How Intuit and Microsoft Will Face Offce

On 7 September 2005 Microsoft will release Small Business Accounting, their accounting program for small-medium sized businesses that links perfectly with Microsoft Office a huge reason why many small businesses will want this product.
Two months later Intuit, Microsoft’s direct competitor will release Quickbooks 2006. Intuit has a large and loyal customer base and thousands of accountants who want their customers to use Quickbooks. Two formidable challenges Microsoft faces. Microsoft on the other hand has a lot of money, resellers and the tight integration with MSFT Office. Three formidable challenges Intuit will face.
Business Week has an amazing two-piece package on what Intuit is doing to counter Micrsoft’s looming threat.
Here’s a summary of what’s going on:
His strategy: keep doing the things that have made Intuit successful, with a surprise or two to knock Microsoft off balance. Intuit is known for its easy-to-use products. Now it’s simplifying the user interface even more and adding sophisticated features in higher-end versions, such as improved auditing capabilities.
There’s enough doubt to make it a lively contest, but analysts are betting on Intuit. Most believe Intuit will beat back the challenge thanks to its intense focus on the market — while Microsoft is spread out. Intuit has been catering to small businesses for a decade and responding quickly to their shifting needs, plus it has a network of 200,000 accountants who recommend QuickBooks.
Read the full BW piece here and an interview with Intuit’s CEO Stephen M. Bennet here