virus integrates with the Windows Security Center to help provide a quick response to the viruses, spyware and other online security threats faced by small businesses. Maxtor OneTouch III, Turbo Edition provides simple backup and high-capacity external storage. Using the Windows backup utility, consumers can choose to back up their content to an external hard drive, another drive on a PC, or other external media. For added simplicity, the Maxtor OneTouch III button can be customized to launch a backup from the Backup and Restore Center in Windows Vista, bringing the backup features to the forefront.
- Staying connected on the road. Small-business owners and employees can more effectively track their time commitments and action items, even on the go, with Office Outlook 2007. A new To-Do Bar unifies a display of upcoming appointments, tasks and e-mail messages flagged for follow-up. In addition, the FranklinCovey Task List gadget, included in PlanPlus for Outlook 4.1 software, will extend small-business owners’ to-do lists to the desktop so they can prioritize their time and keep focused on what is most important as needs change.
These are just a few examples of the solutions that industry partners are bringing to Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office release. Microsoft is working hard to help ensure that its more than 642,000 industry partners worldwide have the right resources to provide customers with innovative business solutions.